Imagine I write statement (paraphrased) "Women like to wear different clothes to differentiate themselves from each other."
Is it more common for English speaking people to read it like
- "Women [usually] like to wear different clothes ..."
or rather like
- "[All] women like to wear different clothes ..."
- resp. "Women [always] like to wear different clothes ..."?
An additional question, could I assume in advance females may find it offensive, gender related as in below? As there can be differences between languages in perception of sentences.
My point is
- "Women like different clothes." is not generalism, but rather kind of a rule with implied exceptions. But it may be implied/perceived as generalism.
- "All women like different clothes" is generalism.
I do agree I should have used explicit formulations like "Many women usually like wearing/often wear ..", but the damage has been already done.
The question context is that I, as a non-native EN speaker, once got into troubles with such a sentence in discussion with a female who assumed I stick to not acceptable gender stereotypes, as not all women are like that. I used the above sentence in a wider context of making human life analogy to a scientific scenario. I provided it as an example with intention to illustrate that people usually like to differ in various things, with women/clothes as one such particular option.
In lighter mood, I am curious if the statement "Women are polite/intelligent." would be objected too, as some are not polite a/o intelligent. If I wrote "Men like watching football.", it would not cause raising eye brows. "Everybody knows they do, except those who do not." Rules have their exceptions.