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"Lovely girls". Does this annoy you or am I being oversensitive?

(23 Posts)
LadySybilLikesSloeGin Tue 16-Dec-14 10:45:22

I have to go in a bit so I'm sorry if I vanish.

I have a delightful job, part of which includes editing reviews about staff. I'm getting a heck of a lot of "the lovely girls in the office..." which annoys me. The staff are not "girls", they are grown women. It's mostly men who write this with a small amount of women. Would this piss you off too?

I remove them and make them gender neutral BTW grin

TwoLeftSocks Tue 16-Dec-14 10:52:12

Sounds like something from Father Ted. I'm glad you change it smile

EdithWeston Tue 16-Dec-14 10:53:50

Yes, it would annoy me intensely.

Unless the employees are work experience students, they should be referred to using normal adult terms (and actually, even then I think anyone in a workplace should be described in adult terms, but I wouldn't object to it in the same way for under 21s IYSWIM).

And there are probably better adjectives to use than the vague 'lovely' too.

PuffinsAreFictitious Tue 16-Dec-14 10:55:05

Sounds like something out of a 1930's film. Glad you change it, it's quite belittling and infantalising really

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Tue 16-Dec-14 10:56:25

There's sooo many! I had a 'Sheila' yesterday confused Why do people refer to women in this way?

LetticeKnollys Tue 16-Dec-14 11:03:58

The fact that 'woman' is treated like a dirty word in our society annoys me. Women younger than a certain age or in a 'serving' position are girls, the rest are 'ladies'. 'Woman' is seen as coarse or offensive, it has a tone of "that woman needs a slap in the face" about it, while saying 'man' is perfectly acceptable. Calling a grown man a 'boy' is rightly considered condescending and rude, and 'gentleman' is only used in very formal situations, or by people in 'serving' type jobs to refer to customers.

anonymice Tue 16-Dec-14 11:08:21

Agree with twoleftsocks, it is massively patronising.
Here's Ted being creepy and patronising.
Lovely Girls Competition

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Tue 16-Dec-14 13:32:08

I replace it with a non generic 'they' or 'them'. "The receptionist was helpful, such a lovely person. They really went out of their way to help..." I do get a few writers complain about this though blush

Waitingonasunnyday Tue 16-Dec-14 13:34:39

It annoys me. 'Girls' is banned in my office (well in my earshot at least hmm) in favour of 'colleagues'. Its not difficult.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Tue 16-Dec-14 13:42:08

Oh, that's great!! smile

PTAblues Tue 16-Dec-14 13:50:25

I work for a charitable trust and one of our trustees made a point at an important meeting that 'the girls' would need a man to come and show them how to use the new bit of technology we had just bought.
We were all over 40 with multiple degrees and professional qualifications between us. So we were neither girls nor unable to work the machine. Our fucker of a manager sat there nodding and agreeing. I thought one of my colleagues was going to explode.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Tue 16-Dec-14 13:59:03

shock I think I'd no longer have a job if my boss came out with that, he'd soon get an earful!

Amethyst24 Tue 16-Dec-14 14:06:57

I think if you're talking about an individual it's okay to specify gender, surely? So, "The receptionist was really helpful. She did XYZ...."

mimithemindfull Tue 16-Dec-14 20:16:36

A bloke in my office refers to us as ' girls' though bizzarely when referring to both sexes he says 'guys.' It drives me nuts and I usually say something like ' none of us women here are under 16 ' or ' i haven't had a sex change ' but wish I could think of something witty. Any suggestions gracefully accepted.

Lovelydiscusfish Tue 16-Dec-14 20:24:57

Yes, hate it too. Even with my girls I teach who sort of are girls (14-15) I try to check myself and call them "young women" or "young adults". Am anxious not to feed into the whole patronising "you girls" thing. Addressing them collectively I do say "ladies" rather than "women" though. "women, nice to see you all, can you get your folders out please" etc would just sound strange to me... But why should it? It shouldn't, really.

magicstar1 Tue 16-Dec-14 20:29:26

I was on the phone to our CEO one day and he finished our conversation with "Good girl". I was about 34 at the time. I went straight to his office, walked in and said "what's all this good girl rubbish about? You wouldn't say "Good boy" to one of the men." He apologised but said that he was feeling paternal - wtf? I warned him not to do it again, and he has been fine since.

Golferman Wed 17-Dec-14 07:42:16

I agree that the terminology is wrong and unprofessional but I would be well pissed off if anyone changed what I had written without mubpermission/discussion.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 17-Dec-14 09:56:10

It's in the T&C's that things get edited wink it's also in the T&C that genders and names shouldn't be used but people ignore this

KnittingChristmasJumpers Wed 17-Dec-14 11:52:11

Good girl is what you say to a dog, surely? Not to an adult woman. How utterly condescending.

LadySybilLikesSloeGin Wed 17-Dec-14 12:01:04

grin I suppose it is.

I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone write the 'lovely boy in reception' now I think about it, it's always been 'the helpful gentleman' confused, sometimes 'the lovely gentleman'.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 17-Dec-14 12:13:28

mimi - using 'guys' as an informal gender-neutral term is common in the US, I work mostly with americans and use it myself sometimes for a mixed group.

mypoosmellsofroses Wed 17-Dec-14 19:08:20

Got called a clever girl in my late 30s by Finance Director after I sorted his mistakes once...
Bugs me that women do this so much too - "Girls night out" "Having drinks with the girlies" "Girls doing lunch"

Takver Thu 18-Dec-14 21:22:50

I'd agree if it's one sex only, you should definitely change it. Perhaps different here in Wales - for example I got a call the other day 'It's the tree cutting boys here . . .' (group of blokes probably in their late 20s or older) and I can easily imagine feedback saying 'the boys in the office did a great job'.

mypoo - surely 'going out with the boys' is just as common?

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