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What 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

Thanks 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.


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