Sexual Politics: “Guys and Girls”
Gerald Howarth MP (Con) on today’s Daily Politics (BBC2 31 January 2013 – I paraphrase):
“We have Guys in Afghanistan …”
Interrupted by Thomas Docherty MP (Lab):
Where do we stand on Political Correctness in this exchange?
I am not sure that I would refer to servicewomen as “girls”; I probably would not refer to servicemen as “guys”. Yet in business when addressing my (coincidentally entirely male) team, I have used phrases like “Right Guys, let’s …”
Is “Guys” now a gender non-specific word? And was that how Gerald Howarth was using the word – or was he forgetting the contribution of servicewomen? If the latter was Thomas Docherty correct to try to correct him in the way he did? If not how should he have corrected him?
(And should I tag this post with “girls” – or will that attract the wrong type of reader?)