QDoes calling women “Babes” degrade them?

answered November 30th, 2009 by Janet Graham

I received a question from a young woman last week, regarding the name of my blog “Babes on Bay Street” and questioning , in essence, whether calling women “Babes” degrades them. I thought it might be appropriate to share my response to this inquiry with you.


“I really appreciate you taking the time to write to me and I appreciate your perspective on the word “Babe”. Obviously, I feel otherwise about the word because I named my blog “Babes on Bay Street” and I invited some of the women from the street who I have deeply respected for many years to participate in the project with me. And I would refer you to the About tab on my site, if you wanted to read a little more about the history of this idea.


In any case, I have had this name in mind, since I first conceived of writing a book about the wonderful women I met on Bay Street in 1996. I am a highly  irreverent person and prize my sense of humour and this is the name I have held in my mind for this project from its very inception.


There are many, many endeavours which bear more conventional or traditional names eg Women in Capital Markets, Women in Leadership etc. I didn’t want something proper or traditional; I wanted something a little edgier! I wanted people to have the freedom to tell their stories and to speak from their hearts….I didn’t want any rules or regulations or membership requirements. I simply wanted to allow women of all ages to “hear” these stories of courage and strength and growth and be inspired!!!


At the same time, I hold sacred the trust of the women who tell me their stories and I am profoundly moved by them when they tell them to me and allow me to record them. And I treasure the fact that very senior and very successful women have agreed to participate as “Babes” on the site. Believe me, I would do nothing to jeopardize their reputations. My intention is to celebrate their lives, not denigrate them!!


At a certain age, I feel a woman has earned the right to be called a “Babe” like Katherine Hepburn might have been called a “Dame”. Her strength and courage and wisdom are written on her face and evidenced by her success and her contribution to the world. At this point in a woman’s life being called sexy simply means the person who offers her this profound compliment sees the life and energy and aliveness in her and is moved by it!!


Again, I appreciate your taking the time to leave the comment, in fact, I will use the content of my response to create a post today because I am certain this “issue” has occurred to others.


I hope this helps!!! And remember it is just my perspective; it is not the truth!!”

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