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Why is it derogatory to call a male 'lady' or 'girl'?


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#1 Bart.

Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:56 AM

I've noticed that when you call a man "lady" or "girl", it's intended as a derogatory term.  I see it in the entertainment and media industry all the time where a group of men might be called "ladies", which is meant to talk down to them, or a weak male might be called "a big girl".

Another one is the term 'Son of a b!tch".  Surely that's more offensive to the mother than the son, so why use it?

I don't get it.   unsure.gif


#2 Monket

Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:03 AM

Ah, we women know that it is a complement....but men are too stupid to work that out!

The son of a b**ch thing I take as meaning the person is a dog, so son of a female dog.  Again, a complement in my books.  Most dogs I have met have been nicer than most of the people I have met.

#3 MrsLexiK

Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:15 AM

I don't think it is that different then saying "she's like a man" or "she looks like a bloke"

Son of a biatch well you are insulted the mother in a way yes. Most men don't like to have their mummies insulted so you are hitting them at their core.

#4 Bart.

Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:47 AM

I hadn't thought about the dog aspect.  

MrsLexiK, I see your point.  However, if you said to a group of women, "hello boys", you'd get a lot of  huh.gif .   Tounge1.gif

I wonder why it's an insult to call a person the other gender?

#5 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:49 AM

Because being female is the worst insult possible to a man as we all know women aren't half the human men are.

Women acting like men is just as bad because it means she doesn't know her place.



#6 kpingitquiet

Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:55 AM

It's rare that maleness is used as an insult. Much more common for femaleness to be used that way.

The reason is that in the minds of many, most who don't even consider themselves misogynists, femaleness = weak, emotional, unworthy, lesser, frivolous, gossipy, etc. So, to call a man a girl, you are, in this mindset, stripping away his maleness and turning him into what he dislikes the most...a female.

Calling a woman a man is more often seen as a compliment., "You've got balls!" means you were brave, bold, fearless. "You da man!" means you took control of a situation or shut someone else down, successfully. Obviously the rare "She looks like a man" is an insult but you'd probably feel just as insulted if they said "She looks like a horse."

Welcome to gender psychology biggrin.gif

#7 caninestorm

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE (Sassy Girl @ 11/11/2012, 07:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's an insult because it's not the gender they are. It would be just as insulting to call women 'men' or 'boys'

As for 'son of a b**ch', I have always felt that was a two pronged insult both to the person it was directed at and their mother.


I agree. Calling someone something they're not is generally offensive, is it not? huh.gif

#8 Dionysus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:05 AM

because being a woman (weak, inferior, useless) is the worst thing one can be

Actually, being a part of the female anatomy (c**t) is even worse than that

What's the equivalent of c**t?

"You are a d*ck"  - mild insult

"You cocked that up" - mild insult

"c*cksucker" is worse than both of the above - meaning you are the effeminate person in a relationship (weak, inferior, useless)










#9 Bart.

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:10 AM

QUOTE (Dinosaurus @ 11/11/2012, 07:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Because being female is the worst insult possible to a man as we all know women aren't half the human men are.

Women acting like men is just as bad because it means she doesn't know her place.

Admittedly, this was closer to my suspicions.

So then if you call a guy a "big girl", then it's a double insult because you're either an extreme girl or an overweight/tall one.  rolleyes.gif

Edited by Bartholomew, 11 November 2012 - 07:11 AM.


#10 Feral Borgia

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:10 AM

...and why is it that a word beginning with "c" ...another word for vagina...is considered the worst insult of all, and is unprintable in most publications? Interesting issues to ponder on a Sunday morning....

#11 shutterspeed

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

I think for the vast majority, it isn't about misogyny or being better than women. The insult is meant to imply that they don't know how to be a man.





#12 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

The c word is the worst insult because it belongs to loose women - nice girls have *cats*

Alas it (gender warfare) is still alive and well - my 3 1/2 year old informs me he doesn't want to go to school with girls because he doesn't like girls! Ah the fun to come!

#13 Bart.

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:30 AM

It's incredible how common the insult is, though.  My sister called her husband "a big girl" when he didn't want go to Canberra because it was cold.  I asked her what was wrong with being a girl?  After all, she was going and she was a girl.  She honestly hadn't thought about it before and said, "then he's a wuss". laughing2.gif


#14 wombat

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:31 AM

I have a friend who's husband used to tell thier boys to "stop acting like a girl" whenever they complained about anything.  I pointed out to my friend how wrong this was, that I thought it was giving the impression to her boys that girls were inferior and the absolute worse thing in the world you would want to be.  She said she had never thought of it that way and asked him to stop.  I also secretly wondered what thier relationship must be like if her husband had such a low opinion of females, but I get that to my self wink.gif

#15 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:46 AM

Oh Wombat you're nicer than me, when a friend (one in particular) does that in front of me and my sons he cops it on the spot. His wife isn't a lot better though, she has said some of the most shocking things I've ever heard, and then he says "I think we should agree to disagree" and I say "no, you are a sexist pig, it's not a disagreement it's a fact" laughing2.gif

He hasn't said anything like that in a long while though, probably just not in front of me but to be fair I haven't heard it from his son either and he is well of the age of repeating everything.



