Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

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GoogaMooga
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Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby GoogaMooga » 28 Sep 2018, 03:11

I don't know how pronounced this dichotomy is in English, but at least in Danish, when a boy enters his teens, he will be called and also refer to himself as a "young man". A girl however, will often be called "girl" or at least "young girl" until she is middle-aged, even beyond. You don't often see a girl in her twenties referred to as "woman". Is this sexism in reverse? What is the feminist stance on this matter?

I realize I am an easy target in raising this question, please keep it sober.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby The Modernist » 28 Sep 2018, 08:42

I don't think there are clear rules on this. The same (one could say sexist) imbalance exists here too. But it is becoming less acceptable to refer to a woman in her mid twenties say as a girl, so I'd say it is gradually changing. One interesting, related issue is there have always been far more slang words, which can help perform this function, for men than women - so in the UK you have guy, bloke, geezer, chap, fella and so on. Yet there's very few for women, which is why "guys" has started to be used in a collective way for both sexes, although I don't hear it used in the singular for women.

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby GoogaMooga » 28 Sep 2018, 09:04

Even back in the late 70s/early 80s when I attended an American high school in Tokyo, a girl might address other girls as "you guys", so it is not so recent. But you are right, never in the singular.

On a different note, one term of affection - "baby" or "babe" - is mostly used when addressing a girl/woman. Taking the whole thing one step further. Underscores the sexist idea that a boy should grow up, while a girl should remain a girl for much longer. In reality, girls grow up faster than boys.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby The Modernist » 28 Sep 2018, 09:08

GoogaMooga wrote:Even back in the late 70s/early 80s when I attended an American high school in Tokyo, a girl might address other girls as "you guys", so it is not so recent. But you are right, never in the singular.


Yeah it's an Americanism, but it's only come into Britain in the last five to ten years.

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby The Modernist » 28 Sep 2018, 09:10

GoogaMooga wrote:
On a different note, one term of affection - "baby" or "babe" - is mostly used when addressing a girl/woman. Taking the whole thing one step further. Underscores the sexist idea that a boy should grow up, while a girl should remain a girl for much longer. In reality, girls grow up faster than boys.


Babe (or "babes") is used a lot by women to address both men and women, although I think it's more a London/South East thing.

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Jimbo » 28 Sep 2018, 13:49

The Modernist wrote:"guys" has started to be used in a collective way for both sexes....


And I hate that. I'd cringe when Obama might call a press gaggle "guys". I also don't like calling mothers and fathers "moms and dads." (I'm a stay at home mom." shudder) I don't mind being called a boy in an informal situation like, "Ah, the boys have arrived!" And calling my female friends "women" is too - - - clinical?? "You girls having a good time?" I could easily ask a group of women friends. And I love to be called "Baby," nor does my wife seem to mind." (B-A-B-Y. I love when you call me baby.)
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby never/ever » 28 Sep 2018, 13:55

I think that the ship really is tilting when authorities here are banning (mostly) women from using the colloquialisms 'darl ' and 'love' in conversations with customers.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Deebank » 28 Sep 2018, 14:02

Down here in Devon old biddies will often call you 'My lover'.
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Jimbo » 28 Sep 2018, 14:04

never/ever wrote:I think that the ship really is tilting when authorities here are banning (mostly) women from using the colloquialisms 'darl ' and 'love' in conversations with customers.


For real? :roll:
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby The Modernist » 28 Sep 2018, 14:10

Deebank wrote:Down here in Devon old biddies will often call you 'My lover'.


They're on the pull!

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby never/ever » 28 Sep 2018, 14:11

Jimbo wrote:
never/ever wrote:I think that the ship really is tilting when authorities here are banning (mostly) women from using the colloquialisms 'darl ' and 'love' in conversations with customers.


For real? :roll:


Yep.
My company's rule, installed about three years ago.
Heard it was 'discouraged' in our Parliament as well.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Jimbo » 28 Sep 2018, 14:21

I sometimes called my high school female students "sweetheart." "What can I do for you sweetheart?" I call all the guys "buddy."

I'm fucking old.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby never/ever » 28 Sep 2018, 14:30

I somehow feel a bit insulted if someone calls me dude, as in 'this dude needs help'.
It's a glorious new age indeed.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Deebank » 28 Sep 2018, 14:43

The Modernist wrote:
Deebank wrote:Down here in Devon old biddies will often call you 'My lover'.


They're on the pull!


No, it's a Devon thing. Only women do it though.
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby The Prof » 28 Sep 2018, 14:45

Deebank wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
Deebank wrote:Down here in Devon old biddies will often call you 'My lover'.


They're on the pull!


No, it's a Devon thing. Only women do it though.


The ones you've had affairs with?

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Deebank » 28 Sep 2018, 14:49

The Prof wrote:
Deebank wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
They're on the pull!


No, it's a Devon thing. Only women do it though.


The ones you've had affairs with?


I give up.
'm sure Ray or Pippa wil back me up!
I've been talking about writing a book - 25 years of TEFL - for a few years now. I've got it in me.

Paid anghofio fod dy galon yn y chwyldro

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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Rayge » 28 Sep 2018, 14:58

Deebank wrote:
The Prof wrote:
Deebank wrote:
No, it's a Devon thing. Only women do it though.


The ones you've had affairs with?


I give up.
'm sure Ray or Pippa will back me up!

Yep. Also 'My bird', used mostly, but not exclusively, by women, about both sexes

And while I'm here, what the fuck has 'dichotomy ' got to do with this?
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Jimbo » 28 Sep 2018, 15:04

never/ever wrote:I somehow feel a bit insulted if someone calls me dude, as in 'this dude needs help'.
It's a glorious new age indeed.


I had just learned the Japanese word for "guy" which is "yatsu." So when some guy, a salesman or businessman I'd never seen before came to our school I asked a colleague, "Anno yatsu, dare?" ("Who is that guy?) And my friend nearly jumped back in horror. Talk about restrictions on what one may call another person, one another or even yourself, Japan is maybe the toughest place to speak casually about another person without knowing him or her. I could have said "Who is that person?" and they'd let me slide because I'm a foreigner. A better and perfectly normal way would be, "That honorable guest, who might he be?"
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby GoogaMooga » 28 Sep 2018, 15:31

Rayge:

Just one of any number of similar definitions:

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/dichotomy
A dichotomy is an idea or classification split in two. When you point out a dichotomy, you draw a clear distinction between two things.
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Re: Dichotomy of when to use "girl" and "boy"

Postby Quaco » 28 Sep 2018, 15:53

Yes, it is a question. We must all find the line for ourselves, part of being in a society with other people. I usually try to say "woman", but sometimes it just doesn't make sense. I think women will allow a certain amount of leeway in borderline cases. I've never been called out on it.
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