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

Why are people so hung up that this thread is in Gaming lol

It's about the use of "boys" in gaming culture, It's almost at 30 pages, it was obviously a good place for it lol

Can y'all like...just chill and stop whining and let the discussion take place? Goddamn
 

Servbot24

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
16,750
Using boys to talk to everyone just sounds so cartoonish. I've never encountered anyone who does that.

"Let's get 'em, boys!"

I agree though that's it's not a good way to address a group containing girls or non-binary folk, assuming there are people out there using the term with sincerity.
 

Keldroc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,571
Ok, but you were stating earlier that people were incorrect when pointing out that guys is gender neutral when in fact it is and that you simply don't have that viewpoint personally. Which is fine, but if you have an opinion on something you can't admonish people for not sharing your opinion of the usage of said words. It just seems strange to me that you would take such offence to what in the grand scheme of things is fairly benign in terms of language. What will you do if the term boys grows in popularity and expands in usage in the very way that you currently want people to discard from their vocabulary?
Cool. So tell us about the guys you're dating.
 

PetrCobra

Member
Oct 27, 2017
797
Where I'm from, there's a region where locals will refer to any group of people with a word that's best translated to English as "kids". Regardless of age, gender or anything, it's just "kids". Hi kids, how are you doing kids... where we dropping kids I guess, lol. That seems like a harmless one, no? Honestly, it always seemed cute to hear it but also kind of weird to actually use it, like any dialect outside of situations where you're surrounded by people who talk like that so you pick it up as well.

In English, it always seemed a little weird to me using "guys" for groups with girls in them (never was confronted by a nonbinary person about any of this so that never even came to mind), but I feel like it has become kind of appropriate, noticed even girls are often using it, even if the group is just girls, so I figured, okay then it's still weird but it's a thing.
"Boys", not so much. That actually seems insulting if one knows there aren't only boys in the group.

Cool. So tell us about the guys you're dating.
Languages are hard, innit.
 
Aug 29, 2018
1,046
Feel like guys as a term growing beyond just meaning men isnt necessarily a bad thing, it might've just happened. And now when people say guys they do not literally mean guys but are just referring to a collective. So I guess people can get offended but idk if they should in that case

As for boys it has been incredibly rare in my life at least to hear anyone say that when it isnt just men present.
 

SugarNoodles

Member
Nov 3, 2017
6,591
Portland, OR
Lets just stop trying to forcefully change natural language itself and instead just focus on changing the underlying negative viewpoints of gender stuff. Natural language will naturally change accordingly (see many African American English vernacular speaking communities that now use "nigger" as a positive word in the right pragmatic context).

The moment you try to forcefully change so called 'bad language' is the moment you end up with totally fucked up languages like English. Take English and map it to an even more fucked up writing system and you end up with something where there is nothing even close to 1:1 mapping between spoken sounds and the written representation of said sounds.
Holy shit how do you have a take this bad
 

Deleted member 9971

User requested account closure
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
9,743
Hello people or everyone or something that does not reference to a gender would be nice. Sure some people are like jeez its just a word but like it does make some ppl uncomfertable so yeah thats why i am for it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,128
I never used boys to refer to a group people. I wouldn't want anyone calling me girl. I never even thought about it in social context. It just never seemed like a proper word to use. So no adjustment needed for me.
 

Nostremitus

Member
Nov 15, 2017
3,187
Everyone should adopt the Southern contraction "y'all" for You All.

Its inclusive. Its not demeaning. Its not going to be considered appropriation because Southerners have been trying to legitimize the word for generations.
 

aevanhoe

Member
Aug 28, 2018
1,065
Look, I am already using a foreign language daily for most of my communication. I am not starting to use a local slang version of it. It’s hard to explain. Imagine if someone asked you to use British slang daily, like “use ‘bollocks’ in your speech from now on”.

I’m not using “y’all” just as I’m not suddenly going to start saying “I reckon” or something.

“Y’all” sounds weird and like something from a cowboy movie to me. I’m sure if you grew up in certain regions of USA that is normal to you, but to me it’s like someone asking me to talk like a movie character. I’m not doing it.

I’m not going to use words that hurt people like the OP, but I’m also not going to start using some local slang just because someone thinks it’s a good idea.

