Hey there! How are you gu--wait a second.
Do you identify as male? Does EVERYONE who will read this post identify as male? I didn't think so. You are not all guys. But chances are, if I'd said, "Hey, guys," no one would have batted an eye.
My question for you all is, why is this? In our society (I'm talking about America, here, but I think it happens elsewhere, as well), we address a group of people as "guys" even when the group is all female, or a mix of female and male.
It may not seem strange to you that we speak this way, but that's because this is how we've been conditioned to speak. People rarely stop to wonder why we use male pronouns when talking about a group of women or girls. To tell your female friends, "Hurry up, guys!" or "Let's go, you guys," is not out of the ordinary in this society.
Picture this: what if your teacher came into class one day, turned to face the students, and declared, "All right, girls, today we're going to be learning about DNA." The students would laugh uncertainly. They would give each other weird looks. They might even think the teacher was using the term girls as an insult--kind of like the common expression, "You throw like a girl."*
So why, when we use "guys" to talk about a mixed gender group, do we pass it off as perfectly acceptable?
There are plenty of other terms we could use instead. A group of only females can be addressed as girls/women, gals, or ladies, or any un-gendered possibilites, such as: everyone, y'all, people, folks, all, or everybody. Those last ones can be used to address a mix of genders. This new way of talking might throw you at first, but in time you'll settle in.
I'll admit, it's a hard habit to break. I still say "guys" frequently. But I try to catch myself, and in time hopefully I can train myself and others to be more conscientious of our language.
This may not seem like such an important step in creating a gender-equal world. Certainly, there are bigger things to worry about, but we have to think about the small things, too. And, being the next generation, if we can fix our language, it can give us a little boost that can help fix the larger problems at hand.
Think about it, people.
*Obviously, this expression is dumb and stereotypical. Being a girl has nothing to do with athletic ability, and is in no way an insult. See a cool commercial about this here.