That is a good point - I do believe linguistics has something to do with it. A dear friend who is Catalonian tends to address me as "girl" in emails, and I have never viewed it as offensive. But, it depends on the use I suppose. In English, it's a rather degrading term, outside of perhaps romantic/sexual meanings (i.e. "girlfriend").
One word on the girl thing:
Maggie, you should keep in mind that Béria is not a native speaker of
English but of Portuguese. In German of course it would be quite offensive
to call a grown up woman or a group of women "Mädchen".
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Im Auftrag von Maggie
Gesendet: Samstag, 1. Oktober 2011 19:38
Betreff: Re: [Gendergap] Gendergap Digest, Vol 9, Issue 5
I apologize if you are offended and find this discouraging, but I am not
apologizing for what I've said. And putting a happy face at the end of your
comment does not mean you haven't invalidated my opinions. I voiced opinions
that I know several people on this list, let alone many women on Wikipedia,
are thinking. I may be very blunt in my style, and this might put people off
of me, but I found what Beria said to be more insulting and "discouraging."
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