Female equivalent for "guy"

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Роберт
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby Роберт » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:25 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I've known a lot more women who are uncomfortable being called girls than being called women, whereas you can avoid the issue entirely for men with "guy". So we're still better off with a female equivalent for "guy" than we are calling all young women "girls".
I don't know if you are talking about 50 year old women or college aged girls.

And here we can note a salient point. Even when explicitly talking about women who are uncomfortable being called girls, sje46 calls them girls.

So, him discussing how common that discomfort is in different demographics is a red-herring. He calls them girls whether they like it or not. Evidence in support of gmalivuk's theory for sure.
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:41 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:I have no idea how old the females you're talking about are. I don't know if you are talking about 50 year old women or college aged girls. So your argument doesn't really address anything I said. I also don't know how feminist the group you hang out with is. Context also matters a ton.


I'm at university in my second year. Most of my friends are feminists and most of them who are female dislike being called a girl (some more than others, but none of them like it). It was one of them who said she preferred being described as a lady to both a woman and girl.
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby sje46 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:13 am UTC

Роберт wrote:
sje46 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I've known a lot more women who are uncomfortable being called girls than being called women, whereas you can avoid the issue entirely for men with "guy". So we're still better off with a female equivalent for "guy" than we are calling all young women "girls".
I don't know if you are talking about 50 year old women or college aged girls.

And here we can note a salient point. Even when explicitly talking about women who are uncomfortable being called girls, sje46 calls them girls.

So, him discussing how common that discomfort is in different demographics is a red-herring. He calls them girls whether they like it or not. Evidence in support of gmalivuk's theory for sure.
I call them girls by default because that's what I think the majority of them prefers. I call them women if they prefer women.
I made this clear from the start, so I'm not sure what your point is.
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To sum up:

1. Gotta have a term to refer to all people of that general age group, i.e., the point of this thread.
2. You should refer to them how they wish to be referred to, even if its different from the majority of them.
3. I believe that most of them prefer to be called "girl".
4. So it follows that it's acceptable to call them girl by default, unless they specify something different.

I hope that pseudo-proof isn't annoying or condescending, just wanted to illustrate how my thought-process is, clearly. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is here people are having. Is it that they disagree with 3? Discussion elsewhere made me realize that it isn't really that, so which is it?
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby The Great Hippo » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:56 am UTC

sje46 wrote:1. Gotta have a term to refer to all people of that general age group, i.e., the point of this thread.
2. You should refer to them how they wish to be referred to, even if its different from the majority of them.
3. I believe that most of them prefer to be called "girl".
4. So it follows that it's acceptable to call them girl by default, unless they specify something different.

I hope that pseudo-proof isn't annoying or condescending, just wanted to illustrate how my thought-process is, clearly. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is here people are having. Is it that they disagree with 3? Discussion elsewhere made me realize that it isn't really that, so which is it?
In my experience, most women do not enjoy having a man refer to them as 'girl' unless they are familiar with them and it's in a proper context; even then, I know women who still do not want to be referred to as 'girl'.

When you say you believe that most of them prefer this, do you base that on a lack of complaints, or actually having asked numerous women? Because I think it's important that you actually ask.

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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
Роберт wrote:
sje46 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:I've known a lot more women who are uncomfortable being called girls than being called women, whereas you can avoid the issue entirely for men with "guy". So we're still better off with a female equivalent for "guy" than we are calling all young women "girls".
I don't know if you are talking about 50 year old women or college aged girls.

And here we can note a salient point. Even when explicitly talking about women who are uncomfortable being called girls, sje46 calls them girls.

So, him discussing how common that discomfort is in different demographics is a red-herring. He calls them girls whether they like it or not. Evidence in support of gmalivuk's theory for sure.
I call them girls by default because that's what I think the majority of them prefers.
So you keep saying, but Роберт's point was that the women you were referring to in that quote are uncomfortable being called girls. So, you were specifically using "girls" to refer to women who you know don't like to be called girls.

