Don’t Call Me a Girl

Sometimes it’s the little things. Like when I overhear someone refer to all males as guys and all females as girls. Somehow, that was just too much for me the other night, and I’ve been stewing in my irritation ever since. Why? Good question. Why should I use up my already admittedly limited brain space with such a silly thing? Because I don’t have a girl’s job or a girl’s struggles. My joys, trials, triumphs, failures, costs, and rewards are not that of a girl. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin, and often, a right bitch. My peers and I lie, cheat and steal and have been lied to, cheated on, and stolen from. We have husbands, lovers, parents, children, family and friends who need us and whom we need in turn. We have loved them, hated them, and even buried them. We laugh and grieve and take deep breaths to make it through the day. We have careers and responsibilities that we relish and resent. We are so many things. But none of them is defined by “girl.” When I was a girl, my life was different, not less important or less worthy, just different. Someone else carried the burdens that are now mine, and that someone also reaped the benefits that I am now privileged to call my own. I don’t want today to be confused with those by-gone ones. Because through age and experience, I left girlhood behind. I am a woman. And I may or may not be more emotional than rational, or care more about feelings than thoughts, or embody some other stereotypical feminine trait. Still, don’t call me a girl.


6 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me a Girl

  1. You are right that you are a woman, but as long as someone innocently calling you a “girl” – especially another woman – makes you irritated, you’ve still got some growing up to do. Now if it was a man putting you down by calling you a girl, that’s another thing altogether. And yes, I call men, generally, “guys”. What in the world do you have against that? Of course, I also call people in a crowd, whether male or female “guys”. That’s the language I was brought up with. If you find it offensive, I’m sorry, but the problem is not mine.

  2. Note: I generally don’t use the term “girl” for grown women, but a lot of older women do use the term for each other. You young folks may not want to do that, but don’t go judging these women who have a lot more experience in life than you do.

  3. Marty says:

    haha- you’ll always be a girl to me. And I’m not entirely sure I’ve grown up yet myself.

  4. Ray Carlson says:

    You go girl…uh wait, nevermind… lol (Love ya’)

  5. Oh crud. Did I call you girl? If it was me, it was probably “girlie” and was meant as a term of affection and love, not to belittle you or your struggle. So, if it was me, I’m sorry I hurt you. If it wasn’t (WHEW!), I’ll try to remember your feelings. Love you!

    • lydiatisdale says:

      No Amy! Wow. I really didn’t communicate what I wanted to. One, you didn’t offend me, and if you call me girlie, you won’t. In fact, I wasn’t precisely offended by the original post…just annoyed. And it wasn’t aimed at me at all. It was just a little comment that fed the stereotype that guys are thinkers and girls are feelers. I get tired of hearing that because it is too small a description. It’s not untrue, it’s just…small. And nothing that is going on with me feels small, so I reacted. But I do know that “girl” is the only word we have. I just hope that everyone is using it like you – as a term of affection – and not as a way of dismissing those people who are feeling things so deeply – and maybe thinking about them at the same time!

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