russell russell arussel at
Thu Dec 12 14:45:53 EST 1996

In a previous article, wahchan at (Mr. W.Y. Chan) says:

(body of Wah's reply snipped. I'll leave that for others to comment upon.)

>PS. If I had said "Hello girls" like you had said above I would have been
>flamed by some of the others here, now I try my best not to...:)


I believe your observation would fall under what was referred to in a 
previous women's studies class of mine as "in-group terminology". In the 
US, at least, it seems to be common for groups which have and are 
experiencing discrimination to refer to themselves using terms which 
those in power have used as pejoratives against them. For example, many 
gays and lesbians, when they are are in similar company, refer to 
themselves as queers, dykes, etc. It is a way of symbolically taking back 
some social power and also of poking fun at those in power, in my opinion.
However, these words still retain their hurtfulness if used by those in power 
(read: if you don't belong to that group. you don't necessarily have to be 
rich, white, and male in this context). I hope this explains the apparent 
lack of response to Eve's word choice. Of course, I also noticed that Eve 
was writing from Spain, so her explanation may be entirely based on 
cultural differences. Anyway, this was my reason for not taking offense 
at her salutation.

Any comments from those more learned in women's studies than I?

Amy Russell

Dept. Biological Sciences
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH  43403
arussel at
our love is like my parents' love        |  Amy L. Russell
except                                   |  Bowling Green State University
i won't wait until you die to leave you. |  arussel at

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