gentle sex

or gentler sex

noun Older Use: Sometimes Offensive.

women in general (usually used facetiously): courtesy toward the gentle sex.

Origin of gentle sex

First recorded in 1575–85

usage note for gentle sex

This is a dated term, usually used for humorous effect but sometimes perceived as condescending to women. It makes reference to a stereotype of women’s basic nature, namely that women are gentle in comparison to men. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019