In a nursery adults do not address a group of mixed sex children as “girls and guys”. They are children, kids, or “girls and boys”. That is because the masculine version of girl is in fact boy.
Guy is a male adult.
Girl is a female child.
There is no adult female equivalent of guy. Girl does not fill this gap. Women do not need to be constantly infantilised. It is good for no one.
In formal/semi formal settings groups of men may be called gentlemen, women ladies. And you may find women in groups when being called ladies because men claim male only time after dinner and “ladies” would be expected to fill the time together waiting. Sometimes women only time is merely the absence of men. Truly women only is the presence of women and women only. We are defined by who we are, not who we are not.
Informally women are not expected to be present in groups. Because historically women would be home. Or in paid employment if working class. So you may have a group of women called “shop girls” or “factory girls” because even as adult working women there is just not the history of women as groups of adult people, together, without men.
I like that feminism has historically challenged the gaps in our male centric language, and has rejected the divide and conquer of ladies/women. I like that feminists do not generally call one another, as adult women, girls. But as always backlash will find a way. The alphabet soup grounded in queer theory keeps idolising gender as an innate feature of our identity not as a system of oppression which dominates females. That is seemingly the new normal. But note too that their language, despite much professing that this form of identity politics is grounded in intersectional feminism, continues to infantilise female or feminine identifying people.
One may be a demiguy, demiboy is an infrequent alternative. Yet they haven’t dreamed up a demifeminine informal equivalent, you may be merely a demigirl. When rmab* people wish to identify as demishrews and demihags I will accept growth and maturity from their movement is possible. While ever adult people of either sex are identifying as partially aligned with a female child identity I can treat them as I do my actual female child. With love, patience and much laughter over the years.
Worshiping female youth is patriarchal to the extreme. Infantilising women is patriarchal to the extreme. Honouring adult women, recognising what our experiences, our mature bodies (with our body hair, our scars, our wrinkles and very often our stretch marks), and of course our mature minds have to offer is what is missing from the alphabet soup. And it always will be, despite profession that it is an intersectional form of feminism. Reclaim the hag. Because our queer siblings are not going to.
*recognised male at birth. Sometimes labelled as identified male at birth or more dramaticaly assigned/forcibly assigned male at birth.