Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Thinking.

I'm starting to wonder about why we (human beings in the United States) are continually willing to accept the masculine words for male persons as generic for a mixed group or even just women. We understood the problem with "men" but then moved on to "guys" and act like it's no big deal and completely different. We never entertain the idea of saying "Hey ladies" or "Hey gals" to a mixed group or group of men... why? In most cases, I can't seem to see a malicious intent or concerted effort to ensure that it works this way, but why does it keep working this way? Why will women, to a higher degree, allow themselves to be referred to as men with far, far less push-back than men who are referred to as women?

I have no serious answer to this other than we allow it and believe it to be of no serious consequence. Then, when one brings it up as an issue, she is put down as over-sensitive. If "guys" is alright for all people, why did we even bother leaving "men" behind?

If you read this as a ranting, scathing indictment (maybe some believe it should be), we can thank the lack of voice inflection available on the internet. No, this is a searching wonderment, a bewilderment that comes with looking at things a tad askew and finding that perhaps having been a "good guy" (in many cases, certainly not all) is not enough to have kept me free from unknowingly alienated fellow human beings.


Quinn said...

My issue at this point is that the point I'm making is not being interacted with. I'm not simply rejecting the idea of finding another word for "guys" because I loves my sexism.

I'm making a simple argument that for most people "guys" is not gendered. I will grant that may be wrong and acknowledge that there are many reading this blog that might disagree. As I said when in such company, I would refrain from using the word in that way to be accommodating. I just think language changes, and "guys" does not, for many people, equal men.

Quinn said...

And I agree with the internet lacking inflection as being an issue (the beginning of my comment comes off more snide than as an honest attempt at humor).

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