The client we are working with now charters different companies for their work. Sometimes we work side by side with the competition, and sometimes the clients come from one job with them onto a job with us. The companies we compete with seem to have pilots who are pretty much exclusively young males under twenty-five. Most are probably working their first multi-engine jobs. (Yes, after ten years in the industry, Aviatrix still has what is effectively an entry-level job. At least I have one). It a pretty good gig, and I expect if someone is that young they haven't had to work as hard as I have to get here. Maybe that shows in how hard they work once they're here. I don't really know what the problem was, but this customer was teasing them by calling them "girl pilots," because apparently they weren't willing to work very hard.
So far all the pilots we have sent to work with this customer have been female. I think they may have asked us if we have any men. (We do, but not under twenty-five). The customer admits to me that "girl pilots" was not the right appellation for the guys, because they now realize that this particular set of girl pilots come when we're called, ready to work, and will work to the last minute of our duty days. "You guys are better, so I guess they're baby pilots," he ventures.
I suspect that "girl pilots" was considered an appropriate epithet, the customer's expectation was that girls weren't going to work hard and do a good job. I don't want to contribute anything to the momentum of the pendulum that determines which gender it's okay to demean in any given decade, because I know damn well it swings both ways, but I'm pleased to have helped changed the expectation of at least one group of men.