Friday, November 6, 2009


Are you expecting another gay marriage post? It's not (although, seriously, the fact that not a single elected representative has the spine to stand up and say that a civil right should NOT be up to a vote is pretty galling), it's about the actual words.

Last night I was lying in bed watching Project Runway, and thinking, "God, these people and their stupid clothes are boring." Is it L.A.? Did L.A. suck all the life out of Project Runway? Even Tim Gunn seems disgusted by it. But that is neither here nor there. What struck me (and it definitely wasn't the clothes because these people are really bland designers), was when Chris (the blandest of them all) said "I'm the last boy here."

Chris is 29 years old. I'm pretty sure he's married with child. He is not a boy.

But we do that, don't we? I've been talking about my "girl's weekend away" that I'm embarking on tomorrow. But those of us heading out for this weekend away haven't been girls for a long time.

It seems as though we've invested some kind of heft into the words. We save them for political discussions about gay marriage and old people, as best as I can tell. For ten years now, I've made a point to use the word "woman" to describe grown women. And ten years into this project, it's still feels awkward coming out of my mouth*. It feels much more natural to say, "a girl from work," rather than "a woman from work."

Honestly, I don't know why it is. But, I do think it's worthwhile to remember that I am a woman and not a girl. I just wish I knew why the words "woman" and "man" seems so charged and loaded. Do you think they are? Thoughts?

*That's what she said. (couldn't stop myself)