I have two daughters. They are girls. I can not tell you how many times I hear people say to them, “Hey guys.” As a feminist, this habit of calling everyone guys has bothered me for some time. As a mother of girls, it drives me crazy.
Even their grandparents are guilty of this. When I point it out, which is not every time I hear it, they say something like, “Oh, don’t give me a lecture. I say that to everyone” as if that should make me feel better. My dad has said to me, “Guys is a generic term.” Easy to say coming from a white male, the one group in this country that has never been looked over, pushed aside, silenced, or oppressed. Of course they would see nothing wrong with the “generic” guys, or he, or him, or mankind. Here is how you can tell it is not right. If you walk up to a group of girls and say, “Hey guys” no one will blink an eye. If you walk up to a group of guys and say, “Hey girls” every single one of them will feel insulted. Why? Because being male or being called male is a good thing, a compliment. Being called female is an insult. Are you gonna cry little girl? Do you have sand in your vagina? Are you on your period? Let’s go princess.
If you start paying attention, you’ll notice this is everywhere all the time. It’s on TV. Tyra Banks walks into a room full of would-be models saying, “Hey guys.” It’s at work. A meeting starts with someone saying, “OK guys, let’s get started” to a group clearly composed of males and females. It happens every day and we don’t notice, don’t care, or don’t say anything. I am not a guy. My little baby girls are not guys. Why are we so OK with this? I am not saying we need to take to the streets over this, but taking notice would be nice.