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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:12 PM

some women have "scolded" me for using girl when talking about women


or lady, or.....

i am often reading that to bring up a point, to bring a person into awareness, to have a discussion, is the same as a scolding, or a demand that we all follow certain rules.

i have been made aware of a lot of things that help contribute to the conditioning of society to a patriarchal society that conditions us in dehumanizing women.

when having a discussion, to bring awareness to others, to have that defined in the most insulting or untrue way is a form of patriarchy, isnt it? the fight against awareness by some people in dealing with an issue, or even allowing a person to suggest that maybe there might be reasons calling a grown woman a girl, is to reinforce the patriarchy. a suggestion or discussion should not be redefined as a scolding or a demand about another behavior. we are looking for progression. and the only way to gain progression is thru awareness. surely that is a good thing on a progressive discussion board.

i was made aware of my own behavior, often calling a grown woman a girl because "woman" was almost an insult. no one said it out loud, but so many do it unconsiously. implying she is old. old and female = bad. girl, lady means still have youth = good. once i started owning the word woman, i started noticing how many people refuse to use the word woman. i also fell i love with the word woman.

is it a bad thing to discuss this? must we be labeled as extreme, because we notice something in our society that helps to condition all of us? even if it is a small thing, and granted, calling a woman a girl is not top on my list, but surely it is ok to discuss it.

this, to me, is allowing others to define me. i do not do well with others defining me.

23 replies, 2761 views

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Reply some women have "scolded" me for using girl when talking about women (Original post)
seabeyond Jun 2012 OP
polmaven Jun 2012 #1
seabeyond Jun 2012 #4
sufrommich Jun 2012 #2
seabeyond Jun 2012 #5
Little Star Jun 2012 #3
seabeyond Jun 2012 #6
sufrommich Jun 2012 #7
redqueen Jun 2012 #8
Kolesar Jun 2012 #9
seabeyond Jun 2012 #10
LineLineLineReply .
Kolesar Jun 2012 #12
seabeyond Jun 2012 #13
sufrommich Jun 2012 #14
seabeyond Jun 2012 #15
Little Star Jun 2012 #20
redqueen Jun 2012 #11
Little Star Jun 2012 #21
redqueen Jun 2012 #22
arcane1 Jun 2012 #16
sufrommich Jun 2012 #17
arcane1 Jun 2012 #18
seabeyond Jun 2012 #19
eridani Jun 2012 #23

Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:32 PM

1. I often let people know

how it is actually offensive, at least to me, when grown women are referred to as girls. We almost never refer to grown men as boys, but so many use the word girls.

In my office, one of the criteria in defining a good contact, is how many employees a company may have. Several of the men will use the term "___ man group", instead of "__ person or __ employee group". It is not always possible to point it out to the men saying it, but whenever it is, I will try to do so. I doubt it works with most of them outside the office, but, at least it sometimes works inside the office.

Changing some terms is always an ongoing.....ummmm..... adventure, though.

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Response to polmaven (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:46 PM

4. reading a poster that said he was scolded, to me it was a conversation, or listening to posters

redefine an argument to shut down conversation, for example discussing harms of porn is women saying BAN IT, or like the geek thread when a woman says it is a sexist ad and the man/owner says, you are not talking nicely enough.

i think this needs to really be brought to our attention and for us not to allow this redefining.

i had a fun experience with the woman thing. i had just started changing my language so i was pickin up on it easily when others used it. i was on a car lot with my `16 yr old son to get him a car. on a car lot, women face a lot of sexist behavior. maybe some of it is benevolent sexism, but it is clear the men were treating me differently than they would my husband. not really listening to what i say. even when so blunt as.... get the fuck out of my face i do not want you guiding me along, lol. ok, not that harsh, but i dont tippy toe around what i expect, as a customer.

i came upon a woman and we had a conversation of my frustration on the lot dealing with men, what i wanted, and what was pissing me off. she answered all my question. treated me like a valued customer. i told her i appreciated it and i would use her, what is your name.

she says, i am the only girl

woman, i say

she waved her hand to dismiss and continued, .... on this lot. then she stopped, looked at me and said.... thank you.

it hit her, too.

that felt good.

btw, the behavior by the men salespeople was easily noticed by my son. he knows me. he knows my expectation and he was seeing why i was getting pissed. it was all very interesting.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:35 PM

2. You're just a humorless,sexually repressed,

man hating radfem!!!

