If you’re a hardcore Twitchy fan — and of course you are — you might have noticed that we use the word “guys” quite a bit in headlines, and we’ll admit we used it even more than usual after reading Vox’s hot take in 2015 that it was finally time for everyone to stop using the word “guys.”
“If you get a jump on changing now,” the argument went, “you can avoid being like your grandfather who is still saying ‘negro’ because he doesn’t mean anything by it and that’s what they used to say in his day and he doesn’t see the point of evolving.”
It’s now three years later, and apparently Vox’s campaign to retire the word “guys” didn’t take, because now The Atlantic has published its own piece on the problem with “guys.”
— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) August 23, 2018
There are, of course, plenty of people—including many women—who have no problem being addressed as “guys,” think the word has evolved to be entirely gender-neutral, and don’t see a reason to change their usage. But others aren’t so sure. “I think there’s a really serious and welcome reconception of gender lines and relationships between sex and gender going on,” says John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics at Columbia University and has written several books about language. He says “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.
In my reporting I heard from several people who said that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people. “As a transgender woman, I consciously began trying to stop using guys some years ago,” says Brad Ward, a college counselor at a high school in Atherton, California. She added, “When I’m included with a group that is called guys, there’s some pain, since it takes me back to my male days in a way that I’d rather not go.”
Obviously, no one wants to cause anyone pain, but come on: it never occurred to even the most radical of feminists who attended the Women’s March that their “pussy hats” were offensive to trans women because they equated being a woman with having a vagina. So forgive us if we’re a little behind on keeping track of what’s offensive in 2018.
Sorry, guys … um, folks.
I used the phrase ‘you guys’ when addressing a group of non gender specific colleagues. I was so ashamed that I had my penis removed after work to show my remorse. I was humbled to learn that all (former) male colleagues had the same operation. WE are what makes America great
— Cole Carlino (@CHCarlino) August 23, 2018
Not all heroes wear capes. I salute you sir
— Mooreso (@Mooreso1981) August 23, 2018
So you’re telling me… there are people on this Earth who carry around cards just in case they need to let somebody know that the word “guys” offends them? God help us.
— alexbrakefield (@alexbrakefield) August 25, 2018
Yes, a former sociology professor made a card you can print out and leave with anyone who refers to your group as “guys.”
No matter how you feel about the word "guys" or the phrase "you guys," please don't leave a card behind for your waiter asking them not to say it in the future. You can instead respectfully say to them, in the moment, "I'd prefer it if you'd say y'all" and then move on. https://t.co/F2wYdAcUU3
— Laura Hautala (@lhautala) August 23, 2018
Come on guys lets all calm down
— Andrew (@andrule11) August 23, 2018
Come on guys cant we talk about this
— Beans (@Have_To_Pee_Brb) August 24, 2018
Yeah… how about no. https://t.co/6bsxaPbUBH
— Paige Lambermont (@paigelambermont) August 23, 2018
Guys this is pathetic https://t.co/xr4M4errkS
— Ian Nacho (@samwoolerton) August 23, 2018
I call everyone 'babe' is that okay
— Brandon M. Capps (@BrandonMCapps) August 24, 2018
luckily been switching to “yo”
— Buka Cakrawala (@bukacak) August 24, 2018
It's time to recognize "y'all" as standard American English. https://t.co/io5LEpKc44
— J.E. Blanton (@pwphalian) August 23, 2018
Hey, guys, another crucially important problem to agonize over now that we’ve solved the “front hole” conundrum.
— Daniel Lee (@RealDanLee) August 23, 2018
Oh yeah … we apologize for using the word “vagina” earlier in this post rather than the more gender-inclusive “front hole.”
People are beginning to understand that language is infected by patriarchy. Language has been used to further minimize the existence and voices of women. https://t.co/USHCssia4X
— Lis (@Pajaritolibera1) August 24, 2018
What hasn’t been infected by patriarchy, right?
Gender-inclusive wedding speech greeting needed; James Woods lends a hand https://t.co/uX5IjTBBxp
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 9, 2018