Using "boys" to speak to everyone really needs to stop, and this is why.

Feb 20, 2019
217
I know that someone has already responded something like this in the thread ( I didnt read everything ), but I don't think people should get pissed about other people not liking their use of terms.

However, someone should not get pissed at ALL when another person uses the term "boys" and doesn't know the other person's "identity" ( I don't know about that gender thing, sorry ). In fact, we should rather laugh about it. I may sound selfish or something, but when you are saying that the term "boy" makes you offended, you're kind of ruining the mood.
Of course it's not a big deal at ALL because it only happens once, and the other persons would be real dicks to keep using that same term, but eh
 
Nov 2, 2017
254
Glad to see some pushback on this. I’ve been working to eliminate the casual “guys” as a way to address a group that isn’t people I happen to know all identify themselves as male myself over the past two years. I’ve gotten pretty good at it so far, but I still slip and have to correct myself from time to time. “Boys” is even worse, and frankly isn’t something I would have even gone to back when I was thoughtlessly using “guys”. I’d say I don’t know who would think that’s acceptable, but *gestures generally at thread*

Sadly, the reaction here is about as bad as I expected. But here’s hoping to more people getting through their heads that society thinking “guys” is gender neutral due to patriarchal standards does not mean “guys” is actually gender neutral.
 
Feb 20, 2019
217
I never said that i would be pissed if someone wanted to change the way we pronounce things, just a different way than saying "I'm offended", y'know?
Deal with it or not, I find it awkward when people say stuff like that. I am extremely sorry about feeling uncomfortable but I just cannot help with it. Just please don't call me selfish, even if it's true lol ( there we go, I ruined the mood even though it wasn't there )
 
Oct 27, 2017
142
I think it's fine and good to have a debate about word usage like this, but childishly using the word in this thread in order to upset the OP does nothing but showcase what an asshole you are.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,931
The intent is to refer to everyone. There's no sinister or passive aggressive hidden agenda due to some overbearing patriarchal conspiracy. Context is important. This is one of those things where I think people think too much about an innocuous phrase. You don't have to use the term if you don't want to and you're free to tell others it makes you uncomfortable. Outside of progressive safe zones I don't think anyone would even think twice or consider changing these phrases though.
 
Nov 13, 2017
1,519
Londinium
Everyone
Folks
Y’all
All

That’s off the top of my head. Plenty of replacement words to be had that don’t have an attached gender.
Hmm, I’m not sure I could credibly use those. This was a real little dilemma I had the other day when I was talking to an all female team at work about introducing them to a client of mine.

I said something like ‘yeah I think it’s really important he meets you...guys’

I can’t say folks. I’m English, it just wouldn’t sound right coming out of my mouth
If I said ‘laidies’ or ‘women’..ugh forget it
‘People’ would make me sound like a robot and make all involved deeply uncomfortable
All..could maybe work? But again I don’t think would sound really natural in the context.

There is a word missing from common parlance here
 

SuperBlank

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,591
I don't use boys collectively (unless speaking in an all-male group), but I do say guys. And I'll probably keep saying it.

Because everyone in my life treats it as the informal gender-neutral collective it's become.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,028
Language evolves and I think using "guys" neutrally is fine despite its origins. I see it like the use of "actors" being neutral even though it was once specifically masculine. It's a bit weird how the latter case is seen as progressive but the former isn't by some people.

Do you call someone homophobic for saying something/someone sucks? Mostly likely you don't because the English language has changed enough in the past few decades to eliminate that association.

I'm never saying "y'all", though. I'm not American.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,161
Nov 2, 2017
254
Hmm, I’m not sure I could credibly use those. This was a real little dilemma I had the other day when I was talking to an all female team at work about introducing them to a client of mine.

I said something like ‘yeah I think it’s really important he meets you...guys’

I can’t say folks. I’m English, it just wouldn’t sound right coming out of my mouth
If I said ‘laidies’ or ‘women’..ugh forget it
‘People’ would make me sound like a robot and make all involved deeply uncomfortable
All..could maybe work? But again I don’t think would sound really natural in the context.

There is a word missing from common parlance here
The scenario you give presents more options than that. For example, the suggestion I would give there is “I think it’s very important he meets the team”.
 
