Hi! Writing a book is hard. Really hard. Really, really, really hard. Okay. You get the picture.
That’s my excuse for not writing anything for my blog lately. Right now, my entire creative juices are being zapped by the book. I just flashed on some image of a super giant evil book attacking me like something from The Walking Dead and sucking out all my creative juices. No!!!!!!! Stop!!!!!!!!!! Not a good image at 6:29 am.
So onto the real reason why I am writing today, the reason I am on my high horse. (Actually, I didn’t even realize I had a high horse until just this morning, and now I am on it.)
Getting to the point, can someone please explain to me when we started referring to grown women as girls? I would love to understand who is responsible for this awful trend. I thought we went through the Women’s Liberation Movement to get past this. And now, suddenly, we have been set back something like 40 years. I cringe when I am in a session and I a hear grown man in his thirties and forties saying, “I went out with the cutest girl last night.” Or, they say, “I’m communicating with a couple of really cute girls.” Guys. What are you, fifteen years old? How would you like it if we started calling you boys? (Actually, much to my chagrin, this is starting to happen, as well.) No wonder we are having such a hard time finding mature partners and making our relationships last. We’ve all reverted to high school.
Folks, there is nothing hot boys and girls, unless you’re thinking Lolita, and then you’re looking at anything from a year to life imprisonment, depending on the state. (California seems to be the most lenient state with a one-year penalty.)
I have been reading “Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Set, Delay Love and Lose at Both” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laura Sessions Stepp. This riviting (and frightening) expose, explores how high school and college “girls” are hooking up for casual sex as a way to have power over and stay emotionally detached from men.
In the introduction, Stepp says, “The reader will notice that I use the words ‘girl’ and ‘girls’ in this book, along with ‘young woman’ and ‘young women.’ This is because female college students, and even some women in their twenties and thirties, call themselves girls. This practice puzzles those of us who came of age during the women’s movement and demanded that we be called women as soon as we reached eighteen, just as boys became men at that age. But it reflects, I think, the way young women, particularly those is middle- and upper-income families, have been protected, even coddled, to the point where they think of themselves not yet as adults. “
The words we choose are a reflection of our state-of-mind. As a dating and relationship coach, I am deeply concerned that, if men and women are calling themselves and each other boys and girls, then they are seeing themselves as children, not even teenagers. Girls and boys are just beginning to learn responsiblity. They don’t know how to pay bills, balance bank accounts, or manage time let alone think about things like marriage or children. You might think it’s all semantics, but it’s not. All you have to do is look at the divorce rates and the number of single parent families to see how well we are dealing with commitment.
Some of my clients try to justify this trend by saying that it is cute or sweet to think of ourselves as boys and girls. It’s not. I dated boys for most of my life and even married one. It took me 40 years grow up and find a grown man who is not afraid of commitment and responsibility. If I ever referred to him as a boy, even jokingly, it would be the end of our relationship. No joke. Does he have a “boyish” side? Absolutely. But he takes pride in being a man. Wen I am with him I love that I feel like a woman. I feel safe and secure. And when I know that my man is committed to being there for me and protecting me, then my little girl can safely come out to play.