Sunday, 31 October 2010

Are you a Lady or a Woman?

Every time I write something about a female, if I write 'lady' I get told it should be 'woman'. Why? What is wrong with being called a lady? I would much rather be addressed as 'that lady over there.' than 'that woman over there'.

I don't know about you, but to me, 'that woman' sounds rather dismissive and almost rude, whereas referring to someone as a lady sounds more respectful somehow. Maybe it's me, maybe I am old fashioned and was just brought up differently, but I'd be interested to know how many of you would prefer to be called woman or lady.

I only talk about it on here now, not just because the grammar checks on Word keeps telling me to change it, but because I remember a time I was talking to some friends and I said the word lady in front of them. They all, without exception, slammed me down over it and told me I should say 'woman'. Am I missing something here?

Is this to do with a class distinction maybe? Is it that people feel it is 'snobbish' to refer to someone as a lady or a gentleman these days? They do still exist you know. I just feel it is sometimes appropriate to say man or woman and at other times, depending on what is being said and about whom, lady or gentleman. Let me know what you think please as I'd love to know why some women feel it is offensive to be called a lady.

Funnily, I just typed women and it made me realise something. The different words are used depending on the context of how you are talking about people and what you are saying. So it is obviously perfectly correct to use either term if used in different ways and depending on the sentence and what is being talked of. I'm going to make this too complicated in a minute so I'll stop there, but I'm sure you can get the gist of what I'm saying. Thoughts please.


  1. Really wouldn't mind being called either as long as the tone was kind :)

  2. I would use lady - maybe it's my northern upbringing, I too think it's more kind and respectful. Nice lady, horrible woman.. maybe it's the tone that makes the difference.