This is an issue that can and should be solved with proper, regular english. I would literally rather use something as formal as “fellow citizens” than “y’all”. As I said, I think “people” is perfectly fine, but I will accept any non-slang alternatives too. Even new words, if you like. At least then they will be new to everyone.
 

Rouk'

Member
Jan 10, 2018
525
France
So, I don’t think I have much to add to this thread, but there are still some things I wanted to talk about. They might have been brought upon earlier, but I did not muster the courage to read 14XX posts of the thread, I only read about half.

(Also, I’m a white cis het man. I don’t know if it’s relevant, but I wanted to clear that up. (I’m French too, so not a native English speaker))


Shouldn’t this be on the other side”


There are many reasons why this is the perfect place for this thread.

(First of all, the mod team let it there, so it most likely belongs there.)

But why ? Because, if you read the OP, you can see that they created this thread because of something gaming related (“I just asked a person to not use the word in a discord chat”. To me this sounds clearly gaming related).

Video games are political. You can’t just act as if you were blind and didn’t see colors/genders/etc. As a form of media (and art), video games have an influence over the players. And so does everything related to them, which includes this very forum. If we want things to change, then we need to discuss them from every point of view that matters, even slightly. Discussing how to be inclusive in a video game context matters for inclusiveness itself, not just in video games.

And we cannot do that on the other side. The discussion probably wouldn’t be video game-oriented. Let’s say OP made the same thread on Etcetera, replacing the Discord part with let’s say “I just asked a person to not use the word at a party”. I can guarantee you that the thread would be different from what it is here. I don’t know if OP would have received more or less support, but it would be different. The debates would be different. But this issue needs to be discussed and shared as much as possible.

Indeed, OP’s message is addressed to gamers. And as far as I know, the Etcetera posters and the Video Game posters are not the same (or at least not at 100%). And so, the best way for them to pass their message was through this side.


I would be totally fine with being called girl, even though I’m a man”


Maybe you are, but maybe some aren’t. But that was not OP’s point. To their question, I would answer that it would probably bother me. But I can’t really know, it never happened to me, let alone on a daily basis. And that’s the thing really, one can think they can handle being misgendered once, but that’s not what non-binary/gender-fluid/trans people live (or even women, especially in OP’s situation – playing online). Being misgendered can be a DAILY issue.

This is kinda like chinese water torture (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_water_torture). Ask anybody, they’ll tell you they can handle receiving a water drop on their forehead, and even a dozen. But it’s the regularity of it, the fact that it NEVER stops, and that you can’t do anything about it, that make it a torture that truly harms.

Now, to speak from my own experience. I take an English course in which I’m the only guy out of 14 students. The teachers usually does their best to use neutral terms or both when it’s impossible to do otherwise (which is often in a Latin language like French). And honestly, it feels weird when one of them forget and say “girls”, or stuff like “vous allez toutes y arrivez” (you will all make it : “all” is gendered in French. “toutes” for a group of women and “tous” for a group of guys or a mixed group. Though this latter use is slightly less employed nowadays, and they just use both). I can’t blame them, they are used to having only women in their course. And when the mistake is made, it’s weird, but I’m not really offended. But the fact is that it feels better when I’m not forgotten. So I kinda understand how being neutral/inclusive matters.


You are the minority, you can’t ask 99% of people to change the way they act”


In my opinion, that’s just being polite. It does not harm me in any way to stop saying exclusive terms like “boys”. To me, it just looks like the people being annoyed by it are too lazy to change the way they act. They are living in their comfy bubble where they can say anything they want and don’t want to be told no. That’s literally called being conservative: you don’t want things to change, you want to protect your traditions (here, calling a group of people online “boys”).

(They don’t want to be told no, or how to act. This is a bit like people not wanting to become vegetarian just because they don’t like being told how to do things. Or people not wanting to change their habits to protect the environment just because it’s not their own initiatives. A form of individualism)

Because that’s what this is, a tradition. But not every tradition deserves to be kept. The worlds changes when they don’t. Some traditions disappeared because they were outdated. That’s what this is. If you can’t give up on this custom, you are living in the past. (Well, the problem here being that it is not something from the past, as it is still ingrained in people’s mind. But it should be)

But whatever, let’s talk about this majority thing. It is a fact that it is a minority (the non-binary/gender-fluid/trans people) that is potentially harmed by the use of “boys”. I don’t know the exact numbers, but let’s say it’s 1%. Indeed, it means that the 99% others will have to change for just a tiny minority. But this change is also for a minority of their time! Nobody is asking anyone to stop using entirely using the word “boys”. They are asking you you to stop using it when it refers to them. Which logically means a small part of their time. Basically, what I meant is that, it’s not that big of a deal.

