where I grew up in California not only is “dude” generally non-gender-specific, half of the time it doesn’t even refer to a person at all.
I said it to a faucet today.
I say it to myself when im alone sometimes
I blurt it out when I get a cool idea. Just DUDE! To the world. But I also grew up in So. California in the 80s-90s so lots of that was going around.