guys != gender neutral

JC Dill jcdill.lists at
Thu Sep 27 18:36:03 UTC 2012

On 27/09/12 11:10 AM, Jo Rhett wrote:
> Or when actually referring to persons of mixed gender, here's a quote 
> from something I posted in a private forum (my own journal) which is 
> safe for export:
>> Because frankly, we're all in this together and honestly everyone loves the competition. The guys I race with often come find me afterwards and tell me where they got past me, or ask me how I kept passing them. The really fast girls rarely want more than a beer to go out on the track and give you a detailed breakdown on what you are doing wrong. We all help each other.
> In this situation I'm leaving it up the reader to grasp that I'm not saying that the girls are all faster than the boys, but I believe it's understood in context as the topic was about how peers help each other out.

It's NOT helping to equivocate "guys" and "girls"!

Guys and gals = equivalent
Boys and girls = equivalent
Guys and girls != equivalent

All the TV shows that refer to female contestants as "girls" are not 
helping when they (universally) refer to the males as "guys".  Unless 
you refer to the male contestants (on TV) or team members (at work) as 
"boys" you shouldn't be using the word "girls" to refer to the females.

> I really wish that english had better pronouns for this.

I really wish folks would dig a bit deeper into the thesaurus to find 
appropriate words.  One can use a variety of gender neutral words with 
some simple re-writing.  Remember, it's perfectly OK to employ singular 
"they" as well.


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