Do you refer to other adults as "boy" or "girl"?

Normal adults usually only refer to someone else as a "boy" or a "girl" if:
- the person is a child,
- the person looks young and they mean it with fondness or in a friendliness, or
- they regard the person as someone with lower social status.

I've had colleagues at work refer to me as "girl" - which I find condescending in a time when we no longer refer to administrative assistants as "office girl" or "office boy" and even more so when we hold the same job title (and it's not administrative assistant). Of course, it is not just the word but their behavior which confirm that they feel a their sense of superiority over me.

Whatever happened to respect for one another? Regardless of job title or role in the company, I think everyone - CFO, CFO, managers, associates, admin assistants and cleaners - deserves equal respect.


Anonymous said...

This is due to the fact that under the Leech Con-You education system, you only get dumb ass holes who can't grow up.
So they call each other boys and girls!

David said...


Casually one might here a group of men and women addressed as "girls and boys".

The description of the event where you were called a girl, is in the workplace.

Your coworker did not show you proper respect. He is either uncaring and rude. Perhaps he feels threatened by you and your skill set.

There is no excuse for his behavior.

If he persist in calling you are girl, then you should contact your companies Human relations department and determine what course of action is available, or perhaps SGs human rights division.

Let us know how this plays out!


Anonymous said...

The person may be a paedophile that is why he can't stop thinking and calling people boys and girls. He is thinking of sexually abusing people all the time.

Better make a police report and have the person investigated.

You find plenty of such people in Western countries where sexual abuse of boys and girls are very common e.g. in USA, a father kept his daughter as a sex slave for years and sired even more children with this daughter! That is why people say USA is the most corrupt country in the world, it is moral corruption! They created GFC by selling junk all round the world!

Paul said...


I think this is the prevailing culture in Singapore which we cannot do much about...Just like the recent movie Ah Boys To Men...Ah boy or ah girl is the common way of addressing a young guy or young lady and much of our elderly folks are already ingrained to this way of addressing our younger folks...besides, if they addresses you as "woman", would it be more condescending ? Guess it would be wise to be magnanimous in this situation.

Yu-Kym said...

It wasn't a Singaporean who referred to me as "girl". It was someone from a developed country. In general, most HR departments in SG are a joke. They don't know how to handle such incidents.