Calling adult female employees 'girls'

(57 Posts)
Mandytm Mon 04-Mar-13 15:40:52

I was just in the post office and there was a sign on the wall saying 'please do not use your mobile phone while the girls are serving you'.

There were 4 women working behind the glass, all aged between 40 and 60 I would say.

It makes me think of the 17th Century when a rich English household might have an adult black man servant and call him 'boy'.

Am I the only one who gets so bugged by things like this?

VerySmallSqueak Wed 13-Mar-13 00:05:06

I think you are absolutely right to complain Mandytm.

It is totally inappropriate to call women 'girls' on a sign in the workplace.
I am very surprised that it ever made it on to the wall.
I think it definitely needs to be making its way off the wall.

TiggyD Wed 13-Mar-13 09:57:03

"No, what will they do if they employ a man?"
He'll probably be counted as one of the girls. That happens all the time in nurseries should a man be working in one.

mysterymeg Wed 13-Mar-13 10:42:14

Told a colleague off for this yesterday. Heasked "have you got that girl's email address?". The adult woman in question is high up in a rival firm. Her job title indicates that she is probably on a salary approaching three figs and is a lot more senior than both me and my colleague.

I pointed out that girl means a non-adult female. He looked confused.

Sausageeggbacon Wed 13-Mar-13 11:25:32

OP bit worried about your view here, did you ask the ladies behind the counter how they felt about the sign? It could be they asked for it to be put up and that they refer to themselves as the "girls". It could be how they are referred to by their regular customers. It could be that they wanted the word girls there to make themselves feel younger.

Before you go off defending some of us older ladies you might want to check with us if we need the help. And with the ladies I work with we refer to ourselves as the girls and the people around us know it. I would take offence if someone decided they know best about how I wanted to be referred to.

First of all bingo you seem to not know the definition of the word girls. Dictionaries are available. Sausage the op is not defending the women involved she is merely remarking on a word that continues to demean all women. I don't give a fuck if every 85 year old woman there wants to call herself lady fucking gaga but using "girls" in a professional context when many of us are still working to be taken seriously in the workplace is not appropriate.

Sausageeggbacon Wed 13-Mar-13 15:41:14

So if the women there want to be called girls then you would want to ignore what they want??? And people wonder why some women don't like aspects of feminism. You would hate my mother, she is almost 80 and calls anyone under the age of 60 a girl.

I yes I know the dictionary definition. I did learn to read quite a few years ago.

VerySmallSqueak Wed 13-Mar-13 15:50:14

The women working there can call each other girls if they wish.If they want to allow others to call them girls that's also fine by me.

A complaint, urging that the sign be removed wouldn't impact on the choices they make as individuals.

I think not challenging the sign,could have an impact on the choices I wish to make, as an individual, and the choices I wish my daughters to be able to make,because it's part of a whole imo.

oliviamumsnet may very well call the rest of mnhq a bunch of cunts (in an affectionate manner obviously and because MN is a fairly informal forum) however she would probably draw the line at "cunts at work" because it is likely to offend others and would therefore be inappropriate. My dictionary comment was not directed you by the way so for someone who can read......

HollyMadison Wed 13-Mar-13 16:46:38

I hate it too. I especially hate that my parents and others of their generation will refer to female workers in administrative or similar roles as "girls" but females in "professional" roles will be referred to awkwardly as "lady lawyer" or whatever. Terrible.

lady lawyer grin

Mandytm Fri 15-Mar-13 13:50:54

"Lady lawyer" ewww.

The Post Office just replied apologising and saying "this will be taken down and replaced with another sign with more appropriate wording."

good job Mandy!

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 15-Mar-13 16:51:40

Way to go, Mandy!

VerySmallSqueak Fri 15-Mar-13 20:04:20

Excellent - a positive result!

TyroneDontMoan Fri 15-Mar-13 21:55:23

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Mandytm Fri 15-Mar-13 22:58:07

Thanks Tyrone, I'm sure you've got all the bigger problems in the world covered so I'll focus on the small ones for now.

TeiTetua Fri 15-Mar-13 23:01:10

Well, "Think globally, act locally" is a common slogan that makes a lot of sense.

Schooldidi Fri 15-Mar-13 23:03:34

It is possible to care about big problems and small problems at the same time you know Tyrone.

willyoulistentome Fri 15-Mar-13 23:04:33

My boss calls me 'top bird' - even in email communications. I'm not sure whether to take offence or be flattered.

what have you done today Tyrone? anything? nothing? yeah that's what I thought. some of us are capable of being concerned about more than one thing. still, glad comedy relief is getting through....

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 11:02:24

Tyrone, I am concerned about the starving children in Africa. I'm also concerned about the starving children in any other country.I am concerned about many issues,in fact.
Including women being taken seriously.
It's not that hard,really,to actually care in general.
And action at grass roots level is what changes things so often.

TyroneDontMoan Mon 18-Mar-13 06:57:31

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 18-Mar-13 10:35:35

Well done Mandy

" bingodiva

i think youve got too much time on your hands to notice a sign and then complain about it because you dont like it. last time i looked girls were female, all the people behind the desk were female - the sign was accurate..."

By your logic all serial killers are human, all mners are human therefore all mners are serial killers...

SimoneDeBeaver Mon 18-Mar-13 11:15:08

Tyrone if women were taken seriously world-wide and educated and looked after by health systems as they should be, there probably would be a lot less starving children.

So think of the really big picture here, please?

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