Feb 8, 2019
109
I never said that i would be pissed if someone wanted to change the way we pronounce things, just a different way than saying "I'm offended", y'know?
Deal with it or not, I find it awkward when people say stuff like that. I am extremely sorry about feeling uncomfortable but I just cannot help with it. Just please don't call me selfish, even if it's true lol ( there we go, I ruined the mood even though it wasn't there )
Perhaps you should think long and hard about why someone voicing their tame disapproval of something is enough to ruin your mood and examine if it is coming from a good place
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,270
I use guys and dudes to talk to a group as gender neutral. I say boys when I'm joking around with a group of friends that are all male. I think asking for people to remove this from their vocabulary will not result in actual change (possibly make it worse cause some peeps are assholes).
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,794
Finale Fireworker -- First thanks for the level headed detailed reply. One thing I strongly disliked about GAF was that certain specific mods had very condescending, smart ass, sarcastic attitudes.

The truth is, and I just want to say this directly, I have no idea how the people around you feel. I don't know what the expectations of your friends and coworkers are. I have no idea what's going through the heads of people you interact with on a daily basis. I could not possibly tell you whether these people are or are not uncomfortable. So don't think I'm saying I know better than you because I don't.
Sure no problem, and I don't know the exact private thinkings of everyone I've acquainted with either.

You are correct that different parts of the world and different cultures have different priorities when it comes to things like this. Different places and people also have different expectations of where its appropriate to object to something like this. People can be uncomfortable quietly. If somebody is uncomfortable with terms like "you guys", it may be less uncomfortable than confronting somebody about it at work or in front of friends. Many people simply tolerate and internalize their discomfort (especially women) because the consequences of speaking up might be even more distressing or embarrassing than just keeping quiet. This doesn't mean they aren't uncomfortable in the meantime.
This is certainly true, no doubt about that. There are absolutely some people who do not want to verbalize their feelings on specific topics in groups.

But these kinds of movements and requests don't come from nowhere. The push for gender-neutral language comes from all kinds of people. It comes from women, it comes from trans people, it comes from non-binary people, and others. It comes from people in professional environments who feel invisible at work, or going to school, or while hanging out with their friends. These people talk to each other, then talk to their friends, and the request spreads far and wide to the point where you are reading about it on a gaming forum. These people come from all over the world, even Texas.
It's good you brought this point up, because I certainly realize there are some individuals in TEXAS who might object to "you guys". I wasn't saying literally zero, there are always exceptions in any type of statistical human count.

Now this next part you may not agree with me on, but it's a general point on how I think of life using a hypothetical example. I believe in analyzing life using percentages. So depending where you live and grew up, what percentage of people object to a certain topic?

If it's a miniscule percentage, let's say 1%, then it's not realistic to force the other 99% of people to change how they live. But if it's a topic where it's 49%/51%, then the 49% will be taken much more seriously. (Of course I'm not saying for this specific topic it's 1% of people, I'm just using examples.)

Obviously percentages will vary across the world, like we both acknowledge. If there's a similar phrase to "you guys" in Saudi Arabia, I'm sure a lot less people object to it there, compared to California. So even though I completely agree with you there are people who are silently uncomfortable, I can only go by real-world observations in my life where I'm from.

Lastly, a very ironic note --

I mentioned that I default to "yall" anyway being a TEXAN in all personal circumstances. The one exception is actually my job, which is real estate Sales. We are actually trained to say (or email) "you guys". Because "yall" actually sounds less professional, at least for the price and demographics of the homes we sell.
 
Feb 20, 2019
217
Perhaps you should think long and hard about why someone voicing their tame disapproval of something is enough to ruin your mood and examine if it is coming from a good place
...Because it gives me the feeling that I hurted ( hurted? is that correct? sorry for the bad english ) this person and makes me feel uncomfortable. I could also ask your question to the OP but I won't because I understand that it can be annoying to not be recognized correctly through terms, and people should recognize too that it is embarassing to have the feeling that you offended someone.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,171
Pretty sure guys isn't gender neutral no matter how much you try to spin it.

Just use the singular form in a sentence and you can see how clearly it's not. "I went out with a cute guy last night"



Edit: Even in a more nuetral way it still paints the same picture. "That guy over there bought apples."
Except that "guy" and "guys," as you use them here, are different words that mean different things. They are not different versions of the same word.
 
