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Would you consider "wingman" a sexist term?

(35 Posts)
BertrandRussell Wed 08-Jun-16 12:48:59

I've just signed up to a company that sends you ground coffee every couple of weeks- and I've just had a email saying "Hi, I'm Ashley your P a c t coffee wingman"

Sexist? Or just icky?

dementedma Wed 08-Jun-16 12:49:45

Cringy but not sexist

BertrandRussell Wed 08-Jun-16 12:51:39

Ok. When I was a young woman it most definitely was a sexist term- do women use it too now?

dementedma Wed 08-Jun-16 12:56:25

Dunno shrugs if Ashley is a bloke then he's a wingman!

mamapants Wed 08-Jun-16 12:57:40

How is it sexist? I don't understand

DrDreReturns Wed 08-Jun-16 12:59:00

I thought it was a friend a bloke took with him on a night out to help him pull:

SwedishEdith Wed 08-Jun-16 13:03:24

Don't' even know what it means so Ashley fails at the first hurdle for me.

BertrandRussell Wed 08-Jun-16 13:05:52

It certainly used to be a bloke you took out with you to help you pull. To distract your "target" girl's friends, even to soften her up by telling her how wonderful you were. Wingman's reward was getting off with the presumably slightly less attractive friend.

deydododatdodontdeydo Wed 08-Jun-16 13:08:08

I thought it was a friend a bloke took with him on a night out to help him pull:

The origin of which is a pilot whose aircraft is positioned behind and outside the leading aircraft in a formation.
Which is a gendered term, probably female wingmen these days so they should be changing it. I think wingmate is also used.

Don't see the relevance to coffee though confused

ChocChocPorridge Wed 08-Jun-16 13:09:27


Well, in the way that it's a pilot thing, no (although of course it does assume a man), in the way that it's used these days in a pickup situation - it's borderline simply because of the connotations - certainly icky.

BTW. Sterling work in other areas on mumsnet Bertrand. I feel like we need status lines so you could have 'when buying shoes?' as yours.

VestalVirgin Wed 08-Jun-16 13:45:12

I thought this was about those vile PUAs. In that case, it is most definitely sexist.

If Ashley is a guy, I don't see a problem with wingman used for ... uh, coffee-related support, but if Ashley is a woman, then it should be wingwoman, obviously.

TendonQueen Wed 08-Jun-16 13:47:02

I would think 'sidekick' would be better. Similar connotations without the gendering.

Felascloak Wed 08-Jun-16 17:04:42

I think it's inappropriate because of the pulling thing.
bert can you pm me the thread you've been doing good work on? I always enjoy your POVgrin

It's an originally reasonable term which has been adopted for use in slightly dubious circumstances, but if it's used in a third circumstance that could equally refer back to its origins then I'd let it go. It's not like "pimp my X" which is always referring back to prostitution and always unacceptable in a professional context.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Wed 08-Jun-16 20:31:36

It's very cringe worthy but not really a sexist issue.

WomanWithAltitude Wed 08-Jun-16 23:17:11

The use of it in a pickup sense is definitely sexist and a bit cringey / unpleasant. But I've no idea why it's being used by a coffee company. Bizarre.

clarrrp Wed 08-Jun-16 23:58:27

Ok. When I was a young woman it most definitely was a sexist term- do women use it too now?

We do.

NiceAdvice Thu 09-Jun-16 01:14:02

I am old enough to think of wingman in the air force terms, not the picking up one. On balance I would say it is odd as a marketing ploy but, perhaps, heartening, that they didn't think of the pick up thing. (Ie why would you as a purveyor of coffee stand by whilst someone got better coffee - it doesn't make sense). Rightly or wrongly, I think they are using it in a "we've got your back" type way.

tigerdriverII Thu 09-Jun-16 01:21:09

I think I'd just ignore it. The message is confusing and there are better arguments to get involved with

RiverTam Thu 09-Jun-16 01:59:26

I've never heard of the pick-up thing, I also thought it was an Air Force thing from back in the day when women wouldn't have been active. So I wouldn't see it as sexist as such, plus Ashley may well be a man!

NiceAdvice Thu 09-Jun-16 05:24:38

Two things -

1) My great (insert relative here) was in the RAF - would never have thought of "wing man" as anything other than the chap (and in those days it was a chap realistically) as the person who flew at 4 o'clock and looked after you. And I think that is what they are rather hamfistedly trying to do with their marketing. Although I do have a connection now with a young woman who was a military pilot so times they are a changing. Clearly you and others on here think of the term "wing man" differently. I quite like Aints post . Why not just email them back Op and ask them what they mean by Wing Man ?
Either, they won't care - or it might make them think.

2) Ground coffee ? 2 weeks old ? Why not beans grin

Interesting thread - thank you.

FiaMarrow Thu 09-Jun-16 05:43:58

It made me think of Top Gun - I had no idea about the pulling buddy thing!

It's just a bit cheesy.

NiceAdvice Thu 09-Jun-16 06:01:57

Fia - Top Gun - so did I grin and first time round .... blush

I'm going with icky / cheesy

PalmerViolet Thu 09-Jun-16 07:19:53

It's a PUA thing and definitely sexist.

The wingman's job is to separate the targeted woman from her friends so that the other guy can have her to himself to work on.

The wingman's reward is to get laid by one of her less desirable friends.

Like the fat friend is the reward for helping someone get laid.

NEVER heard women talking like this.

WomanWithAltitude Thu 09-Jun-16 07:33:25

No. I've never heard women use this tactic. It's very objectifying and dehumanising.

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