Episode 95 | Guys, Language Matters
This episode touches on our use of the word “guys” (and why it is so problematic). Usage of this term has seen a massive rise since the advent of the Internet, but it creates a subtle, yet troubling speech pattern for the plight of women. There is no gender-neutral, plural pronoun in the English language (unlike Spanish or German or a host of other languages), but choosing to default to an informal masculine plural pronoun is not the answer.
The language that we choose to use each and everyday matters; by opting to be lazy with our language, we add more fodder to an existing series of microaggressions against women.
According to Sherryl Kleinman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at UNC Chapel Hill, “...women want to be included in the term that refers to the higher-status group: men. But while being labeled one of the guys might make women feel included, it’s only a guise of inclusion, not the reality. If women were really included we wouldn’t have to disappear into the word guys.” Amen, sister.
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