Is it that offensive???

Remember that interview I linked to a couple of days ago called George Lucas' Little Girl Talks With Us About the Family Business at SCI FI Wire.com? Well apparently some of the readers were offended by the headline referring to 20 year-old Katie Lucas as a "little girl." Now, I expected to see comments like "Clone Wars suck" etc., etc., but I didn't expect to discover that "little girl" was an "insulting," "stupid," "demeaning" and "offensive" term!

I rarely comment on articles or the comments of people commenting on articles, but I decided to defend the headline with the following:

Fathers refer to their daughters as their "little girl" all the time because that is how they see them whether they're 2, 12, 20, or 42. It's a term of endearment. I'm willing to bet that GL and Katie would not find the term insult. Most daughters wouldn't.

I did make a slight mistake in that statement, but one reader decided to let me have it with:

knightander, not all fathers refer to their grown daughters as "little girls." My father never did, because it wasn't the 1950s and he knew I had the capability of taking care of myself. It's an outdated and tiresome phrase, [...] male offspring wouldn't be referred to as "little boys." I'm actually relieved that some of the posters younger than I are unfamiliar with the anachronistic habit of referring to grown women as small children.

In my defense, I replied with:

Then apparently the headline writers at SCI FI Wire are a bunch of sentimental old fogies. I admit that I should have prefaced my statement with "Many" to avoid the assumption that I meant "All" fathers refer to their daughters as their "little girl."

Am I that clueless to find nothing wrong with the phrase? Did I grow up in an entirely too sheltered and conservative home to find the term as one of endearment? Look, if a woman had a bad relationship with her father, I can understand her not being happy with being called "daddy's little girl," but come on. George's oldest daughter, Amanda, is a mixed-martial artist. You don't think he gets a trifle concerned every time he sees his little girl go into the ring? She may be very well-trained, but a parent's love and concern know no bounds.

I know the majority of my readership is female, so I ask you, do YOU have a problem with SCI FI Wire calling Katie Lucas George's little girl in their headline? Or am I just some complete neanderthal who needs to get with the 21st century?
I'm not offended. It's honestly the absolute last thing that would have crossed my mind. My gosh, I don't know why some women fly off the handle so violently about such innocuous things when it comes to women's issues. It takes all the fire out of those times when something does need to be said/done.
I have no problem with it. It is a term of endearment. Heck, I am 27 and my mother still tells me that I will always be her 'baby.'
I still get called the same nicknames by my family that I've had since infancy.

And I totally agree with sache8. When women make a big hoopla over these silly little things it makes the bigger issues that should be fought about seem just as unimportant and frivolous.
I agree with Emma. I think it's a little silly what feminists decide to nitpick on...yet at the same time, if it WAS Lucas's son, they wouldn't have said "little boy". There is some sexism in that article's title, but it's so ingrained in society...I don't think they meant to insult Katie, but it is a little bit demeaning.

Like, at work, customers will be like "Thanks, dear" after a transaction but they never add "dear" when they are doing a transaction with my male coworker. It's not necessarily insulting that they call me "dear"...but it's just funny they wouldn't do it to a male colleague.

Edited at 2009-01-17 05:32 am (UTC)
Am I offended that SCIFI Wire.com called her a little girl? No. But if I really wanted to pick at this heading and find offensive things about it, I could probably say justifiably that being called a "little girl" can be annoying when it's your friends and family, and mildly embarrassing when it's publicized. I think sometimes when people are silently seething in the daytime when people use annoying terms of endearment, they tend to flair out when on the internet, where they have anonymity.

So I guess my overall opinion is: Not offensive, but the response doesn't really shock me... anything seems to go on the internet.