There was this guy on the radio Wednesday morning – a spokesman for an electric company – who, after having been asked of fixing power lines from upcoming high winds, said, “We are not going to send our guys and gals up if the winds are too strong.”
Guys and gals. My insides smiled. At long last. He did not say ‘guys and girls’. He did not say ‘men and girls.’ He said, ‘guys and gals.’
In the past I’ve received varying responses for saying ‘gals’. Mindful speaking is part of healing inequity. Healing inequity is part of our whole human healing – even for those who culturally wield the most accessible power.
At first I said ‘gal/s’ deliberately to counter the affliction of females perpetually referred to as ‘girl/s’ no matter their age, but now it’s compulsory.
Why is the ‘Ironman’ female version called ‘Irongirl’? Why are those of commensurate age typically referred to as ‘men’ and ‘girls’. Sometimes I’m moved ask, “What are those men doing married prepubescent girls?”
Of course many women and men refer to themselves and their groups of friends as ‘girls’ and ‘boys’. Not at issue. But why do some of us women fall into the same trap as our culture at large? Referring and thinking of ourselves as eternally ‘girl’. Why do we not let ourselves be the full bodied and psyched and speech-honored women we grow to be?
It behooves us to practice mindful speech. The radio broadcast ‘gals and guys’ is a good place to start.