Tuesday, 18 November 2008

OMG! The girlz are turning into boyz!

Girls behaving like boys

Like Deborah, I get a bit hot under the collar when terms like 'lady' and 'ladette' are bandied about. A lady is someone who's behaviour needs to be regulated, she must act a certain way and needs a big strong man to take care of her. Likewise terms like ladette and blokette also piss me off. Ladettes and blokettes are silly girs who have crossed the line from empowerment and are acting a little too much like men engaging in behaviour that is a danger to themselves and others. The thing that urks me the most about this sort of behaviour isn't so much that girls are behaving badly but that somehow it is still accepted with a nod and a wink for the boys, who we all know, will still be boys.

10 comments:

Carol said...

I've never really had a problem with the term "lady", and sometimes use it myself. It may date back to my teenage years when the word "woman" was often used fairly disrespectfully by guys (as in guys saying "my woman", or "where's your woman?", interchangeable with "my wench", or "where's your wench?". So it was a long time before I could even start to use the word woman that came to be favoured by feminists.

And some of the negativity lingers (Didn't woman originally mean "womb man"? - well it has that connection for me - a very sexualised term). Lady just seems more respectful.

But "laddette" is another matter. Trying to be a female version of a "lad' is really aiming low IMO.

Hugh said...

And some of the negativity lingers (Didn't woman originally mean "womb man"? - well it has that connection for me - a very sexualised term). Lady just seems more respectful.

My understanding was that it comes from 'wifman' and isn't connected to the word for womb (although it is connected to the word 'wife').

Tim said...

Wer (f. wif)(Old English) = Man or woman (present day)
Man = person (gender unspecific) in Old English

All neutral terms in OE

Carol said...

OK. Thanks. I guess my invention of the history of "woman" was probably influenced by the way it was used by guys I knew in my teens.

M-H said...

Carol, I loathe the word lady - to me it equates to sitting neatly, wearing white gloves and socks and other horrors of my 50s childhood. The ladette phenomenon is a media-created furrfee. Girls are behaving just as girls always have- they are rebelling. Granted, the rebelling seems to be dangerous, but so was the drug-taking in the 60s and 70s. The real question is why is it news that girls are putting themselves into dangerous situations when boys have always done it?

Brett Dale said...

I have no problem with using the word lady, just like I have no problem with someone using the word gentleman.

I guess its all in the context.

Azlemed said...

my two wee girls use the word lady when talking about women they see but dont know. i have no problem with it. they also talk about when they are a lady or a mama they will do.....
ladette is a stupid word though... and a media title for girls being rebels... but there has always been a double standard there about hwo boys and girls behave, the whole sowing wild oats vs sluts is quite typical of how girls are percieved

artandmylife said...

"Lady" doesn't really bother me unless its someone saying "hey Lady" (ick!) But 'that lady over there' isn't an issue so much. I HATE ladette and over all, I prefer "woman"

Anna said...

I'm not a huge fan of 'lady' - to me it describes a way of behaving more than an actual person - but I never get annoyed with people who use it. They are almost always trying to be polite, not condescending.

Carol, I've heard quite a few guys use 'lady' when they're being polite, and 'woman' when they're not (eg ugly woman, stupid woman), so I do share your unease with it at times. All the more reason to fully reclaim it!

Lita said...

Yes, how dare we act like them, we should be loving the colour pink, speaking softly, drinking wine coolers and talking on the phone lots.

And heaven forbid if the acting out is of a sexual nature, then all those 'sluts' would start wanting to be labelled 'studs' instead, can't have that.

Lady totally makes me think of the Tramp's girlfriend. (Tramp being nowt to do with studs and sluts!)