guys calling girls dude

This has been happening more and more to me lately.  What’s up with that?

Do women, when excited about something or making an emphatic statement, say to a man “oh my god, gurrrrl!” No, they do not. A man’s head would swivel 360 degrees around on his neck and he would look at you in that penetrating and accusing way some men have when you say something “wrong.” Yet “dude” flows off the tongue of some men with the ease of “hello.”

I am usually not a stickler for words, and I have little dogma where language is concerned. Racial, sexual, and ethnic epithets and mean names are never cool, but anything else  just about goes. We are intelligent beings; we might as well have fun with communication. Word play, double entendres, puns, metaphors, similes: I’m all for ’em! But when a guy calls me “dude,” I feel a little strange.

I am certain that this is just a generic term, on the level of “yo!” or “hey!” but it still makes me feel a little unwomanly when I am addressed as “dude.” On the one hand, I’m sure it’s due to the person’s comfort level with me, that I appear approachable or relateable. But people fart and pick their nose around those they feel comfortable around too.

Can you imagine a couple in bed, the man relaxed and glib after a great roll in the hay, and he turns to his woman and says “dude, that was great.” Or how about on a date, when relating a particularly exciting story, the man says to the woman, “dude, you won’t believe it!” Or even between friends, when a man is making a point, an emphatic statement of agreement equal to “hell yah!” or “can you believe it!” or “totally!” the phrase is instead “dude!” Maybe this is the ultimate male compliment: what more self-referential way to indicate agreement, buy-in, and support than to refer to someone else with a slang term for your own gender?

Women do it too. When emphatic or excited or to indicate empathy or sympathy, often a “gurrrrrl” will do. The “urrrrrrl” part of the word is always drawn out, the more mellifluous and extended, the deeper the level of agreement or sympathy. But you’ll never hear a woman speak to a man this way.

Next time a guy addresses me as “dude” I am going to call him “girl” within a few sentences just as an experiment. My money’s on the fact that he hasn’t even noticed he has taken to calling me, in effect, “hey guy” and will be shocked and possibly offended that I have addressed him using feminine slang.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch, girl!


~ by Lola on June 17, 2009.

One Response to “guys calling girls dude”

  1. A coworker called me a dude twice on lunch the other day. It felt so strange, but I said nothing, because I am trying to fit in at te new job.

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