Let me begin with the obligatory disclaimer: I am 100 percent against any slang term that degrades another human being. The N word, the F word, those need to go and stay away. But, lately, it has come to my attention that a couple G words are now considered politically incorrect. I'm talking about "Girl' and "Gal". And I have a bit of a problem with it.
I think I get from where this comes. For African American (or Black, whichever is more preferable or correct to whomever might read this) women, "Girl" has a negative connotation dating back to slavery. So, of course, that is disallowed. Done. And I think for some women, "Girl" or "Gal" is considered a gender slur harkening back to a time when women in the workforce were treated as less than their male co-workers. And I get that too. My problem is that now, while it's not OK to use those G words, it's somehow OK for women to now refer to each other as "Bitches."
I was raised with that B word as derogatory (not to mention its also-popular sister "Slut"). It was used in anger to describe a woman with whom someone had a major difference of opinion, to say the least. Or, in referring to a female dog. As much as we love canines, I don't think calling someone a Bitch is a term of endearment. Meanwhile, as someone who spent years in the South, I can testify that calling your friends "Girls" is a term of endearment. It isn't age related nor does it have anything to do with your intellect or abilities. It's just what you call each other. Let's face it - we call our breasts our "Girls" and that, in and of itself, is not a dis. I doubt Lena Dunham titled her HBO series about four young, strong-willed NYC women Girls to mean they were half-witted second-class citizens.
As far as "Gals" I have no problem as long as I'm free to refer to men as "Guys". Other than the snarky definition of GAL as an acronym (get a life), I think Gal is endearing as well. Who could have qualms with "gal pal?" And, though I know the origin is different, let us not forget the current Wonder Woman's real name is Gal.
I know I'm a product of my generation, and as much as I hate to be the one to cry "kids these days," I'm really mystified by women who prefer to call a friend "Bitch" over "Girl". Unless she means her friend is heroic, like Lassie (and OH the field day I'm sure they'd have over THAT word). If using the G word over the B word as a friendly reference makes me politically incorrect then so be it. I bet there are plenty of gals out there who would agree.