I recently took part in an exchange on Facebook with a teenaged relation (not one belonging to any of my readers) that bothered me. She started off by saying that she wanted a boy who would call her sweet names, among them "baby girl". One of her friends (a guy) said he thought all the names *but* "baby girl" were kind of derogatory, and I responded that I thought that was the worst one. When her response included "...the day i stop wanting to be treated like a woman...", I had to disengage or my head would explode.
Does she really think having a man call her "baby girl" makes her womanly? To me, it is infantizing her and putting him in a father-like role. That is the patriarchy, plain and simple. Is this what girls are learning about love relationships and gender roles? I know she is only 16-ish, and has had a rather odd upbringing, but isn't anyone telling her about the joy of a relationship based on respect and equality?
I love John, but I've already told him that the first time he calls me "baby girl" (or "wifey", another usage I've seen from a relation), I'm punching him in the gonads. It's actually already kind of a joke between us; sometimes he'll exclaim that I'm just so cute (in the kind of voice you use to talk to/about very small children or kittens), and I'll flip him the bird, just to make sure he knows that I consider that the very least of my attractions.
--Nee in Germany is a woman, not a baby