"Why are those chicks running so slow," asked Todd my 13-year-old son. We was wondering why the women in the long distance race on the television on the other side of Applebee’s appeared to be running slow.
They didn’t seem to be going slow to me, but that did not play much into the conservation that followed.
"DO NOT refer to woman as chicks," I told him.
"What?" he asked defensively. "It is just another word for women or girls."
Lyndee, my wife and Todd’s mother was sitting across from us at the table. A tad shocked by the insensitivity of our teenager, she explained to him that she did not appreciate being referred to as a baby farm animal.
But he didn’t mean it that way, he insisted. He in no way meant to refer to the athletes in the race or any other women as a baby chicken. Yet, that was what he was calling them.
Words have meanings.
I tried to explain to him that such a term was problematic and that he should not use it because it showed a deep disrespect of woman in general.
I have hope he not only no longer says it in front of his mother, but also that he does use such terms around his guy friends when chatting about…whatever.
He now knows the his mother and father feel quite strongly about him using the term.
Is this a term that is making a comeback? It always seemed to me to be such a demeaning term, one that signaled a caveman form of machismo. Now, Todd genuinely seemed unaware that the term had such connotations.
Apparently, I have not indoctrinated him sufficiently with a sense of political correctness and feminism. I am going to have to work on that.