Deborah Lilly, Mullumbimby
I loved The Echo’s front page photo of women wielding power tools at the shedding workshop (5 February). However, the caption Ladies hit the shed was a shocking diminishment of their independent can-do stance.
The term ladies is so dated! It stems from a time when women were considered second-class citizens and to call a woman a woman was thought to be impolite and might offend.
In 1970 Germaine Greer bowled in with The Female Eunuch urging women to reclaim their rights to womanhood, sexuality, burn their bras, stop shaving legs and armpits, wear flat shoes and stop being dictated to by men wanting women to look a certain way. Most importantly, to shun labels that deny womanhood such as ladies, girls, chicks, etc.
Germaine’s ideas really caught on in England. However, in her native land many people are unaware of this aspect of women’s liberation and think they are being courteous when using a term more appropriate for a lavatory door.
Ed note: Funnily enough we thought that using this outdated term in this context highlighted the issue nicely.