Parents have been encouraging people to ditch the term "You Guys" when talking to children...
And as you could imagine, it's caused quite the debate online.
Because when it comes to raising children, there are many rules to follow.
We all want to raise respectable and polite children...
And when it comes to language, teaching them the rights and wrongs is vital.
It's also important to teach children to use language inclusively...
Especially today in 2021.
Because the progressive era that we're currently living in has canceled a whole range of words and phrases...
On the basis that they're simply too offensive or not inclusive enough of certain individuals.
But what about something seemingly simple as the word "guys"?
Well, parents have been calling for the phrase, "You Guys" to stop being used around children and it's certainly divided opinion online.
Many feel that there's absolutely nothing wrong with using the word "guys"...
And they have argued that the use of the word isn't offensive or exclusive in the slightest.
But on the other hand, people agreed with the concept...
And they pointed out how "guys" is actually a very male-dominated word.
Penning an article for scarymommy.com, Karena Cronin explained why the phrase "You Guys" shouldn't be used when talking to children.
"Last fall, my 5-year old daughter looked intently at her computer screen and exclaimed, 'Hey, I am NOT a GUY!' and in that moment, she realized the inadequacy of the phrase "you guys" to describe her beautiful existence on this earth. Something was not right. She could feel it," Karena explained.
"At the time, both of my daughters were studying remotely. My days were punctuated with Zoom-related screams directed at – yes, me, Mom. But on this day, my first grader decided to yell at one of her beloved teachers instead. A welcome, albeit brief reprieve."
She went on:
"While I do not encourage yelling at teachers – in fact, we revere teachers in our home — I was proud of her that day. Why? Because, at such a young age, she had not only spoken her truth to power. She had put into practice a basic yet profound idea we spend a lifetime learning — our words matter."
"Words are particularly powerful when said by a parent or a teacher to a child."
"Words influence our sense of self-worth and signal whether and to what extent we belong in this world. Words also allocate power and privilege, something which is vastly underappreciated. Often, we only realize the impact of our words after the fact. How they have inspired or hurt, empowered or undermined, validated or erased," the mom said.
She then acknowledged that many won't see using the word as a "big deal."
"After all, everyone says, 'You guys.' I mean, isn't it an all-encompassing phrase, which refers to everyone, irrespective of gender? It is literally everywhere. We hear it from family and friends, on the news, in the movies, and on the radio, as well as from our political, community, and religious leaders. It's not just men who say it. It's used by people across the political spectrum, and by people of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. I identify as progressive and feminist, and yes, I say it!" Karena admitted.
"I realized that they were defaulting to male pronouns to describe the world around them. A cute dog walking down our street was a 'he.' A deer in our front yard, again he. Even a butterfly visiting our garden, was a 'he.' And they were also saying 'you guys' to refer to people. I was disheartened, to put it mildly."
"When you really think about it, saying 'you guys' is confusing at best. At worst, it sends the wrong message."
"It tells any child who doesn't identify as a 'guy' that they are invisible. It is somehow acceptable to subsume their existence under the male gender. It's like saying mankind to refer to our common existence. 'You guys' not only reflects the pervasive gender inequities in our society exacerbated by race, class, nationality, and religion, it also perpetuates the gender inequities that still permeate our society," the mom explained.
"While people's intention when using the term 'you guys' might not be to contribute to this cycle of devaluation, it is nonetheless the impact."
"I'm truly thankful my daughter recognized the problem with using 'you guys' last September," Karena concluded.
"Children have an uncanny ability to awaken us to the change that needs to happen at the individual and societal levels. When they share their honest critique, we owe it to them to listen," she explained.
"Since my family's awakening, we've been holding each other accountable for not saying 'you guys' and growing our consciousness together. We have engaged in productive and extending conversations with family, friends, and educators. My daughters are often the ones taking the lead. In the process, they're learning important skills about how to speak up for themselves and how to connect to their power."
What do you think about Karena's opinion on the matter?
Do you agree that the phrase "You guys" shouldn't be used in front of children? Or do you think it's a harmless word that doesn't negatively affect anyone?