Pay attention to titles, labels, and identifiers.
How you address female consumers matters
It’s important. Women in focus groups all over America indicate they prefer no titles – no Mrs., no Ms., no Miss. Woman say to simply use their names.
If you don’t know their names or choose to mind your p’s and q’s and need to group them, call them ‘females’ and ‘women.’ ‘Ladies’ is okay, although it’s split input here – some are fine with it and some are not. What you don’t want to do with ‘ladies’ is have a ‘ladies night.’
Why not? Think sleazy ladies nights events of days gone by, bad bars in college that had ladies night. What did those nights have a lot of? Trolling men the women didn’t want hitting on them. If you’re going to do a women’s/females/ladies event, do it only of that one gender. The dynamic of a single gender event is remarkable in its own right, whether it be for only women or only men.
What matters is how the consumer wants to be addressed; not what you think is clever, what you’re comfortable with or what other people put on them. Those in the industry and those who are raving fans of using ‘girls’, ‘chicks’ or other slang aren’t pushing progress. Yes, it’s fine to call a female friend a girl in private. What you have to be aware and cognizant and thoughtful of is the perception of others and how they interpret the title you choose.
Women will give you a stamp of approval when you address them properly
If you choose Women or Females, you can be safely respectful and still be on target, not offending anyone. And that’s part of the import here.
Anyone in any industry needs to always keep in mind: they are not their consumer and therefore it does matter what you call your customers or fans, regardless of what you – the one in the industry – think. Let the jargon and personal feelings go, and ask and respect what women want.
While we’re at it, are women males? Then don’t call them ‘guys’ either. Yes, it’s casual mostly accepted slang. Just because we’re used to it doesn’t make it right. At one time in this country we had separate entrances for blacks and whites. That was accepted and still wasn’t right either.
And no, we’re not being over dramatic. Is pay equal for women and men in this country? No – and until you can connect the dots that it ALL matters, titles and labels and we address one another will make a difference. It’s up to you to decide which kind of difference you are going to make and the progress or stagnation you are going to foster.
Set the pace. Call women what they want to be called, with respect and do it all the time.
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