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Old 11-26-2013, 09:42 PM
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Garriguette Garriguette is offline
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Location: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Here's the official list of synonyms from Wikisaurus:
  • babe
  • bint (UK)
  • bird [WS] (UK)
  • broad (US)
  • chica
  • chick
  • dame (US)
  • female [WS]
  • gal
  • girl [WS]
  • goddess
  • hen
  • ho (US, offensive)
  • lady
  • sheila (Australia)
  • skirt (US)
  • twist (US, offensive)
  • woman
  • womyn
  • wimmin
Lots to choose from! Just pick what calls to you is what I say and run with it. (I myself like to mix it up depending on the context.)
Hm. I would be troubled to be addressed by a number of words on that list that aren't flagged as offensive. Is "Bint" is ever not used as a slur? (I know it's the standard term for "girl" in Arabic-- just talking about English here.) I never hear "broad" or "dame" used unless someone's imitating 1950's-style sexism or singing show tunes. And "female" used as a noun makes me think of wildlife programming (e.g., "the female of the species bites off the head of the male at climax").

I used to address a group of female friends, in person or over e-mail with "Hey, ladies!" Over time I've gravitated toward "Hey, y'all*," or "Hiya, people!" Their gender isn't essential to the message that follows the salutation, and I don't like the class-related baggage of the word "ladies." If I were talking about heading out with these friends, I'd be more apt to say, "I'm hanging out with L and S tonight" than to say anything about "ladies' night."

*I'm not southern. I grew up in "you guys" territory, wherein "guys" was not gender-specific.** But rooming with a southerner for a few years sold me on the usefulness of "y'all" in non-sexist communication.

**"Dudette" sounds comic to me, because where I live now, "dude" is less often used as a marker of direct address and more often used as a synonym for "whoa," especially if pronounced with an elongated vowel.
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