Equal Strokes for Equal Folks
Today the DJ on the morning show referred to a female as a “girl”who worked at a local gym. I noticed this because I have yet to hear him speak about a member of the male species as a “boy” when referring to an 18+ male in a work situation.
He is not alone.
DJs, podcasters, speakers, and others insist that “girls will be girls and boys will be men.” Really? The movie “Guys and Dolls” reflects 1955 not 2018 society. Yet, that’s what I hear from public speakers – influencers—time and time again.
To help change the bias speak, I offer the following table.
|When to Use||Equal strokes for||equal Folks|
|0 to 12 years||Boy||Girl|
|12 to 18 years||Young Man||Young Woman|
|Young Gentleman||Young Lady|
|18+ Adults (mixed genders)||Man||Woman|
|Siblings (mixed genders)||Brother||Sister|
|Spouses (mixed genders)||Husband||Wife|
Our language, and the words we choose to communicate, must reflect respect — and it’s even more so in the workplace. Words hold power; use them wisely.
P.S. Remember, just because you hit your 50s and everyone under 30 looks extremely young to you – you must use words of respect and avoid calling young adults boys and girls — even if that’s how you perceive them. Just as people under 30 need to avoid calling you an “old geezer.” Like Aretha Franklin, “All I’m askin’ here is a little respect…” (Lyrics at https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/2877312/Aretha+Franklin/Respectand song history at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/untold-history-behind-aretha-franklin-respect/)