Why? Because you think that's what the majority of *other* young women prefer?
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby Angua » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:12 pm UTC

Also, I think it's worth pointing out that people who would object to women often do so because they don't feel that old yet ('not a true adult'), however people who would object to girl would do so because it makes them sound a) younger than they are and b) feel as though they are being taken less seriously. I kind of feel that one of these objections is more likely to really offend (trying to use really as a indicator of more offence, but it kind of comes off as it being more valid, which is not what I am trying to convey) - it's a lot easier to sort of laugh off the woman thing as 'really, I'm not that old' than it is to tell someone not to call you a girl (which also comes off as you being mean 'I'm a woman' is a lot harder to say without sounding really haughty and standoffish, which is something that a lot of people don't want to come across as). This is not to say that if someone tells you to refer to them as a girl that you should not do so, or take their feelings on the matter as less valid.

Just my two cents.
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:19 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Also, I think it's worth pointing out that people who would object to women often do so because they don't feel that old yet ('not a true adult'), however people who would object to girl would do so because it makes them sound a) younger than they are and b) feel as though they are being taken less seriously. I kind of feel that one of these objections is more likely to really offend (trying to use really as a indicator of more offence, but it kind of comes off as it being more valid, which is not what I am trying to convey) - it's a lot easier to sort of laugh off the woman thing as 'really, I'm not that old' than it is to tell someone not to call you a girl (which also comes off as you being mean 'I'm a woman' is a lot harder to say without sounding really haughty and standoffish, which is something that a lot of people don't want to come across as). This is not to say that if someone tells you to refer to them as a girl that you should not do so, or take their feelings on the matter as less valid.

Just my two cents.
Yeah, that's a very good point. Even if the majority did prefer "girl" (which so far we have only sje's "no one complained to me" anecdote to support), we have to consider the amount by which they prefer it as well.
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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby Vo2max » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:44 am UTC

sje46 wrote:1. Gotta have a term to refer to all people of that general age group, i.e., the point of this thread.

Well, 'guys' is quite informal - it's not the same as 'men/boys/women/girls' which are used in all registers of speech and writing. And if you're talking to/about people you're familiar with, presumably you can judge what tone will or won't be offensive to them?

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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby Adacore » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:18 am UTC

I don't really know if women in their late teens or twenties generally prefer being referred to as 'women' or 'girls', but it is certainly true that almost every native English speaker I know (and I know people from a lot of different English speaking nations here) refers to females in their twenties as 'girls' the majority of the time, although certainly not exclusively - I have heard 'women' from some of them too. To answer the OP's question, I would almost exclusively use 'girls', because it's the norm. I don't particularly like it if I put any thought into it, but calling females around my age or younger 'women' feels very unnatural and weird (partly because it sounds far too formal and not at all intimate or friendly, rather than because it makes them sound old/mature/adult, I think). I'm not sure if this says something about me, or just about society in general. I think I do sometimes use 'guys' for female-only groups, though.

I don't' know how relevant it is, but I can think of two situations where we do this with males as well. The first and most common is in the word 'boyfriend' (with 'girlfriend' for females, obviously). I assume this is largely a carryover from when it was usual for people to marry in their late teens, but it may also have elements of the 'not feeling mature enough to date an adult' aspect. Secondly, you can have 'boys nights in/out', or 'have some drinks with the boys from work', or whatever - I'm not sure what the etymology is here: it's possible that this construction came from inverting gender of 'girls night' and similar phrases.

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Re: Female equivalent for "guy"

Postby Erezen » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:46 am UTC

It depends on context too. In a professional context, people generally refer to women/girls in their twenties as women. In an informal context, virtually everyone calls them girls.

Also, while not nearly as common as "guy," "boy" is used on some occasions to refer to adult young men, usually either in a romantic context ("I met this really cute boy last night"), or as a form of address ("Alright boys, let's head out!").


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