But the thing is, this majority argument does not hold up. Because it is NOT in fact about a minority. OP is non-binary, and speaks for the non-binary people they know. But “boys” is not just an exclusive term for them and non-binary people. It is exclusive to them AND women. Now I don’t have any numbers, but I pretty sure that this should add up to more than 50% of the people (considering the same numbers of women and men. You add to the first group the non-binary people). And so now, it’s about respecting a majority.

One might tell me that in the gaming community, there aren’t as many women as there are men. That’s most likely true, I still don’t have the numbers though. But that’s the thing. If the gamers keep using exclusive terms, then the video game community won’t be able to achieve a true gender equality, as women might still feel rejected. As OP said repeatedly, it’s a Boys club thing.


The question of custom changing a word’s meaning


I kinda want to speak about this. Most of the arguments that can be found in this thread revolve around the fact that “Boys” or “Guys” are not gendered anymore, they are meant to talk about a group, no matter the gender of the people in that group. It is true for guys, I just checked in the dictionary, but it definitely isn’t for “boys”.

But the dictionary definition does not really matter. The significations of words change with time. I just checked in Diderot’s Encyclopedia the word “nègre” (I don’t need to translate that…). You can find a, very, racist description of black people. Check in a modern dictionary the same word, you will learn that the word is offensive. Definitions are not fixed, they can be changed, for the better. Usually, the dictionary is updated when the custom changed, not the other way around. Which means that the definition is not a universal rule that cannot be broken.

Sometimes, it is true, the custom changes a word from offensive to neutral. Maybe “cunt” is the example in English ? I’m not sure. But in French, the perfect example is “Putain”. Literally, it means “whore”. But in reality, it’s used in the same way as English speakers use “Fuck”. For some, it’s almost punctuation, or an interjection. I’ve never met in my entire life someone who thought it was disrespectful to prostitutes to say “Putain”. But these things take time. A lot of time. It needs to be accepted by every one to effectively change in meaning.

I’ve seen people argue that “PD” (“f*g” but I feel like it’s even worse) is not homophobic anymore. And I just don’t think so at all. Gay marriage is 6 years old in France, and there are still people that wished it was banned again. Homophobia is frown upon. And that’s why the word is still harmful. But as for “Putain”, it is different. The scorn towards sex workers is deeply engrained in people’s mind. Nobody cares. It’s at a point of no return. I personally try not to say the word (I’m using “Punaise” (stink bug) or “Purée” instead), but it’s not the case for every one.

Boys is not, yet, a neutral word in custom. But even if it was, as guys is, it doesn’t mean that the custom is right. But what’s the most infuriating to me is that there are alternatives.


It is exceptionally EASY to use gender-neutral words in English. Try speaking a Latin language: it’s hard to be neutral.


Indeed, words like “folks”, “mates”, “y’all”, “everyone” or “people” are inclusive and mean the exact same thing. In a way I’m jealous as I can’t find proper equivalent in French, and I suppose the same is true for other Latin languages. We can say “les gars”, “les mecs”, “les filles” or “les meufs”, which are all gendered. But to stay neutral and inclusive, I could only find two words, maybe there are more but I can’t seem to remember them : “les gens” (which feels weird honestly) and “tout le monde” (everyone literally, that’s the one I use). That’s not a lot of options.

Even better, English has gender neutral pronouns! French doesn’t. In my post, I can talk about OP as “them” or “they”. I wouldn’t be able to do so in French, we only have “il” or “elle”. When that happens, the only solution I can find if I don’t know their preferred pronoun is to use their username, which might feel weird sometimes.

Similarly, let’s say I talk about a game players. If I say “Les joueurs de smash” (“Smash players”), I use a masculine (joueurs), which isn’t inclusive for women and non-binary. The rule in the French grammar is “Masculine wins” (“Le masculin l’emporte”) : when a group has both female and male components, we are supposed to use the male word. We only use the female one if there are only women (“Les joueuses de smash” would only refer to a group of women playing smash, whereas the masculine counterpart is used for both a group of men and a mixed group).

