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

That's why I use bois instead.

In all seriousness, I wouldn't think too much about it. I've had folks address my group as "boys", "ladies", "soldiers" and other not so friendly sounding y'all variants who knows how many times. I'm often not one of those things. I just let it go since I know they mean nothing by it and it's not like they're staring me in the eyes when they do it. So really, pay it no mind. It's not meant to antagonize you.
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,794
It's just about doing your best to be respectful and accommodate the people around you and let the people you're with know you see and recognize them as part of the experience. It's not super important to every single person but for the people it benefits it really means a lot.
Here's the thing on what you said above though --

As I mentioned before, I'm a lifelong TEXAN and have never lived outside this state. In my over 40 years on earth, I have *never* once heard or witnessed in real life someone objecting to "you guys". So doesn't that depend on where you grew up and who you're around?

Different states, different countries, different religions, across the world, can all react differently with varying cultures & behaviors. That term is definitely not objectionable around here.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,878
Florida
I use "guys" all the time when describing a group. I use it as gender neutral. "Hey guys, let's do this."

I haven't landed on an alternative substitute but it's never intended to be exclusionary.
 

marrec

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Speaking personally, I've seen both "boys" and "girls" used to address groups online.

Of course, usually when someone uses "girls" to address a group they are doing it because they want to gender to group as a way of denigrating them.
 
Oct 31, 2017
523
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Personally, the juxataposition of my gender (a dude) would just make me laugh a bit. But I'm also not a victim to misgendering for the sake of harassment so I am at a privileged position to be able to find it amusing rather than hurtful.
 
Oct 25, 2017
20,265
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Anytime I hear someone say “lets go boys” I know they’re just fucking around just the same way when someone says “ladies”.

A bunch of guys screaming “let’s go girls” would be funny as shit.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,658
I use guys in a non-gender specific way. I've used it to entirely female audiences. I think this is pretty common, but not universal, usage.
 
Oct 27, 2017
345
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
I watch drag queen videos on Youtube with my GF on the regular. They refer to their audience as "Queens", "Bitches", "Ladies", etc. I don't even think twice.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,338
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
If it had already been that way then I wouldn't care? I just use common language because I hear it a ton and it is common.

That being said, I don't know what it is subconciously doing to girls when they hear it a ton.

As it stands, I don't think you should use "boys" when talking to a mixed gender group. But as a general phrase I don't see an issue. "Where we dropping boys" is basically a meme phrase. "Lets go boys" derives from sports and it being used in a team based game makes sense.

But like I said, when you play with people who aren't boys, just don't say it. ez
 
Oct 25, 2017
816
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
I mean, I've had a couple people call me girlfriend at work before and I don't care about that, I don't see why I'd give a shit.

That said I'm not exactly defending the use of Boys, I've never heard anyone say that unironically and it's not a term I'd ever use myself.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,722
I definitely try my best to be conscious of this, and prefer to use stuff like "everyone," "y'all," or even just using nothing, if appropriate. Like what I mean by the latter is instead of saying "Lets go boys!" just saying "Let's go!" as it's usually obvious who I'm talking to in those situations and there's not really a need for any type of pronoun there. But yeah, I definitely understand where you're coming from and try to do my best in these type of situations, both because I completely respect that and because it's something that just feels off to me as well regardless.
I definitely don't like the idea of 'boys' becoming a more frequently used term to refer to a group of people, but I've never had an issue with 'guys', and prefer we continue using that instead.

A much bigger issue I have, honestly, is the over-prevalence of people using male pronouns to refer to non-gender defined people or animals. Like we really do have an issue with treating the male sex as default.
This too. Like, I get people don't mean anything by it, but it's really weird when people say something like for instance "Jolteon is the best spiky boi" and stuff like that. I get they don't mean anything by it, but it's really weird to refer to animals, or in this case, fictional animals as a specific gender when they come in both varieties, and yeah... I know they don't mean anything by it, but it's definitely weird to just refer to an entire species as a specific gender like that, and that's another thing I try to be careful of as well.
 
Apr 10, 2018
3,148
I try to avoid using it as I know some people are more sensitive to then others and I try to respect that. At the same time though, its only exclusionary in that context because of your own hang up with the words. The origin of "guy" was in reference to Guy Fawkes. Then over time it became defined as a group of males. Just in the same way the definition changed, it can change again. Words and their meaning are fluid and only how we decide what they mean.