#16 wombat

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:04 AM

QUOTE
Oh Wombat you're nicer than me, when a friend (one in particular) does that in front of me and my sons he cops it on the spot. His wife isn't a lot better though, she has said some of the most shocking things I've ever heard, and then he says "I think we should agree to disagree" and I say "no, you are a sexist pig, it's not a disagreement it's a fact"

He hasn't said anything like that in a long while though, probably just not in front of me but to be fair I haven't heard it from his son either and he is well of the age of repeating everything
.
Good for you!!!  As the mother of a daughter I find it hard enough as it is to provide her with positive re-inforcements about her gender, given the stupid things people say.  Another of my favourites is "oh you know, girls are so b**chy at that age"  (apparently at any age according to some people).  I've even been flamed on EB for daring to suggest that this is not true, particularly in my house. Apparently I am wearing rose coloured glasses and my DD MUST be a litlle b**ch, because she is genetically programed that way and it is unavoidable. No wonder males grow up with such a low opinion of women, with so many people re-inforcing this sexist crap. In fact it is just lazy parenting - lets just let the kids act anyway they want and blame it on gender.  People are so stupid it makes my head hurt. rant.gif

#17 Jane F. Jetson

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

Because according to people who think this way, there are two types of people:

1. men (default)
2. sub-humans (women and gay men).

To call a group of men "ladies" is to insinuate that they are sub-par humans, that is, inferior, weak and incompetent. It's nothing to do with simply being called something they're not.

#18 Cat People

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:19 AM

There are women who are offended by the term "lady" as well; just so you know.  I can't say I'm thrilled about the term myself.

#19 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:21 AM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 11/11/2012, 09:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are women who are offended by the term "lady" as well; just so you know.  I can't say I'm thrilled about the term myself.


Why?

#20 Feral like a Lemon

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 11/11/2012, 07:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's rare that maleness is used as an insult. Much more common for femaleness to be used that way.

The reason is that in the minds of many, most who don't even consider themselves misogynists, femaleness = weak, emotional, unworthy, lesser, frivolous, gossipy, etc. So, to call a man a girl, you are, in this mindset, stripping away his maleness and turning him into what he dislikes the most...a female.

Calling a woman a man is more often seen as a compliment., "You've got balls!" means you were brave, bold, fearless. "You da man!" means you took control of a situation or shut someone else down, successfully. Obviously the rare "She looks like a man" is an insult but you'd probably feel just as insulted if they said "She looks like a horse."

Welcome to gender psychology biggrin.gif


I could have written a response but Kpingitquiet did it so perfectly.


#21 Cat People

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:27 AM

QUOTE (Dinosaurus @ 11/11/2012, 09:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why?


Think about what the term "lady" conjures up in your mind - a neat, tidy woman who doesn't drink, smoke or swear.  She certainly wouldn't answer back or raise her voice, she's a "lady" after all.

From the dictionary -


la·dy/ˈlādē/
Noun:
A woman (used as a polite or old-fashioned form of reference).
A woman of superior social position, esp. one of noble birth: "lords and ladies".

#22 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:32 AM

I tend to go with A, interchangeable with woman. I would use it in the context of saying "move out of the lady's way" to DS, I also use it with two e's on the end to call my friends "awesome ladee" when they have done something awesome original.gif

I definitely don't conjure up and image of anything more than a female in my mind, but that's not necessarily true of everyone obviously.

I don't really think about the lords and and ladies context, after all Lady Di was a lady and, well biggrin.gif

I shall definitely refrain from calling you a lady though Madame Catty, if I get in your way at the supermarket which term would you prefer?

#23 Cat People

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (Dinosaurus @ 11/11/2012, 09:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I shall definitely refrain from calling you a lady though Madame Catty, if I get in your way at the supermarket which term would you prefer?


Madame of course!


I'm not really offended, as I do it myself.  It doesn't seem quite right to call someone a "woman" as in "say excuse me to the woman ds", the term "lady" seems more polite.  However I do understand the offence.  For example, it's often used as an insult "she's NO lady!" to imply a woman is perhaps promiscuous, loud or uncouth.


#24 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:46 AM

I find it helpful when age is questionable, I don't want to call and adult a girl but calling a child a woman also seems wrong. Lady covers everyone.

Yes "she's no lady" is obviously an insult, I don't use it in that context laughing2.gif I haven't heard that for a long time though, I suppose the same people who call their sons girls still tell people their wives aren't ladies rolleyes.gif

I am NOT calling everyone in the supermarket madam in case I run into you - I am certain "move out of the madams way" would hold far more connotations for most than "lady" laughing2.gif

#25 EsmeLennox

Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

The idiom son of a b**ch is actually calling a man a dog, a mean and aggressive dog. Shakespeare used it in King Lear.

I dislike the term 'lady' too MC, it makes me feel quite uncomfortable for some reason.




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