But this “Masculine wins” is something that descends from patriarchy. The proof is that there used to be a time when it wasn’t the case, with a proximity agreement being used until the 17th/ 18th century. Thus “Un jour et une nuit entière” became “Un jour et une nuit entier” (A full day and night. Night is feminine and day is masculine). Before, “entière” was in its feminine form because it was closer to a feminine word, but then, it became “entier” as there is a masculine word in the sentence.


So yeah, this final part was a bit off-topic, but that was just to underline how easy it is in English to be inclusive. Genders aren’t in every words. There are no reason for it to be such a debated topic.

Don’t be lazy, or stubborn, as it can cause harm. But changing the way you speak does not affect you.
 
I'll be honest for completely selfish reasons I hope "guys" continues catching on as a gender-neutral term. It just sounds so nice and rolls off the tongue. But I understand it's not 100% so I am limiting my usage of it

Fortunately I never say “boys” like that. I do sometimes say things like, “boy, that’s rough” or “oh man!” ...and I don’t really know what to think about those. They’re not addresses to individuals, so it’s not like your gendering or misgendering your audience. They’re not gendering the situation...what are they doing there? Why do we say these things?
I think those are fine, they arent referring to anyone and are just common exclamations
 

Nostremitus

Member
Nov 15, 2017
3,187
Look, I am already using a foreign language daily for most of my communication. I am not starting to use a local slang version of it. It’s hard to explain. Imagine if someone asked you to use British slang daily, like “use ‘bollocks’ in your speech from now on”.

I’m not using “y’all” just as I’m not suddenly going to start saying “I reckon” or something.

“Y’all” sounds weird and like something from a cowboy movie to me. I’m sure if you grew up in certain regions of USA that is normal to you, but to me it’s like someone asking me to talk like a movie character. I’m not doing it.

I’m not going to use words that hurt people like the OP, but I’m also not going to start using some local slang just because someone thinks it’s a good idea.

This is an issue that can and should be solved with proper, regular english. I would literally rather use something as formal as “fellow citizens” than “y’all”. As I said, I think “people” is perfectly fine, but I will accept any non-slang alternatives too. Even new words, if you like. At least then they will be new to everyone.
It is a proper English contraction as it's recognized by both the Oxford and Webster dictionaries.
 

trugs26

Member
Jan 6, 2018
1,150
I have 3 women (20-25 years old) here in the same Office/room and asked them, how they would feel about it (using the german equivalent). 2 of them said they wouldnt mind and dont see it as a gender Thing. The third said that she is part of a mixed Group where this happens and she could not care less. I know, that my girlfriend would not mind.

This of Course has not the weight of a Research, but I really dont think this is a Problem for everyone who isnt a boy. If I would use Terms like that and someone would ask me directly, not do do it anymore, It wouldnt be a Problem for me in this specific case. Otherwise I see it as a unnecessary restriction of the way I speak.
I asked my partner. She works in an office where she is the only female (sometimes one other) and her manager always says "boys" and each time she feels excluded. I asked another friend and she doesn't like it either.

I'd also argue that your friend's "indifference" isn't very re-assuring.
 

IwazaruK7

Member
Oct 27, 2017
963
I still cant get used to "guys" being neutral, so "boys" for that is even more extreme.

Granted, i'm not native speaker in english, so it is especially cause you grew up learning certain translations (and i see language problem brought up here, yeah. "guy" being something like "jeune homme" and "boy" being "garcon" (if we talk about french - it's not my language either but i see discussion of it above so i'm adding to that), this is something that you learn ages ago and weird to see it used in different context...
 
Nov 2, 2017
382
I know you're trying to be clever but you're either using guys as a plural of guy (in which case im not currently dating any guys but thanks for asking) or you are using guys in the incorrect context. Nice try.
The word guys, that you were defending as gender-neutral, is in fact the plural of "guy". It's the exact same context in which "guys" has been discussed in this thread.

For some reason, you seem to have read that and not taken it as gender neutral, for some reason. I wonder why?
 

aevanhoe

Member
Aug 28, 2018
1,065
It is a proper English contraction as it's recognized by both the Oxford and Webster dictionaries....
....as “informal”. It’s slang. Dictionaries recognize slang, you know?