If everybody uses a term like "guys" to refer to a group of people of different genders and sex, then it's not exclusionary.
 
OP
OP
astro
Oct 25, 2017
11,200
RE: responses to that latest question in thread:

This is what I expected I think. When you're not part of a group of people who has been under represented/denied, the idea of it won't really hurt you. You have so much representation and affirmation of your gender identity that you're bullet proof here.

Honestly, I was a silly question to ask because of this.
 
Last edited:

Muu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
486
the modern definition of "guys" says it's gender neutral, but it's not uncommon to think of 'guy' as a male, 'gal' as female. Who do you image if someone describes the scene as "four guys are huddled by the fire?" Going by the idea of intent vs impact it'd be wise not to use that either, even if it fits OP's view of gender neutral.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,825
Québec City
I never say 'boys' when addressing everyone here, as I know we have a wide range of people here, though I use 'guys'.

I don't use it thinking I'm talking to a bunch of dudes though, I think 'guys' is a more non-gendered way to talk to everyone, would I be right?

If not then my bad, English isn't my first language and even though I'm pretty good with it, some fixes here and there could always be needed! :P

Would 'folks' work then?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,028
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Not defending anything, but in regard to this question, I wouldn’t really care. I don’t there would be much confusion in my case though.
 
Nov 1, 2017
4,019
Eastern US
Guys is informal and absolutely non-gendered.

A Fall Guy can be a male or female as can a Wise Guy.

This thread happened before and is once again trying to rewrite the English language.
Yeap, at this point "guys" is more of a general term covering any gender. I have heard women use it when speaking to mixed gender audiences/team's (office teams not necessarily sport).

Folks is another term I use and have seen used. Y'all is too Southern, I don't have an accent to pull that unless in jest.

Boys is normally used when talking to men, boys, etc... ie male gender. Dudes is a bit more generic.
 
May 9, 2018
5,496
I vote we abolish the word boy and replace it with the much superior boi.
facts

i dont say it too often, at least not that i know. "I think these guys are going left" is a much more common thing I would say if i didnt know who they were. In games I usually go with whatever character they are using which maybe is odd but like if for example im playing a war game and its a man im shooting i will refer that player as he and if its a woman im shooting i will refer to that player as she just to make it simple for everyone that im talking to instead of saying there full gamertag XxXKush_BlazerX69X


I'll still say guys tho unless someone I hang out with asks me to do otherwise and if they do i gladly will change to something we both agree is a better term. I sure as hell aint saying y'all tho fuck that shit.
 
Oct 28, 2017
252
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Don't care - worked in Childcare education so "girls" was common. The only way you change this is by saying "folks" or "people". If this is the biggest issue you are facing as a non-binary than life for you ins't so bad.
 
OP
OP
astro
Oct 25, 2017
11,200
Don't care - worked in Childcare education so "girls" was common. The only way you change this is by saying "folks" or "people". If this is the biggest issue you are facing as a non-binary than life for you ins't so bad.
This is not the worst thing by far. It is one thing, one of the many little cuts.

I'm not sure I ever said my life was awful.
 
Oct 25, 2017
20,265
RE: responses to that latest question in thread:

This is what I expected I think. When you're not part of a group of people who has been under represented/denied, the idea of it won't really hurt you. You have so much representation and affirmation of your identity that you're bullet proof here.

Honestly, I was a silly question to ask because of this.
Not everyone's identity is just their gender and them feeling under represented or denied isn't just tied to that.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,652
I refer to groups as guys quite often, and I'm not even a guy. However if someone in said group expressed discomfort with that I would use another term. I've never had someone tell me it made them uncomfortable though.
 
OP
OP
astro
Oct 25, 2017
11,200
Not everyone's identity is just their gender and them feeling under represented or denied isn't just tied to that.
That's because these people have never had to question/defend their identity in the same way.

Look, this is not an attack on people. This is a polite request to listen to those of us this affects. I don't understand why so many are dismissive here.
 
Oct 27, 2017
983
I would have thought everyone just used guys? I see it at this point as a word that is non gendered.
It's pretty common because of the loss as you as a second person plural pronoun in early modern English. The other issue is that the substitutes that have developed occur mainly in what some consider low prestige dialects of English.

