GENDER PRIVILEGING: “Wassup guys” vs “Hey girls”
A lot of things go over our conditioned heads in this world and one of them is the way in which we privilege manhood over womanhood in ways that at first seem normal to us, but once examined with a finer lens real just how we are taught to conceive of the two. When speaking to a crowd we are taught that’s is perfectly fine to refer to a group of men and women using the address “Hey guys” or “Wassup guys.” This is seen as a perfectly acceptable way of addressing both men and women and most people have no qualms over being addressed as such. But on the same token saying “Hey girls” or “Wassup girls” to a group of men and women is sure to rifle the feathers of the group if not drive them to react in a similar fashion.
Even in something as casual as conversation on the phone between two friends women have felt the need to apologize to me when referring to me as girl but I have never seen a man apologize to a woman for casually referring to her as man.
This because we are taught from an early age to see womanhood as something that is insulting to a man, but manhood is something that is complimentary to a woman. The address “Hey guys” to a group of men and women is seen as a gender neutral way of addressing the group, but if an entire group is addressed as “Hey girls” we conceive of something very problematic in that address, and the men are taught to find something insulting in it. For a man to be referred to using female pronouns is not only acceptable but it’s insulting and denigrating to the male. But the opposite is not true of women being referred to using male pronouns.
This is also why the street between manhood and womanhood is often one way. It’s fine for a woman to do male things but it’s very concerning to us as a society if a man does so called female things. The woman who dresses in male attire is seen as complimenting herself, but the man who dresses in female attire is seen as degrading himself, or emasculating himself.
I challenge all people to consider the way they privilege maleness over femaleness and the way this leads to a society based on double standards and a lack of respect for one gender and praise for another.
I am a man who sees the feminine and womanly as a strength as well as the masculine and man. Call me woman, girl, sister, or whatever it doesn’t diminish my manhood and on the inverse may in fact strengthen it.