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To hate women being called girls?

(180 Posts)
skerrywind Fri 24-Mar-17 06:35:23

My mother does it constantly. She will talk of the "girl" who served her at the bank.

My niece shared this video which is great

AuntieStella Fri 24-Mar-17 06:41:27

it's often annoying and/or confusing.

Especially when used in global publication (rather than just chat amongst people who don't mind referring to themselves as children). And when that global publication is a large parenting website where people would be talking about children, meaning children.

Basically, it's a matter of

a) clarity - women are not children
b) basic consideration - it's not exactly news that some people hate it. So it's basis manners not to use it in public where they are.

luckylucky24 Fri 24-Mar-17 06:45:16

My boss (female) used to call me "girly". I found it very patronising. I am 27 FFS!

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 24-Mar-17 06:45:48

YANBU to hate it.
YWBU to expect others to hate it.

By all means correct someone who calls you a girl, but don't presume others have a problem with it.

CookieWarbler Fri 24-Mar-17 06:46:03

Excellent video. It drives me mad too, it's so ingrained. I love the #thisgirlcan adverts but why use the word girl? All of the people featured in the ad are clearly women!

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 24-Mar-17 06:53:34

So at what exact age would you swop over? This isn't exclusive to women, men often get referred to as 'lads' right into old age. So I think yabu.

apotheke Fri 24-Mar-17 06:55:07

The way your mum uses it doesn't really bother me. All it means to me is that the woman is younger than her and she would use 'boy' to describe a younger man in this context too.

I do dislike it when used to describe a gaggle of middle aged women as 'the girls' though!

Fairylea Fri 24-Mar-17 06:55:19

I think this is something specific to mumsnet. I've never heard of people being remotely bothered by this in real life. Men get called lads or boys and women get called girls. It isn't specific to women. I think it really doesn't matter.

NotYoda Fri 24-Mar-17 06:58:46

Men get called boys or lads in very similar circumstances. I can think of a few instances where it is demeaning.

EdithWeston Fri 24-Mar-17 07:00:38

Strictly, one would swop at 18, but I think only a stickler would exclude those up to early 20/.

It shouldn't be used where those who object are present (which includes MN, as there are plenty here who don't like it)

Just like - after much campaigning - the BBC stopped doing it (it used to be 'men and girls' even in Remembrance Sunday coverage ffs, but that was apparently fine because the presenters aunt didn't mind being a 'girl' in her sixties).

I've never heard anyone spontaneously say 'lads and women' unless referring to boys and their mothers btw. Is it really as common to use child terms for males alongside adult ones for women as it used to be the other way round?

BertrandRussell Fri 24-Mar-17 07:00:55

"Men get called lads or boys and women get called girls"

An adult man in the workplace is very rarely called a boy.

SookiesSocks Fri 24-Mar-17 07:01:51

Family friend (female) calls my mil girl/girly.
Makes me laugh as mil is 74 and family friend is 90 grin

It only bothers me if it is said in a patronising way like a male boss of mine used to say it hmm

relaxitllbeok Fri 24-Mar-17 07:02:58

The equivalent of "girls" is "boys" though, not "lads". I was in a setting recently where the man in charge kept addressing the women as "girls" and the men as "gentlemen". No excuse: same role, same context, same age distribution.

I think the age of switching varies but I wouldn't advise an older person to describe a woman older than 17 as a girl. There's a detective story, maybe by Ruth Rendell, where the plot turns on some teenagers referring to one of themselves as a woman, and an older male only considering much older women when he tries to work out who they meant. Maybe it's not a spoiler if I can't remember which book...


lastqueenofscotland Fri 24-Mar-17 07:05:29

I'm late mid twenties and hate being called a lady or a woman it sounds so old.
I'm fine with being called girl, and my DP still refers to going out with the boys etc.

I appreciate I'll be in a minority on MN though.

noeffingidea Fri 24-Mar-17 07:07:20

It depends on the situation. In a formal business setting then men/women is appropiate and both should be used. In social situations then it's really up to the individuals concerned.

Sparklingbrook Fri 24-Mar-17 07:08:42

Doesn't bother me at all.

JamesDelaneysHat Fri 24-Mar-17 07:09:06

Hate 'girls' referring to grown women. I also hate it when a group of adults are called 'guys'.

sandgrown Fri 24-Mar-17 07:09:29

I call my friends the girls as in "I am going out with the girls "

Ifailed Fri 24-Mar-17 07:11:17

It's slightly better than the awful unisex 'Guys', which I hate with a passion I can't really explain.

SailAwaySailAwaySailAway Fri 24-Mar-17 07:12:58

As one of a 'gaggle of middle aged women'hmm it doesn't bother me but in a work setting I hate it, even though it's a female manager who uses the word in an attempt to be friendly.

SailAwaySailAwaySailAway Fri 24-Mar-17 07:13:54

It has different connotations from 'lads' too.

skerrywind Fri 24-Mar-17 07:13:58

lastqueenofscotland you are in your late 20s and you hate being called a woman? hmm

Sparklingbrook Fri 24-Mar-17 07:22:04

Someone going into the office and saying 'morning women' doesn't sound right.

BertrandRussell Fri 24-Mar-17 07:22:19

There's a big difference between "going out with the girls" and " I'll ask the girl in accounts to do it" when the person in accounts is 45.

I know a ton of people will come on to say that "The boy in accounts" is just as common. But it isn't.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 24-Mar-17 07:23:51

So what is the female equivalent of 'lads'?

I really think this is looking for something to be offended about. Someone above says that 'girl' can be used to early 20s. How exactly is one meant to differentiate between a 'girl' of 22 and a 'woman' of 26? Biologically a girl becomes a woman after puberty but if someone called a 13 year old a woman there would be shock.

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