Yes, I’ve probably written about this before. But it still rankles me when I hear women — some of them self-proclaimed feminists — referring to each other as guys, as in “Hey, guys, what’s up?” And no, they don’t self-identify as men.

Yet, if anybody dared to use the word “gals” instead of “guys” in that sentence, they would probably be accused of something . . .

I know women who resent being referred to as a “guy,” and if they speak up about it, other women shoot them down, as in “grow a pair, will you.”

So what exactly does all this mean? What do some women seem to be determined to masculinize all women with that word? And why is it they don’t see that they are masculinizing each other by using the word? Why is it so many women don’t mind being referred to as men?

Let’s face it: “Guys” is not really a gender-neutral word. It refers to males. It is being misappropriated. You might argue that language evolves, and its meaning has changed. And it is true that it is an “informal” word used to refer to both sexes.

But you wouldn’t see a newspaper report referring to women as guys, because it is not that informal.

Sigh . . . I know I am going to lose this battle, and that no matter my protestations, people will trample all over my views and feelings about this. Because, you see, that is what the patriarchy has been doing for so long to so many people.

Unless, of course, “gals” becomes a gender-neutral word and guys don’t mind being called that.

— Jillian