Ever since I started making the conscious effort to call adults “women” instead of “girls” it’s become disturbingly apparent just how normalized infantilizing women is.

“Girls’ night,” “Atta girl!” “Girl on girl,” “Baby girl,” “Good morning, girls,” “girl talk,” “I’ve missed my girls,” etc etc

It’s to the point where women actually shy away from the word “women” and prefer to be called girls, probably because to no longer be a girl is to be old, tired, useless, homely, motherly, boring, nagging, serious, etc.

On the flip side, you rarely hear men being referred to as “boys” outside of maybe pop music and tumblr’s “soft boi” memes. And I have never heard men ask to be called boys instead of men. That’s because being a man is something to aspire to and something to be proud of.

Another side effect is that by calling all females “girls,” it obscures her age. If you hear, “a girl was attacked last night” you assume it was an adult unless an age is mentioned. Versus if you said “boy” there would be almost no question.

It takes some practice, but using accurate language to differentiate between adult women and girl children is really important, especially when discussing feminist topics. Normalize calling women women, and stop infantilizing them into “girls.”

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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