are your thoughts about the
word "chick"? I used to debate
a coworker who considered herself
an anti-feminist. In our first
discussion of feminism, she
agreed with me that women should
get equal pay for equal work,
that abortion should be legal,
and that women should be allowed
to vote. "So where's your disagreement
with feminists?" I asked. "Well
like ... They won't let you
say 'girl' or 'chick' or anything."
Luckily, we worked in a bookstore,
so I was able to find some feminist
lit. which used the word "chick".
So it felt strange when, at
my more recent McJob, a co-worker
took me to task for referring
to women as "chicks". Is there
something sexist about the word
"chick"? - Bil
for your note to FEMINIST.COM.
I'm a big supporter of it all
being about context. For instance,
I work at Ms.
Magazine and trust my co-workers
judgement and know that nothing
they say is meant to be offensive.
However, there are sometimes
where it is, which usually happens
because I'm feeling sensitive,
but also happens because of
the context. I personally don't
use the work "chick," but many
feminist friends of mine do.
I do use the word "girls," but
again only in a context where
listeners will know that it
isn't meant to be belittling.
Sorry I couldn't give you a
definitive answer. Based on
what I know about you, it sounds
like you haven't done anything
wrong and hopefully that response
came just because this co-worker
didn't yet know you and trust
your judgement, therefore, assuming
that you were being demeaning.
However, you should also be
sensitive to where he/she may
be coming from. This sounds
like something that can be easily
talked through and remember
that there are bigger battles.