#FirstWorldProblems Using the word ‘girl’ without sounding sexist

The word “girl” can be tricky.

I would know. Since I go by the moniker Grammar Girl, you won’t be surprised that I’m fine with the word; but I’ve been criticised by people who say I’m a grown woman and should identify as such.

To the complainers, I say I can call myself whatever I want, thank you.

Nevertheless, I see their point.

Entire insults are framed around the word “girl” (e.g., “throw like a girl” and “run like a girl”), and right now one of the hottest videos on YouTube is the Always #LikeAGirl campaign, which shows how telling kids they “hit like a girl” makes them think that girls are weak and somehow bad.

The video, complete with stirring music, tries to retake the word, encouraging girls to embrace their girlness and feel powerful. They ask, “Why can’t ‘run like a girl’ also mean ‘win the race?’ ”

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