Thursday, August 9, 2007

Grrrrrrl Power

Fresh on the heels of "Cleavage-gate," it seems Hillary Clinton has committed another campaign faux-pas. In Tuesday night's debate in Chicago, she said:

"For 15 years, I have stood up against the right-wing machine and I've come out stronger. So if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I'm your girl."
Girl? She said GIRL?!!! Quelle horreur!!! How retro! How anti-feminist! How come I don't give a flying @#$%?!!!

The Washington Post's Reliable Source asked various "girls" for their opinion on Hillary's grammatical gaffe (OK, I know it wasn't a GRAMMAR issue, but I was going for the cool alliteration...) and most were as dispassionate about it as I am.

Years ago, I would have never referred to myself as a "girl" and would have taken great exception to anyone sticking me with that label. I remember talking with guy I was going to college with and he referred to this "girl" he had worked with over the summer. "Really?" I said. "They let 13 year-olds work in an office?" Yeah, I was a pisser even back then. He got my point--although he didn't necessarily agree with it. Not surprising, since I doubt anyone referred to him as a "boy."

Then came the 90s with grrrl power and Riot Grrrls and Gwen Stefani singing "Just a Girl." This third wave of feminism elevated the diminutive and dismissive "girl" into a badge of honor.

But it's not grrrl power or Veruca Salt or Tank Girl that's gotten me to "zen" out about the term "girl." It's that I am so OLD now that being referred to as a "girl" is a compliment and not a slight. If you really want to get this old "girl" riled--call me "Ma'am" or "lady."

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