I like it when bearded men in meathead gyms call me “dude” and gush about their barbell lifts. (This happens more often than you might think.)
Maybe there’s some part of my intellect that whispers, “Um, you’re not a dude,” but I don’t care.
These guys don’t mean “dude” in a sexist or clueless or nefarious manner. (Is there such a manner with “dude”?)
They mean “dude”:
- like an exclamation (“Dude!”)
- or “dude” like a cry of identity (“Dude, you get it!”)
- or “dude” in solidarity like “Dude — you lift, too. You understand.“
“Dude” here in California seems to have nothing to do with gender or gender identity. It’s about recognizing a kindred soul, no matter how different she or he may look from you. Seems to me like that’s more important than ever these days.