The Australian youse is a good example of this, it's a perfect application of grammatical rules by pairing the pronoun with an inflectional morpheme to make it plural. But it is looked down upon as an indicator of a lower socioeconomic background.
 

marrec

Banned
Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,516
He's a man. As to why he uses it, I can't really tell you. I never asked. My workplace is not just men though. Fairly big place, 7/3 ratio of men maybe?
The context of their word choice would be interesting here.

Generally men use "girls" or "ladies" as a joke, to playfully denigrate a group by comparing them to the "weaker" gender, even if the person using "girls" or "ladies" doesn't believe the gender is weaker themselves.

However, with the way gendered language is changing these days I would not at all be surprised to find people using all kinds of previously gendered terms in completely non-gendered ways.
 
Oct 25, 2017
20,265
That's because these people have never had to question/defend their identity.
What about someone's race? Again, you're trying to say that someone's identity is just tied to their gender, when their identity could be other things. Are you gonna tell a male POC that they've never felt under represented?
 

Mhj

Banned
Member
Oct 30, 2017
858
User banned (2 weeks): trolling, history of similar and severe infractions
Can we use “bags of flesh”, or is that offensive to you as well?
 
Oct 27, 2017
55
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Honestly, just saying it out loud now, I like it equally as much as saying boys. I think it's the childishness and informality that evokes a feeling of familiarity, which makes one feel closer to the group in saying it. Where else but with your friends would you call yourself a group of boys or girls, instead of men or women, ladies or gents, or what have you. Thus using any phrase like that identifies the intentions of the speaker. In my head I literally just thought of this intention as, "Boys, I want to be friends with you" so clearly this idea is ingrained in my head if I instinctively used the phrase in question in my description of it.

I personally feel that the more accepted terms that people have brought up in this thread do not evoke the same feeling for me because they are just that, more accepted and thus more common in a professional, or any kind of formal situation. I have heard "Alright guys/team/folks/everyone, ..." at work, but I've never heard "Alright boys/girls, ..." outside of informal interactions with individuals I am friendly with. I have only skimmed this thread, but I cannot think of any other words to refer to a group of persons that evokes this same feeling for me

QUICK EDIT: Just to add to the boys vs girls thing, someone already mentioned it above, but I think the reason that boys is the most common phrase for this is because generally in online games you'll hear a lot of people who sound like males so we use the male-gendered version. If I was saying this to a group of friends that was mostly girls I might switch it up, but I also feel like if I wasn't friendly with them it would come off as creepy, like a womanizer introducing himself to a group of women with "Hello ladies..." so I don't know. It's hard to explain.
 
Feb 24, 2019
35
Some of these replies are pretty privileged. I work in a customer facing service job and the very first time I misgendered someone using "guys" I was massively embarassed. I could see the look on their face when it happened and I promised from then on I'd try my absolute best to remove the plural "guys" from my speech and start using "folks" or "everyone" instead. I'm not perfect and still do it on occasion but I make the effort every day in all interactions, in person or otherwise.

Saying it has grown to become non-gendered is deflecting especially in the light that there are some in this very thread who are saying that it is hurtful, embarassing, or uncomfortable when it is said to them.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,412
Yeh, quick test:

How many of you defending the use of Boys would be happy if we replaced it with Girls? Be honest.
Doesn't bother me. Same thing when people say " Let's do this ladies!". Like 99% of the time anybody says stuff like this, it's in lightheartedness ( is that even a word? lol).
 
Oct 26, 2017
241
This too. Like, I get people don't mean anything by it, but it's really weird when people say something like for instance "Jolteon is the best spiky boi" and stuff like that. I get they don't mean anything by it, but it's really weird to refer to animals, or in this case, fictional animals as a specific gender when they come in both varieties, and yeah... I know they don't mean anything by it, but it's definitely weird to just refer to an entire species as a specific gender like that, and that's another thing I try to be careful of as well.
Ha, I'm glad you're using Pokemon as an example, because this is where I see it the most, and it annoys me every time.

I specifically remember at one point, someone referring to a non-gendered Pokemon as "she", only to immediately get hounded on by people going "BUT IT'S GENDERLESS!". Where the fuck are these people when literally every other monster is referred to as a male? Lmao.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,095
I commonly refer to my gf and her friend(s) as "guys" when they're over, all women.

Like, "hey guys, check this out" or something

My group of dude friends and I constantly refer to our weekly hangout as "boys night" and say things like "let's go boys", "you boys ready?"

However, if a woman or non-binary person were in the group (say one of our girlfriends), I guess I'd still say "guys" but not "boys"

Not sure why that's different.