Feminist and NowThis producer, Foluke Tuakli, claims that the term “guys” is demeaning to women as it ignores their existence. She is referring to when people use it as a greeting to a group of people like, ‘Hey guys.” She finds that replacing the term guys with a more gender-neutral term will bring us all closer to “destroying the patriarchy…” Tuakli said as much in a NowThis video rant on Twitter.
“‘Guys’ is a simple term. It could mean boys; or if you’re modern, hip, it means people. At first glance, ‘guys’ seems inviting, friendly, maybe warm, even comedic at times. But, it, like many male default terms, should not be normalized as an all-encompassing phrase, innocent as it may seem. While we may understand the word means no real harm, with a deeper look you’ll understand that we’ve been ignoring the cognitive impact on women, as well as gender non-conforming folks by only explicitly addressing the male-identifying individuals present,” Tuakli started.
“For decades, we have set a standard of only addressing the men in the room. Of course, we claim it’s colloquial, but with our elevated knowledge and inclusive perspective, it just seems lazy, inconsiderate, and a small part of what reinforces the gender hierarchy today. How is one to feel empowered to speak or assert themselves when upon greeting, they are misgendered or even ignored in language? Can we surprised that for decades, women often felt uncomfortable asserting their voice when we didn’t even take the time to properly acknowledge them?”
Tuakli goes on to say that they are much bigger issues that are more pressing like reproductive rights, rape culture, violence against women, LGBTQ rights, and the general reprogramming of most people’s minds. But when you stop valuing the personhood and visibility of individuals, you make it easier to dehumanize them on a macro scale, minimizing his, her, its, their right to respect and equality.”
“I just want you to know that it’s, one small step away from making a more conscious effort to dismantle the patriarchy.”
There are so many more pressing things to worry about. Why create an issue? No one is stressing about the word “guys,” and they shouldn’t be. Let’s all focus on real concerns and when those are handled we can address these petty ones that are not bothering anyone.