I’m not going to use slang that is foreign to me. Look, it’s one thing to say certain words are offensive - I would never intentionally use words that hurt people. But I can also choose what words I use instead, and I’m not using “y’all”.
 

abellwillring

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,307
Austin, TX
The word guys, that you were defending as gender-neutral, is in fact the plural of "guy". It's the exact same context in which "guys" has been discussed in this thread.

For some reason, you seem to have read that and not taken it as gender neutral, for some reason. I wonder why?
Because its usage is entirely contextual. Large groups of women regularly use the word guys when addressing one another as a collective. It *is* entirely gender neutral when speaking to a group -- if you don't want to acknowledge that, that is entirely on you, but you're simply ignoring reality.

There are countless words that have entirely different meanings based on their context. This is no different. Guy in the singular has an entirely different meaning due to this. Quit being obtuse.
 

Servbot24

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
16,750
The word guys, that you were defending as gender-neutral, is in fact the plural of "guy". It's the exact same context in which "guys" has been discussed in this thread.

For some reason, you seem to have read that and not taken it as gender neutral, for some reason. I wonder why?
Guys can mean both a group of men or a group of people. Depending on the context in which it’s spoken it is usually clear which definition is intended. “Are you dating any guys?” means a man, while “Hurry up you guys!” means people.

Ideally it wouldn’t be used for referring to groups of people, but all the girls I know say it to refer to groups of people so whatever. If they don’t care neither do I.
 

rochellepaws

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,582
Ireland
I don't feel its necessary to alter the way I speak to appease someone who may or may not be there, especially when I'm not out to offend. I think you're taking it to a whole new level of walking on eggshells when I need to choose my nouns carefully to appease people who can't or won't communicate.
I think you're being discourteous to address a group of unknown people and presume they're men because of the few you can see, if I were listening in the group that is what I'd think of you and probably wouldn't join in the conversation after that point due to feeling excluded.
It shouldn't be about appeasing anyone but showing general courtesy and manners, you should know by now from this thread that doing it can cause offence and continuing shows you don't care.
Also there's more forms of communication in games than just verbal, we're using one of them right now.
 

Yata

Member
Feb 1, 2019
414
Spain
I always try to be respectful, if someone asks me to not use a word, I comply. With that said, I really struggle to understand why this specific example is supposed to be hurtful, but I do know the main reason is that I cannot relate with non-binary people because well, I am not one.

The thing is that I find the solution to this issue kind of unrealistic, at least, in a larger scale. Latin languages have countless words which are gendered, if you think people are pushy about not wanting to change their English vocabulary (not defending them, tho, like they are just being dicks if they refuse) just imagining people over here doing the same is unimaginable to me, way too ingrained into too many languages.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
6,685
Minnesota
....as “informal”. It’s slang. Dictionaries recognize slang, you know?

I’m not going to use slang that is foreign to me. Look, it’s one thing to say certain words are offensive - I would never intentionally use words that hurt people. But I can also choose what words I use instead, and I’m not using “y’all”.
It's literally a proper contraction in English grammar, like "don't" and "can't", and is evolving as part of common English vernacular. To dismiss it as 'slang' comes across as a dog whistle, even if you didn't mean it that way, as some dialects of African American English have been described as slang in the pejorative sense, and incidentally, some African American English dialects use "y'all" quite often.

"Y'all" is a completely natural and intuitive use of the contraction of the words "you all" and there's nothing esoteric about it. The biggest problem to me appears to be the connotations surrounding the use of words that originate from Southern American English, as such a dialect isn't as respected or prestigious as other English dialects, but grammatically, "y'all" is perfectly appropriate to use in most settings except the most formal ones; in those cases, contractions in general are frowned upon, not just "y'all".
 

WhiteNovember

Member
Aug 15, 2018
686
I asked my partner. She works in an office where she is the only female (sometimes one other) and her manager always says "boys" and each time she feels excluded. I asked another friend and she doesn't like it either.

I'd also argue that your friend's "indifference" isn't very re-assuring.
It is a highly contextual Thing. And in the case of your girlfriend I can absolutely understand her, especially when it Comes from the Manager/boss.

In the case of gaming, you are in an anonymus Group, that may Change after every round. Everyone is equal there (no boss/employee relationship).

