No matter how old you are as a female, a night out with friends is always a ‘girls night’ and a trip is always ‘girls trip’. This classification of women at any age as ‘girls’ is so prevalent that we even use these terms ourselves. But we’re women, not girls.
This topic has been in my thoughts a lot after my best friend questioned why we were always referred to as girls. Women’s night just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
By continuously calling women girls, it infantilizes us. It’s a term bringing to mind young, innocent, beautiful girls. All characteristics society expects us to possess, all the time, no matter our true age.
But a girl does not describe women breaching their mid-twenties trying to find their lane (aka me). Nor does it describe women in their thirties dominating a career, motherhood, or both.
Being a girl is fun when you’re younger. But after a while, it isn’t cute being called a 24-year-old girl. I have more to offer myself and others now then I ever did as a girl.
Continuously calling a woman a girl downplays her accomplishments and discredits her hard work.
Maybe this topic wouldn’t sting as much if men were also called boys for as long as women are called girls. We hardly hear about ‘boys night’ or men taking ‘boys trips’. It’s always guys. Or in articles, they are always men.
Some women may not mind being called girls. To each their own. But in a time where sects of society are fighting for equal rights, labels matter. We’ve placed so much weight on them that consciously or not, they paint a picture of someone. Imagine a 20-year-old woman and a 20-year-old-girl. Very different pictures, right?
There are a million reasons why society chooses to call us girls instead of women. A girl doesn’t have all the same rights yet that a woman does. It allows culture to misrepresent all of us. It puts us on a second rung, at best, to men.
Throw in race, religion, ethnicity, and any other characteristic our society has used to objectivity and lessen people’s worth and our worth goes down. We have to change this. All of these characteristics listed are beautiful representations of who we are and how we are different.
Girls should have something to look forward to when they grow up. Not just the ability to drink or move out on their own and start a life for themselves. They should know that those accomplishments will be acknowledged simply by calling her a woman.
Girl power is great but women power, the sisterhood, and idea of women fixing each other’s crowns is even better. Let’s promote that.