So I recently attended a conference session on empowering youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia put on by the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
I was really impressed.
Daniel Solis (their Southern California Program Coordinator) and two amazing teen facilitators, Claudia and Emily, went around the room and asked as we all introduced ourselves for our preferred gender pronouns - that sparked some great conversations. (Like we've been exploring with Lucy in our Gender 101 series, there are more than two genders, and you can't always tell by the way someone looks how they identify. So there would be ZE/HIR/HIRS (pronounced "Zee", "Here" and "Here's"), SHE/HER/HERS, HE/HIM/HIS, and another gender-neutral option, THEY/THEM/THEIRS.)
One of the things that came up in the discussion was the gender bias behind using
"you guys"when talking to a group of people who maybe aren't all guys.
And for those who aren't guys, the expression is a not-so-subtle reminder of male privilege and the patriarchal power structure of our culture.
I know I say "you guys" all the time.
But now that the problem with the phrase has been pointed out to me, I know I can do better. We all can.
So here are some options. Instead of
"You guys"how about
... and I'm open to your suggestions, too.
What are some other good options to "you guys?"
So let's all take the challenge to make our world a less gender-biased place, and let's all watch our words! What do you say, you all?