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How come str8 women can refer to their gal pals as "girlfriends," but str8 men can't call their guy friends "boyfriends"?

Straight women go on about their girlfriend this and their girlfriend that, without anyone batting an eyelash. Yet, if a straight man were to call his guy friend "boyfriend," he'd get a strange look. Why the double standard? Are straight men terrified of being perceived as gay? One of the major injustices of our time IMO.

by Anonymousreply 2304/03/2013

[quote]Are straight men terrified of being perceived as gay?

To state the obvious, yes.

In my opinion 'bro' has an even more intimate connotation, but don't tell them that.

by Anonymousreply 104/03/2013

They're "bros", isn't that homo-erotic enough?

by Anonymousreply 204/03/2013

Because society refers to adult women as "girls" whereas it doesn't refer to adult men as "boys".

by Anonymousreply 304/03/2013

Not true R3. "A night out with the boys."

"Girls against the boys"

by Anonymousreply 404/03/2013

Very few women younger than 50 do this, and those few women are probably from the deep South.

by Anonymousreply 504/03/2013

My female co-worker in her mid-40s does this all the time. My girlfriend and I went out for drings, My girlfriend and I are going to Florida. I think it's common.

by Anonymousreply 604/03/2013

Clueless one here, I had no idea that women did this and for years thought our receptionist was a lesbian. She always referred to her girlfriend(s) and I just assumed.

by Anonymousreply 704/03/2013

Well, you could always correct the injustice by referring to your male friends as your boyfriends, OP.

by Anonymousreply 804/03/2013

Because doing so would just be...I don't know...improper.

by Anonymousreply 904/03/2013

Those are one-offs, r4, and refer to boys/men as a group in a kind of "cutesy" way in certain situations, which are in fact all about letting adult men have "fun" like when they were young. It's almost the opposite to the use of term "girl" to refer to adult women, by creating a kind of space where grown men can behave in ways that they can't in daily life but without this infantilising them. Referring to grown women as "girls", however, is a standard practice and in a sense is about keeping women in some kind of lesser, almost juvenile status.

Individual women even well into their 30s are still referred to as "girls", whereas you don't find 33-year-old men or even 23-year-old men referred to as "boys". The example I really hate is in sports coverage, where great female athletes, who work hard and are leaders in their field, are referred to as "girls" whereas male athletes in exactly the same sport are always men and never boys.

by Anonymousreply 1004/03/2013

Actually, R3, the use of boy to refer to men, in both negative and positive connotations, was fairly common until quite recently and can still be heard.

When I was a freshman in college in 1974, I lost my wallet. I had to go home to renew my license, social security card, and draft registration card. I was the last year that had to register for the draft but still had to keep the card, or so I thought. When I got to the draft registration office, there was only one person, a little old lady at a desk with lots of files boxed up around her. She told me that I did not have to get a new card because the draft was being ended. Then she said, "Be sure to tell all your boyfriends they don't need to keep theirs either." I thought she could tell I was gay. It was the mid-70's, but this was Georgia and I was in the closet.

by Anonymousreply 1104/03/2013

Boom-boom, shakalaka, boom-boom-boom-boom

by Anonymousreply 1204/03/2013

Yeah, it is just simply born from women having less of a societal hang up about worrying about being perceived as gay than men do. Not that complicated.

Though now bromance is becoming a popular term to denote close friendships between guys.

by Anonymousreply 1304/03/2013

Anglo-Saxon society encourages women to gush love and sunshine and rainbows, and discourages men from bonding with each other.

Welcome to the US/UK!

by Anonymousreply 1404/03/2013

R11, if you can think of only one example from the mid-1970s of the use of the word "boy" or "boyfriend" to refer to grown men then I guess that shows how rare it is.

Of course, there's also the legacy of the racist use of the word "boy".

by Anonymousreply 1504/03/2013

I was going to add, r14, that in the UK "girlfriend" isn't really used for female friends. It still sounds like you're talking about a lover.

by Anonymousreply 1604/03/2013

It's so we don't have to sound like little girls every time we explain thAt "he's a BOY and a FRIEND. but he's not a BOY FRIEND!"

by Anonymousreply 1704/03/2013

R15, I agree that "boyfriends" is not common; hence, my story. Boy, however, has been used a lot in the past. The racist use was one of the negative connotations to which I was referring. Here are a few of the more positive or neutral uses of boy for adult males: boy's night out, good boy (used to praise in some situations), bad boy (used by women and gay men to refer positively to a man's sexual appetite, sense of adventure, etc.), good old boy (used both negatively and positively by Southerns and others). Look in a dictionary of American slang, and you will find others.

by Anonymousreply 1804/03/2013

God you gays are so jealous of straight women.

by Anonymousreply 1904/03/2013

You make a good point,but if we did call our guy friends boyfriends in public,women might think we were gay and might pass us by.I t is kind of a silly way of thinking,but ladies do sound kind of cute calling each other girlfriends,while guys look a little weird callign each other botfriends,but then its always looked nicer when females show each other affection in public.It just seems funny to see two men walk down the street hugiing and such.Gay men are a little silly-looking.You have to admit that.

by Anonymousreply 2004/03/2013

No. Gay men may be a little silly-acting, but they are not silly-looking. Not at all.

by Anonymousreply 2104/03/2013

If you're really in the dark, a straight male will explain it for you at link:

by Anonymousreply 2204/03/2013

Well Kock wasn 't silly-looking anbd neither is Tony Geary or Dack Rambo,but two femme men making out is a little silly but they make the world a brighter place.HiiiRichard Simmons and Bobby Trendy!!Well,Richard may be non-sexual.

by Anonymousreply 2304/03/2013
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