Nov 13, 2017
1,519
Londinium
The scenario you give presents more options than that. For example, the suggestion I would give there is “I think it’s very important he meets the team”.
This wasn’t some abstract composed email though, it was a natural conversation with colleagues. I was just talking to them and wanted to say ‘I think it’s important he meets (all of the people in this group)’. It would be weird to refer to them indirectly as the “team”

I do get what you mean but sometimes you need a word for ‘you lot’ that’s not that informal but not too formal.
 

Aztechnology

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,841
Guys is effectively saying "group". It has pretty much nothing to do with gender in today's usage. Let's go boys etc. Is more of the same. But also it's just because when 99% of everyone you encounter is male and identified as such. It's just the most likely occurrence. It's more established from habit than anything else. It's not going to become a thing to use gender neutral indicators anytime soon because well. It's just not anywhere near common enough. And so the onus lays on the person who feels differently. To ask people use otherwise. It sucks, but... Well yeah.

Also largely it's meme level language.

That being said I tend to use peeps. "Where we going peeps" etc. Which is pretty lame.
 
Feb 20, 2019
217
Guys is effectively saying "group". It has pretty much nothing to do with gender in today's usage. Let's go boys etc. Is more of the same. But also it's just because when 99% of everyone you encounter is male and identified as such. It's just the most likely occurrence. It's more established from habit than anything else. It's not going to become a thing to use gender neutral indicators anytime soon because well. It's just not anywhere near common enough. And so the onus lays on the person who feels differently. To ask, and that does suck, but it's just the way.

That being said I tend to use peeps. "Where we going peeps" etc. Which is pretty lame.
Peeps is kinda cute
 
Feb 8, 2019
109
...Because it gives me the feeling that I hurted ( hurted? is that correct? sorry for the bad english ) this person and makes me feel uncomfortable. I could also ask your question to the OP but I won't because I understand that it can be annoying to not be recognized correctly through terms, and people should recognize too that it is embarassing to have the feeling that you offended someone.
And do you really feel that the momentary embarrassment of getting something wrong is on the same level as what people like OP feel on a day to day basis?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,615
new jersey
Honestly, it will never stop.

"Boys" and "guys" is common phrases in vocabulary. "Thank you guys" or "hey guys" doesn't mean I'm discriminating against you, neither does "thanks boys". Embarrassingly used "guys" with group of female friends or coworkers way too often.

I'll start calling everyone toys.

"Where we landing, toys?!"
Bake em away with toys!
 
Nov 2, 2017
254
This wasn’t some abstract composed email though, it was a natural conversation with colleagues. I was just talking to them and wanted to say ‘I think it’s important he meets (all of the people in this group)’. It would be weird to refer to them indirectly as the “team”

I do get what you mean but sometimes you need a word for ‘you lot’ that’s not that informal but not too formal.
I’ve been eliminating the use of “guys” out of my vocabulary for like 2 years now. It still rears it’s head from time to time as I’m putting a sentence together. You just think about it, pause, pick a replacement and move on. If it comes out before you think about it, then either just keep that in mind for the next time, or frame up a different way to say your plural group and hit the mark this time.

It’s not natural at first, but like everything, it gets easier the more you do it. You’ve just got to make a concerted effort to start doing it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
953
Brazil
The intent is to refer to everyone. There's no sinister or passive aggressive hidden agenda due to some overbearing patriarchal conspiracy. Context is important. This is one of those things where I think people think too much about an innocuous phrase. You don't have to use the term if you don't want to and you're free to tell others it makes you uncomfortable. Outside of progressive safe zones I don't think anyone would even think twice or consider changing these phrases though.
I think the OP is simply asking for people to reflect on that, and consider how it could be exclusionary towards some folks. No one is saying that people use "guys" or "dudes" or any other gendered noun as non-gendered in a malicious way, but simply to reconsider using other words whenever possible, specially if someone asks you to. For instance, I avoid using gendered nouns when addressing a group of people I do not know (like when sending a casual email to an indie dev). Doesn't take a lot of effort. It's quite upsetting to see people here having a hard time understanding that, though.

On the patriarchy thing, I won't pretend to be a scholar, but it's hard to deny the reason why it's mostly male nouns and pronouns that are used when talking about a group of mixed or unknown people in most languages (I know this to be a case in Latin and Germanic languages). We can even make parallels as to why, in the United States, people use "she" when addressing things such as boats or cars, instead of "it".
 
Nov 28, 2017
17
"let's go boys!"
"Where we landing boys?"
"you boys ready?"

What would your alternatives be?