Like I said, I can absolutely understand astro. But life always throws Things at you, you have to get used to. Funnily, there is a Thing I have to stand trough every day that is similar

Why shouldnt it be reassuring? Dont know exactly how to say this in english, but I guess they just dont make everything a question of gender. It is just a word used for a bunch of People. No harmful Intention. Not in the context, not in the original meaning of the word. Of Course the Impact can be different. But that doesnt mean, that People should Change the way they talk immidiately.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
6,685
Minnesota
It is a highly contextual Thing. And in the case of your girlfriend I can absolutely understand her, especially when it Comes from the Manager/boss.

In the case of gaming, you are in an anonymus Group, that may Change after every round. Everyone is equal there (no boss/employee relationship).

Like I said, I can absolutely understand astro. But life always throws Things at you, you have to get used to. Funnily, there is a Thing I have to stand trough every day that is similar

Why shouldnt it be reassuring? Dont know exactly how to say this in english, but I guess they just dont make everything a question of gender. It is just a word used for a bunch of People. No harmful Intention. Not in the context, not in the original meaning of the word. Of Course the Impact can be different. But that doesnt mean, that People should Change the way they talk immidiately.
When society already has a problem with gender inequality, then it only makes sense to tear down systemic means of reinforcing those inequalities; inequalities like the erasure of gender identities within certain communities. If everyone of every gender/non-gender was already being treated equally on the basis of gender, then we wouldn't even be having this conversation, but we do not live in such a reality. To ignore and to dismiss the need to do something about it is just another example of people who are privileged enough to not have to worry about these things.
 

WhiteNovember

Member
Aug 15, 2018
686
When society already has a problem with gender inequality, then it only makes sense to tear down systemic means of reinforcing those inequalities; inequalities like the erasure of gender identities within certain communities. If everyone of every gender/non-gender was already being treated equally on the basis of gender, then we wouldn't even be having this conversation, but we do not live in such a reality. To ignore and to dismiss the need to do something about it is just another example of people who are privileged enough to not have to worry about these things.
I am not ignoring it and I dont dismiss it. I am not a Person that uses Boys or similiar words to speak to a Group. I am just against the restriction of intentional harmless words that are meant to be understood as encouraging for the whole Group in an anonymus place. Not against the Change of it as a whole. And at least in Germany, newspapers and universitíes are working for equality in language. Here at my work, judging by the buzz it made we are one of the first cities that do that, "diverse" is offered as third Option when it Comes to genders and thats absolutely a good Thing.
 

Norwegian_Imposter

Circumventing a ban with an alt account
Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,754


this gif is from Letterkenny, a Canadian show where these two use 'boys' A LOT in and out of a hockey locker room.

You won't catching me using anything like, "let's go boys!" unless I'm talking about my imaginary son's little league team which is now all-inclusive so I've made a huge mistake saying "let's go boys!" and must correct myself to say, "let's go team" because I want to be better at not being exclusionary.

So in the end, I agree. If addressing everyone, it's best to avoid using 'boys'. It can also be pretty easy. I also feel that using 'guys' is okay, but generally I've tried to avoid using it when addressing an 'everyone'. 'Guys' still refers to men by dictionary definition, but it also is defined to cover persons in general. I generally have tried to avoid it.
That guy on the right was in travellers, great show lol sorry just wanted to say how good that show is.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
6,685
Minnesota
I am not ignoring it and I dont dismiss it. I am not a Person that uses Boys or similiar words to speak to a Group. I am just against the restriction of intentional harmless words that are meant to be understood as encouraging for the whole Group in an anonymus place. Not against the Change of it as a whole. And at least in Germany, newspapers and universitíes are working for equality in language. Here at my work, judging by the buzz it made we are one of the first cities that do that, "diverse" is offered as third Option when it Comes to genders and thats absolutely a good Thing.
This seems like a strawman argument. Who is calling for a ban on harmless words? That's not what this thread is about.
 

Aters

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,948
Reading the title I thought it's about how Japanese games often have the "mature lady" type that refers the male protagonist as boy. It's bit cringy.

Anyway, I totally agree we should not use boy too often.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
6,685
Minnesota
Well, if that is what you understood, I may have to Train my english skills. I thought it was clear, that I talk about this specific and/or similar cases.
You're talking about the specific case of using the word 'boys' to address an anonymous group, right? That's not harmless speech in a society where gender inequality is still a problem. It's problematic because the anonymity of a group defaulting to male is part of the problem with gender inequality (only the male gender is relevant enough to be used as a catch-all, not the other way around; it's not a coincidence that 'girls' and 'ladies' don't serve the same function in such situations).

