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Fed up with women being described as "girls". Name and shame the worst culprits.

(128 Posts)
MardyBra Sat 26-Oct-13 01:50:47

Nick from The Apprentice for starters.

verysomething Sat 26-Oct-13 04:19:51

I often use "folks" blush

it's not perfect but it works for group emails in my guardianista workplace

In a fit of post-modern irony I tried out 'chaps' once. It was not a success.

ZingAnyFucker Sat 26-Oct-13 04:20:58

grin @ chaps

I'll be using that. thanks for that!

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 05:09:24

@Zing - That was Meredith Brooks, not Alanis.

Most of the time I generally mind 'girls' as long as it's not used in a patronising way. It does kind of get my goat when it's used as the equivalent of 'men' though. I'm not a girl, I'm a grown thirty-something woman.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 05:10:56

* don't mind, not mind. Doh.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Sat 26-Oct-13 05:36:31

I had an email from a supplier recently talking about a sale they had coming up & 'to ring one of his girls to make a viewing appointment'.

Was bloody cross all day.

NewbieMcNewbie Sat 26-Oct-13 05:37:57

The only people I know who refer to groups of adult females as girls are female themselves.

TheLeastAccomplishedBennetGirl Sat 26-Oct-13 06:20:25

using the word girls for adult women most certainly does infanticise them, 'girls night out' is a prime example. Obviously women out all enjoying each others company have reverted to their childish ways, having shaken off their responsibilities for the duration. :/

It's a reenforcement that women are defined by their actions and men by their status.

TheLeastAccomplishedBennetGirl Sat 26-Oct-13 06:21:14

And yes, my user name has the word 'girl' in it smile

verysomething Sat 26-Oct-13 06:25:12

TheLeast you're the Lydia, obvs grin

I don't mind it when someone says 'people' as a place holder for getting the attention of a roomful of people - all women or mixed - but some people don't like it? Not sure why, surely it's neutral? confused

ZingWantsCake Sat 26-Oct-13 09:47:49


I only know the song so I'm not incorrect. but thanks

haventgotaclue Sat 26-Oct-13 09:56:08

But Zing, the song you quoted was sung by Meredith and not by Alanis. I'm not sure what you mean about only knowing the song!

perplexedpirate Sat 26-Oct-13 10:01:37

Did Alanis sing that? Much of the 90s is lost to me. sad
'Girls night out' is awful. So bloody patronising. Woman could spend most evenings down the Kebab and Calculator discussing Nietzsche and solving the Middle East crisis and we'd still be a gaggle of kids screeching along to The Saturdays in the eyes of the media.
See also: 'girly day'. Expect hair rollers and ill fitting bathrobes. Apparently. hmm

lottiegarbanzo Sat 26-Oct-13 10:09:51

My experience of 'guys' for mixed groups is mostly from a female boss in a fairly evenly mixed workplace and what I got from it was that she was trying to be egalitarian and a bit matey, when it suited her, to disguise the fact she's a massive control freak and quite autocratic. So it rings hollow to me.

Girls, of course, Sometimes it's genuinely confusing and I think 'what girl?'. Worst when singular I think, 'that girl', even 'the girl in charge of...' sounds really odd - the auditor at work used to do that.

YoniTime Sat 26-Oct-13 10:34:36

I will be totally ok with 'guys' for mixed groups if one woman can also be called a guy. But right now a guy is a man.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 26-Oct-13 10:41:28

I think guys is just a bit American, so an attempt at informality. There, I think a woman might well address a group of women as 'you guys' yet guy, singular is still male. I think the singular and plural have diverged to have different meanings i.e. guys is not actually the plural of guy... (Well it can be but I think the intonation is different).

Chaps is much more 'letting women into the men's club'. Folks is ok but a bit twee perhaps. what's workng with people, or everyone?

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 11:51:36

I have no problem with ''guys'' being used as an overall term... but that is undoubtedly down to my having lived in the States for three years during my early teens before coming home to the UK in 1992.

ForwardSheCried Sat 26-Oct-13 11:54:45

...and no, that Bitch song was definitely by Meredith Brooks, not Alanis. Trust me... I have a tone deaf younger sister who used to sing along to it every bloody night for at least six months! grin

StopDoingThat Sat 26-Oct-13 12:10:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BelaLugosisShed Sat 26-Oct-13 12:31:11

I don't mind girls as a term, it's Ladies that makes me stabby, it sounds very smarmy and slimy when uttered by men.
Young women refer to themselves as "birds" or "girlies" around here, it sets my teeth on edge.

I find being called "mate" by a man far more odd tbh.

lottiegarbanzo Sat 26-Oct-13 14:25:33

Isn't a group of women 'my/some friends', or colleagues, just as a group of men is, for men? I suppose 'mates' is usually male friends, its use by women is probably regional, as is 'lads' night out' as equivalent to 'girls' night out' - both implying youthful abandon.

I'd just say 'some friends' but if pushed to specify would use women friends, if they all happened to be women, or, if it's deliberately an exclusively female group, 'female friends'.

I do accept that in established useage, a girl is not just a child, the word is used for 'young adult' up to about 25 and lad and, increasingly, boy, is used in the same way (something about the extension of youth into 'adult' years).

Girl definitely impies 'young', 'junior' and 'subordinate' though, which is why 'the girl in charge of that department' sounds so very odd and 'give my girl a call' implies he identifies her as a subordinate person, not as a person on an early step in a career.

DixonBainbridge Sat 26-Oct-13 14:30:06

I use "Guys" for a mixed group (social and work). Darcy and Alesha always call the other judges "The Boys" on strictly - which I think is great & quite nice! (I'm a boy),

I also refer to other groups of men as "Boys" - "what are you boys up to?" whereas I'll always say "What are you ladies up to?".

The only people I've noticed refer to groups of women as girls tend to be women - "Girls night out", "off to see the Girls". (But that might be because I don't really register it).

DixonBainbridge Sat 26-Oct-13 14:30:59

Eeek - BelaLugosisShed - I promise it doesn't come across as smarmy!!

damejudydench Sat 26-Oct-13 14:31:53

I couldn't give a monkeys. I often say girls. It's a term of endearment.

I often call the blokes at work 'chaps' - shock horror!!!

mignonnette Sat 26-Oct-13 14:32:46

Ladies is most definitely unacceptable

DixonBainbridge Sat 26-Oct-13 14:32:46

I think it also depends on where in the country you are - Darn Sarf there are a lot of references to Boys & Girls by both sexes....

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