sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
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posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 11:08am on 05/05/2009 under , , ,
I know I've said at least part of this somewhere before, but it seems to need repeating.

An aside: There is no female equvalent to "guy". There is no female equivalent to "bloke". There is no male equivalent to "cow", or to "slut", or to various other slurs against women. It is worth considering why this might be, and rejecting the unspoken assumption - created by the language itself - that men as a group somehow behave better than woman as a group. All people are individuals, capable of both good and bad behaviour, and language is not an objective study of male or female behaviour trends.

Point 1: Women are not girls. Men are not boys.

Point 2: If, in a certain situation, you consistently refer to men as men, you should also consistently refer to women as women. Not girls.

Point 3: If you find yourself, in a certain situation, referring consistently to men and girls, you are probably male should probably consider your reasoning and adjust your actions accordingly.

Point 4: Some women may appreciate being made to feel young. This is because our society teaches women that their youth and sexuality are their only, or most, valuable traits. Hence these women believe their value is decreasing as they age. These women would not, I believe, be insulted by being accorded their full role as women.

Point 5: Young adult women often struggle to be taken seriously, especially in the world of work. As they already display the "valuable" trait of youth (and sexual desirability, according to our culture), young adult women are often not seeking to be made to feel young and sexually attractive. In fact, if young adult women are seeking to be taken seriously, they may find it demeaning to be designated as younger than they are. If you find yourself consistently referring to young women as girls, and young men in the same or a lower age bracket as men, you may want to consider your reasoning and adjust your actions accordingly.

That is all.

There are 13 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
helenic: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] helenic at 10:40am on 05/05/2009
Well said.

I got called out in my second year for referring to Newnham as a "girls' college". It hadn't occurred to me to think about it before then. These days I always notice when someone refers to me or another adult woman as a "girl". The sad thing is that above a certain age of male speaker you can't even successfully challenge them; I've tried, and however polite and well-meaning I try to be I've never even been understood, let alone listened to. There's a very dear family friend who refers to adult women as "girlies" and although it makes me wince, it's not a battle worth fighting.
helenic: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] helenic at 10:41am on 05/05/2009
Whoa, where did that comment title come from? *peers suspiciously at Dreamwidth*
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
posted by [personal profile] denny at 11:24am on 05/05/2009
I don't see a comment title?
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:13pm on 05/05/2009
hah, probably me. I set it to put that up instead of
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:18pm on 05/05/2009
(no title)
i should really have guessed that pointy arrow bits would disappear. ahh, learning curves!
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
posted by [personal profile] denny at 12:30pm on 05/05/2009
Ah, I see 'can has cookie?' on your style, but not on mine which I was originally reading on. Cute :)
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
posted by [personal profile] denny at 11:30am on 05/05/2009
I do this a lot. Sorry. I try not to but it's fairly ingrained, so it's taking a long time to rewire my head about it.

It'd be great if there was a casual single-syllable word for women that wasn't annoying to women, and I'm pretty sure I'd use it if there was. I very rarely use the word 'men' as it seems overly formal language, and therefore the same applies to using the word 'women' in casual conversation. I think I usually use 'guys' and 'girls', but it's a bit variable.

I do sometimes refer to men as boys, particularly if I'm talking about 'cute boys', i.e. ones I'm attracted to - it's not age (or perception of age) dependent (as far as I'm aware). I have for instance referred to J as a boy on many occasions.
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:17pm on 05/05/2009
I'm thinking primarily of the T.A. here - truth is, I'm going to have to have a private word with our bandmaster about it. I can understand the "cute girl/boy" thing when you're attracted to people, but this issue is one of the reasons I refer to my boys as "my boy", if you get me.
Guys and girls are not equivalent, no matter how much people use them. There's no age inherent in guy.

I actually started thinking about this when I was working in Caffe Nero - my coworker would shout "thanks for coming guys, see you later" which, well, sometimes they were groups of middle-aged women. So I amended it to "folks", which is also amusingly quaint.

Thanks for trying, anyway.
denny: Photo of me wearing my beloved silly hat.  It's wuzzy! (Default)
posted by [personal profile] denny at 12:29pm on 05/05/2009
this issue is one of the reasons I refer to my boys as "my boy"

Y'see, it'd never occurred to me that there could be anything odd or unusual about that. Seems like an affectionate term to be described by, to me :)
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 12:39pm on 05/05/2009
round here it's usually fella or occasionally bloke. which I do sometimes use, but I prefer boy; only really noteable because the boy in question gave me a funny look the first time I used it :)
vacillating: text on a multicoloured background: Gone to play poker, back when I run out of clothes, your muse (Default)
posted by [personal profile] vacillating at 04:06pm on 05/05/2009
In the spirit of returning your offer, should I be filling a handy stick with some of those tasty, tasty clues?
sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sevenhelz at 04:37pm on 05/05/2009
hah, I appreciate the offer, but I think I can handle this one. The officer in question seems pretty intelligent, so I should be able to handle him with a "Sir, may I have a word in the next break?" next time it happens.
x
vacillating: text on a multicoloured background: Gone to play poker, back when I run out of clothes, your muse (Default)
posted by [personal profile] vacillating at 04:39pm on 05/05/2009
Pleased to hear it.

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