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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.

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 12:10:57

I think of them of boyswink

no seriously I'd just call them guys, if my friend said 'I met a man last night I'd picture him to be 50+'
no offends to those fellows of that agegrin

Howlsmovingcastle Mon 28-Oct-13 11:59:24

I think they were gentlewomen, yes. Let's re-introduce that into the workplace: 'What's up, gentles?' grin

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:58:05

Yes, NAT, not sure when that dropped out of favour.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:56:15

Yes, NAT, not sure when that dropped out of favour.

NotAsTired Mon 28-Oct-13 11:45:01


TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:45:01

Killpeppa, do you think of males your age as men or boys?

NotAsTired Mon 28-Oct-13 11:44:33

Agree about the historical context too. Although women of a certain class were called gentlewomen though, weren't they?

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 11:40:58

yep I shall be forever youngwink

no I just feel at 21 I'm not quite old enough to be called lady or women & it makes me feel awkward. god knows why.

Howlsmovingcastle Mon 28-Oct-13 11:31:01

I think it's historical language use yoni. I used to read a lot of Austen, Bronte, Elliott etc (not to mention Agatha Christie, to whom servant girls were emphatically NOT 'ladies' hmm) so the word 'woman' does imply not-lady to me.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:27:38

Yoni, I think it's that "ladies and gentlemen" is polite and gentleman is more likely to have evolved into "man"

Howlsmovingcastle Mon 28-Oct-13 11:24:09

I always say 'Let's pay the LADY' at the till (not with that intonation, admittedly) to DS1 (2yo) because, as others have said, 'woman' would sound rude to me. I have no issues with the word 'man'.

The upshot is that as we pull away from the till, DS1 will cheerfully wave and shout 'BYE BYE LADY!!!!' which I find quite sweet and nicer than 'Bye bye woman' grin they always seem amused anyway!

But it is a pervading problem op, you are right (IMO of course, which is the humblest of such).

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:22:58

Killpeppa, are you a girl til you are 90 then?

YoniTime Mon 28-Oct-13 11:22:52

Are only 90 yo women women?

I'm not judging btw I also find it weird to be called a woman - and isn't that weird? Most adult men wouldn't find it weird to be called men I think. Man is something to be proud over. Man up, and so on. Why is woman thought of as possibly offensive but not girl I wonder? Is it because youth is valued so in female humans.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:22:11

Agree NAT I do tend to use lady not woman like that, odd cos saying "man" doesn't feel rude in the same sentence.

killpeppa Mon 28-Oct-13 11:11:56

I hate being called a women!
I'm not 90!
same with lady!

I'm a girl, separated from a guy.

NotAsTired Mon 28-Oct-13 11:10:59

Interesting thread.

I was called mum by hospital staff when DS was horn, it took a little getting used to. DS's pre-school staff also called me mum, which always used to throw me.

I say guys to a mixed gender group. I also say folks. I say girls about the group of women I work with, it's an affectionate term. I only use it with people I am comfortable with.

I think the hardest one is when you don't know people very well or are complete strangers. For example, If I am talking to DS about a woman, who is within earshot, I usually say lady rather than woman because woman sounds rude "Wasn't that lady kind to...?" Actually, it's not something I am comfortable with but I haven't come up with an alternative. hmm

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 11:04:37

I think "you'll have to talk to Reception" is fine, as is "you'll have to talk to Accounts" or whatever.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Mon 28-Oct-13 10:41:47

What age would you stop referring to a male as a boy, DB?

To me, 16-17 is the oldest I'd call someone a girl (or boy) and even then I'd probably use young woman. 18 would definitely be woman.

DixonBainbridge Mon 28-Oct-13 10:00:22

So is there a specific age that a "Girl" becomes a "Woman" or is it relative - i.e. someone 30 years younger than you will be always be a Girl?

Thinking about the example of receptionists given above - our receptionists are young (sub 20) so isn't Girl accurate in this situation?

Although they're never actually referred to as individuals, just lumped into the faceless entity that is Reception - "You have to speak to Reception" etc. which could be considered even worse as they're not even considered to be individual people in their own right....

lottiegarbanzo Mon 28-Oct-13 01:32:38

Actually, personally, I found 'Mum' (first from a registrar a few years younger than me) quite touching, in that it acknowledged my still very new status as dd's mother and the importance of that role to her. Mostly, it made the point that she was the patient, the subject of every sentence, I was there in a supporting role, and they were busy.

Mostly, when things were calmer, in daily ward rounds and chats with nurses, no direct address was used and i was talked to as the competent adult I am but, when the doctor on duty, who i hadn't seen before, was trying to insert a new cannula without success at 3am, while I held her, I really didn't mind being addressed as Mum, or that he said 'sorry baby' rather than focusing on getting our names right.

I'd feel totally differently if a HCP at a regular appointment did it, as they have time for basic introductions and pleasantries.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 28-Oct-13 00:52:41

What you say is only true on the maternity ward doctrine, not at any other time in a child's life. My dd was admitted to a peadeatric ward, at five days old, in her own name.

If you're trying to gain someone's attention, in a room containing a number of people, calling them nothing doesn't work.

I do find the Mum thing strange and am sure it could be avoided in lots of situations where theres a bit less urgency but, in a busy hospital ward, with a number of staff involved, where the important thing is to administer effective treatment to a child, it was both quite understandable and the least of my concerns.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 23:58:06

Lottie, babies in the UK have their mother' s surname on the ward, so if mother and father have different names, baby will be Baby Mothersname.

Bunnylion Sun 27-Oct-13 23:46:09

freya I really hated it, I would have preferred not being called anything.

<unknown face pops round the ward curtain> "Hi mummy, I've just inserted a feeding tube up his nose" hmm

I found it far too overly familiar for the situation. Far more so than even using first names.

Back to "girls" (sorry mardybra) my post office had a sign up about being rude and aggressive to "the girls on the counter", the workers were all women over 50.

TheDoctrineOfAnyFucker Sun 27-Oct-13 23:36:50

Ooh, good thread.

freyasnow Sun 27-Oct-13 23:26:01

It isn't okay though, is it? There have been numerous threads on here where many, many posters have said they hate being mummed by HCPs. So HCPs should stop doing it. If you don't know somebody's name, don't call them anything.

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