Most importantly, if the group is anonymous, there is no reason to address them by gender (let alone a single one); it's not even logical. Addressing by gender only makes sense if a gender is something everyone has in common, so if that's not something you could ascertain, there really is no reason you'd need to use it as a form of address to a group of people in the first place.
 

RyanG

Member
Nov 1, 2017
542
You're talking about the specific case of using the word 'boys' to address an anonymous group, right? That's not harmless speech in a society where gender inequality is still a problem. It's problematic because the anonymity of a group defaulting to male is part of the problem with gender inequality (only the male gender is relevant enough to be used as a catch-all, not the other way around; it's not a coincidence that 'girls' and 'ladies' don't serve the same function in such situations).
Ok this is a bit much. There are no current or historical trends of the term "boys" being used in a problematic way. To claim otherwise is to minimise the impact and the harm that legitimately offensive words have caused to people. Someone earlier in the thread tried to compare it to the n-word and that's just way overboard. It's something that has had a specific and harmless meaning for a long time and recently seems to be co-opted by a niche group of people for the kind of usage that the OP wants to nip in the bud. The OP is well within their rights to express their desire to request this, do i think they are going about it in the right way? Frankly, no. I'd say the response in here has been mostly supportive barring the odd few trolls with some people saying they're going to change the way they speak and most people stating they don't speak like that anyway cause it's kind of incongruous. But this is a forum with what i would mostly consider a modern viewpoint who are open to new ideas and can facilitate this kind of discussion. Now you try and tell people with legitimately awful and bigoted opinions or viewpoints to change the way they speak and imagine the kind of pushback you would get, if anything it would have the opposite effect. I mean, christ, if racism is still such a huge endemic part of our society then i don't see gender equality happening anytime soon, i genuinely believe that as well intentioned as these kind of things are they can do more harm than good.
 

brainchild

GameXplain
Verified
Nov 25, 2017
6,685
Minnesota
Ok this is a bit much. There are no current or historical trends of the term "boys" being used in a problematic way. To claim otherwise is to minimise the impact and the harm that legitimately offensive words have caused to people. Someone earlier in the thread tried to compare it to the n-word and that's just way overboard. It's something that has had a specific and harmless meaning for a long time and recently seems to be co-opted by a niche group of people for the kind of usage that the OP wants to nip in the bud. The OP is well within their rights to express their desire to request this, do i think they are going about it in the right way? Frankly, no. I'd say the response in here has been mostly supportive barring the odd few trolls with some people saying they're going to change the way they speak and most people stating they don't speak like that anyway cause it's kind of incongruous. But this is a forum with what i would mostly consider a modern viewpoint who are open to new ideas and can facilitate this kind of discussion. Now you try and tell people with legitimately awful and bigoted opinions or viewpoints to change the way they speak and imagine the kind of pushback you would get, if anything it would have the opposite effect. I mean, christ, if racism is still such a huge endemic part of our society then i don't see gender equality happening anytime soon, i genuinely believe that as well intentioned as these kind of things are they can do more harm than good.
The current use of the term is rooted in the sexism of a patriarchal society that prioritizes the male perspective over everyone else's perspective. I'm saying it's a symptom of the problem and continues to perpetuate the problem. I'm not saying the word alone is the problem itself. Just because there are more egregious examples of problematic language (which in itself is something that exists in varying degrees) doesn't not mean we shouldn't try to address the issue.

More importantly, we minorities (myself being black and queer) can walk and chew gum at the same time. There are a lot of marginalized people in our society, so instead of trying to play the Oppression Olympics to determine which issues we should address over other, we need to listen to each other and help each other.

I'm not trying to get rid of the word 'boys', but I believe that I'm absolutely justified in saying that it has no place in addressing a group of people of mixed gender/non-gender. The reason it has been widely used for so long is because 'boys' were the only ones who mattered, and that kind of thinking has to come to an end.
 

Giga Man

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,669
I remember in school, boys would be like, "Nah, man!" "Come on, man!" And, girls would be like, "I ain't no man, boy!" Always cracked me up.

If I'm calling upon a group of mixed sexes or an unknown group of random people, I say, "boys and girls," "guys and gals," or "ladies and gentlemen." It's usually in a joking way, though. In honest conversation, it's "folks" or "people" or "y'all."