Foluke Tuakli, a producer at NowThis, recently created a video explaining why she believes the phrase “hey guys” is problematic. According to Tuakli, most people perceive the phrase “hey guys” to be inviting, friendly, and maybe warm. Following, she argues that ‘guys’ is a “male default term” that should not be normalized.
Tuakli continues by claiming that the phrase has a cognitive impact on women and people who are gender nonconforming, insisting that using the phrase only addresses the presence of male identifying individuals. In addition, she admits that the definition of ‘guys’ has evolved over time. Despite acknowledging this evolution, she does not believe the term should continue to evolve as a gender-neutral term.
Tuakli believes that the phrase “hey guys” is lazy and inconsiderate and reinforces the present-day gender hierarchy. She also argues that abandoning the phrase would move society one small step closer to dismantling the patriarchy. Instead of saying “hey guys,” Tuakli suggests saying “good morning everyone” or “folks.”
Foluke concludes by acknowledging that her critics will accuse her of being silly or too politically correct. However, she argues that language has a significant impact on larger societal implications.
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