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:47 PM

5. ya. i am sure. and probably a person attack, too. lol. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:43 PM

3. I always use to tell my husband "I'm going out with the girls tonight"....

even though we were all way over the age of being any kind of girl.

I also will walk into a room of women friends and say" Hello, Ladies"

Am/was I doing something wrong?


Personally, I think everything needs to be put into the context it's used???????

Let me know and if I'm doing things wrong, I'll change my ways.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:53 PM

6. i dont think so....

but, i am talking about the bigger issue and our hesitant use of woman, and why.

if you walked into a business and said, i talked to a girl (a 50 yr old woman) what does that say. you would not say, i talk to a boy (50 yr old man).

that is all.

not about correcting. it is about thinking, how we are socialized and why

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Response to Little Star (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:56 PM

7. I don't think there is a "doing it wrong"

aspect here and I do think context is everything. I think using "girl" and "ladies" among your friends isn't really what this is about,I see it more as replacing the word "women" with "girls" when discussing issues relating to women or using it negatively in regards to your own self worth ("I'm just a girl"). My opinion,for what it's worth.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:56 PM

8. IMO no, you're describing in-group use.

Women talking to our friends and loved ones is a distinct situation.

Jay Smooth spells it out well here. He's talking about a different word, but its the same type of situation.
http://www.illdoctrine.com/2012/06/the_last_word_on_the_n-word.html

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:56 PM

9. I can barely read this on account of the sentence structure...eom

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:58 PM

10. so what? then ignore me. that easy. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:00 PM

12. .

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:03 PM

13. ya. so? really not addressing the issue i brought up

bought obviously you do not get it, seeing how you could not grasp what my post was saying.

then, why do you not let it go.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:03 PM

14. We don't shame our members here,

nor do we mock them,nor do we concentrate on sentence structure or grammar instead of ideas and opinions. There are plenty of places on DU where you can do that to your hearts content, this isn't one of those places.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

15. ahhhh

thank you. you accept me in all my mess. that is so nice.

hey.... i know it is hard to read. i have read and re read and i cannot figure out how to make it easier.

meh

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:36 PM

20. ^^ what you said^^!

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:00 PM

11. The word 'girl' implies youth...

and youth is like a holy grail for women. Look at all the trouble wall street / Madison ave goes to to get us to spend a fortune on anti wrinkle creams, hair dye, etc.

So yeah, I'd say 'woman' carries some ageist baggage.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:48 PM

21. Well then I guess I'm just...

old Bagg age then! lol

Just kidding with you RQ.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:00 PM

22. LOL

Nice one.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:17 PM

16. Every woman I know uses "girl" and "boy" quite frequently

Especially in terms of "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" regarding people their age (30-40) or younger. I've never heard anyone say "womandfriend" or "manfriend". Men are referred to as "guys" most of the time, however, and there doesn't appear to be a female version of that.

I can certainly understand how it would be offensive to someone, but in my experience it's never used as a deliberate insult.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:40 PM

18. Thanks, that's just what I was thinking

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:44 PM

19. the point would be, it is more a discussion than trying to force a rule.

i did like the article.

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Response to seabeyond (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:52 AM

23. To me, the issue is appropriate PARALLELISM

In a situation where "boy" is appropriate, so is "girl."

Boys and girls, not men and girls.
Ladies and gentlemen, not men and ladies
Dudes and chicks, not men and chicks

Yadayada--

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