The other day, I sent an email to two of my coworkers suggesting some pictures for the agency’s archive. I’d begun the email by writing “Hey ladies J.” No big deal, eight?
Today I received a response answering my questions, with a final line that read: “Hey by the way I would consider limiting the use of the word ladies.” (BTW – that’s her punctuation mistake, not mine. I can make my own, thank you.)
Call me anti-feminist if you will (but everybody else will call you a liar), but I see nothing whatsoever offensive about the word “ladies.” Especially when used in such a jovial, friendly tone. I was incensed. Here is what I sent her by way of a response:
“Actually, I don’t have a problem with the word “ladies.” Both my grandmother and my mother were sticklers about the use of that word and drilled it in to my mind to use it as a sign of courtesy and respect. Since the Webster’s Dictionary agrees, I don’t take issue with it. Besides, I figure there are a lot more words out there in the American lexicon to get bent out of shape about. “Ladies” seems relatively harmless compared with these.”
For once, I actually sent back the response that I so often write in my blog but never say out loud. I’m blaming the hormones. In any case, I was quite pleased with myself.