"let's go people!"
"where we landing, humans?"
"you citizens ready?"

Yeah...that's not gonna work
This:


"let's go"
"where we landing?"
"you ready?"

Basically most sentences when 'they' is already implied you can just remove it. Otherwise folks works. My team in my office is also trying to get away from using gender type terms where possible (and I work for the government).
 
Feb 2, 2019
338
I'm a bad exemple myself. I'm a cisgenre non-trans girl and yet, even when I play with girls, we still could ourselves "guys" or something similar in french (gros = big guy in french), if I play with french people like myself. Even people who know me on this board often call me dude or things like that, even when they already heard my voice through discord.
 
Jun 22, 2018
772
Many languages, including English (English to a lesser extent than other languages like Spanish), use masculine variants of words to refer to a group of males, or many mixed groups. This is generally considered grammatically correct. The opposite is not considered correct.

So, plural terms like guys or boys can correctly refer to a group of just male people, a mixed group that includes males, or in the case of an unknown group. You would be incorrect to use those terms to refer to a group that includes no males, though.

I do grasp how this could bother some people, but in order for this to truly change, you'd have to change what is considered grammatically correct for many languages throughout the world. Suggesting people are being cruel by using their language as currently designed seems misguided.

If you really want to expend massive amounts of energy and time to try to change the accepted grammatical structure of the world's languages.... well good luck, and I wish you well. Otherwise, you may be better off working on not allowing other people's choice of words to have such a serious impact.
 
Oct 27, 2017
931
Canada
I use the word guys to refer to a group of girls sometimes.

Like "hey you guys, what's up".

and boy doesn't technically refer to men right? because boy typically implies they are younger.

Anyways, all I ask is if someone says it, explain your preference and problem with it and go from there. If they continue to ignore it, then they crossed the "I don't care what you ask of me" line, which means devaluation and disrespect. I only say this because things that are "typical" and "normal" had to be internalized and a frequent occurrence. To navigate the modern world, we have become more enlightened and as a result has to go back and attempt to modify many things, which does require tolerance.
 
Feb 20, 2019
217
And do you really feel that the momentary embarrassment of getting something wrong is on the same level as what people like OP feel on a day to day basis?
I never said that it was wrong to ask to someone to stop using a term when it offended you, just that it ruined the mood which is a fact for myself at least, and NO it is not something bad as it is needed to stop this harassment.
It's like you're thinking that I'm some kind of dick that hates the op because it makes people like me uncomfortable sometimes, but you are indeed wrong. The OP is offended, I'm embarassed, but the OP has a bigger problem so the awkward moment needs to happen. End of the story.
 
Oct 28, 2017
808
I guess I can see the point as an abstract, but intent matters. Do you think people say boys or guys as a way to push a male agenda for some reason? Because I feel that I can confidently say that the majority of people that use those terms aren't meaning it the way you're taking it.

The other thing I don't understand with things like this is why people feel their own comfort is paramount and that other people MUST conform to their ideals so they feel comfort while other people need to learn to change common vernacular. I understand if there is a one on one personal conversation and you state how you prefer to be referred, but in a group where a catch-all term is used without intent of hate that a vast majority of people would consider benign, stuff like this seems like splitting hairs and looking for something to feel an affront about.
I think you got it backwards. People aren’t saying “my comfort is paramount,” they’re saying “this word is causing me discomfort.” There is a huge difference.

"Guys" began just as masculine and male driven as boys. You're fine with it, because nobody really nitpicked it and it naturally became a catch all that wasn't necessarily gender-driven. Same to a lesser extent for "dudes".

Now, that is not to say that if you were in a random lobby on my team and expressed concern, I wouldn't accommodate - if you objected, I would explain that I meant no offense, but would try to be more conscientious. But I gather that if I slipped unintentionally, you would be just as mad, even knowing my intent was pure.

I really think this is much ado about nothing, to be honest. And I think you know in your heart that the vast majority of people you hear saying boys aren't being insidious and saying "Yeah, you're a boy and you'll like it" - so why treat it as such?
The problem with this is that I can’t tell what your intent is. I can’t tell wether you’re using a word innocently or with ill intent. Because words can elicit a response regardless of intent.
I do agree with this instance - saying BOYS in a forum where there is a larger chance of a diverse audience is probably inappropriate, even if the intent is not to be exclusive.
Right. It comes across as ill-conceived.