I have a couple of social engagements this week with women. You might call them “girls’ nights out.” You might. But I won’t.
Because I’m really conflicted about the term.
It seems that girls are back in fashion. From Lena Dunham’s television show about 20-somethings to bar specials, girls are back.
I spent years in the workplace declaring myself an adult. When I first entered the workplace, I was always the youngest at what I did, so it was particularly important for my coworkers – mostly male – to regard me as an adult. A woman, not a girl. And, ok, maybe ”lady” was stretching it, given some of my shenanigans, but at least I was grown up.
Being called a girl was bad, condescending. I grew up in the South where black men were called “boys” and all women were called “girls” and the intent in both instances was the same: to keep the person firmly in place.
So, once I hit 18, I was never a girl.
Of course, with time, I have gotten to the age where no one questions my adult status. I don’t even get carded anymore.
And I’ve gotten to the age where I don’t care what people think about me. I can be goofy, whimsical. Indulge in flights of fancy and wear sneakers with skirts. Some days, my giggle is, dare I say it, girlish.
Have I finally gotten old enough to be a girl?