Ever wanted a break from the "men" in your life, at and outside of work? There's now a Google Chrome extension for that.
"I was sick of being referred to as a girl instead of a woman in the workplace," she wrote, before letting users have at it.
Although the extension is a small, funny, personal swap that people can do on their own time, the issue it addresses can be a complicated one. The word "girl" can be totally fine in casual situations among friends, but in the workplace, it can also come across as infantilizing or dismissive.
Some Reddit users took the opportunity to share their stories about the times they pushed back against being referred to as a girl in the workplace.
Others, however, felt like using "girl" in a professional setting was more about compensating for the lack of a female equivalent to "guy," which is casual but can still be semi-professional (depending on the setting).
"Girl makes [sic] you feel like a child. Women is too formal. Ladies makes you feel old. Gals is unprofessional. Guys is the wrong gender. Females is too scientific," wrote thrownaway98943. (For the record, female is not only "scientific," but rude and unwanted — so let's strike that from the record completely.)
While it may be a fair point, women who don't want to be called "girls" aren't being paranoid misandrists. Again, context matters, as does tone. After all, the chefs who called Reddit user tapeforkbox a "little girl" when she was 21 weren't just searching for a neutral way to address her.
Women are often treated differently in the workplace, whether that includes being threatened, harassed, or diminished. Earlier this year, Martin R. Schneider learned that lesson after seeing the hostile way clients treated him when he accidentally signed off with a female colleague's name. Schneider initially thought he faced less pushback from those clients and his boss because he had more experience. But after the accidental swap, which led to an extended experiment, he realized (and his coworker Nicole received validation) that the vitriol was aimed at whomever was perceived to be female, in this case by name, over email.
If enjoying Darwin's The Descent of Man as The Descent of Boy provides even a small moment of merriment in the face of well-established workplace biases like those, so be it.