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Author Topic: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'  (Read 6465 times)

nealric

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2009, 10:30:20 PM »
Imagine how tough people who speak language with gendered nouns have it.

I can just imagine a campaign to change "El agua" to "La agua" and one alter the rule on "Ellas to Ellos" so that a 50% majority of men is required for "Ellos" to apply.


Anyhoo, I can kind of see both sides to the issue. On one hand, our language is the product of a sexist society. On the other hand, because we often don't have an alternative language to rely on, it's often difficult to say what we want to say without relying on certain gender-laden phrases.

My solution: we finally get around to switching to Esperanto for daily conversation.
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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2009, 10:41:31 PM »
I'm very annoyed when people use the term "boy" to refer someone my age.

Jamie Stringer

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2009, 10:43:57 PM »
I'm very annoyed when people use the term "boy" to refer someone my age.


Does this mean you don't call women your age "girls?"
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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2009, 10:44:57 PM »
I make a very conscious effort to avoid calling women over age 16 or so "girls." I slip sometimes though.

Jamie Stringer

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2009, 10:52:06 PM »
You're probably just a better person than me.  I use diminutives for people all the time.  But at least I use it equally...no gender bias here :)

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Jamie Stringer

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2009, 12:48:54 AM »
Maybe that's why I call people girls and boys instead of men and women?  I'm your gf's age and I feel old when people call me "woman."
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Matthies

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2009, 11:15:12 AM »
I call my girlfriend my girlfriend.  Sometimes I call her "dude"

I call her my girlfreind too, when your not around.  :P
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Jessica Rabbit

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2009, 01:12:44 PM »
I mean, I did it just this morning with my high schoolers (who are supposed to call me Ms. Cadysson, but I couldn't take it, so they call me by my first name).

Being called "girl" by a peer is offensive, but getting called by your first name by minors is not?  Doesn't being called "Ms." recognize your adulthood in the same way being called a "woman" does?

Jessica Rabbit

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2009, 01:25:46 PM »
Young woman?

Young woman works if you're old enough to call an adult woman "young."  If you're 20, saying young woman is just awkward.  "Young lady" really conjures up images of a child.  "You watch your mouth, young lady, or you won't get any dessert!"

I agree with Susan B that women are infantalized, but I think "girl" has evolved to not have that connotation anymore.  "Little girl," on the other hand certainly still does.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0SSeACInqw

It's like "you" and "thou."  "Thou" was originally the familiar second-person pronoun, and "you" was formal.  The words have evolved so that now "you" is quite informal, and "thou" is considered so formal that it can't be used without sounding pretentious (thanks, King James!).

I think the whole use of girl vs. woman depends on your audience, and in most contexts it is obvious you're not referring to child.  In an informal setting I will tend to use girl to refer to any female not significantly older than me, and will use guy for any man who isn't a young kid.  In a formal setting like in front of a judge, of course I'm going to use woman and man or gentleman.

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Re: Referring to a fully mature female peer as a 'girl'
« Reply #59 on: February 21, 2009, 01:27:07 PM »
I mean, I did it just this morning with my high schoolers (who are supposed to call me Ms. Cadysson, but I couldn't take it, so they call me by my first name).

Being called "girl" by a peer is offensive, but getting called by your first name by minors is not?  Doesn't being called "Ms." recognize your adulthood in the same way being called a "woman" does?

Yes; no

If I didn't invite them to call me by my first name, it would be a problem - but I did (I'm also not their regular teacher - I go in once a week to teach a class). I'm really not comfortable with a lot of the pedagogical trappings of the classroom. Almost all of my undergrad professors asked us to call them by their first names, in large part because they understood class to not just be about them imparting wisdom, but about all of us having a conversation and learning from each other. And that's how I understand my particular role. So my students calling me by my first name is about a relationship I've established with them, the parameters of which I've defined.