Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I don't know sometimes...

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


Anonymous said...

Children learn what they live...I remember hearing that somewhere...Isn't this the same young girl whose dad was letting her homeschool herself? And wasn't he thinking she could do without an education because she was going to marry a rich rancher and live happily ever after?
Teens can drive you crazy! I think this one is going to be ok, tho. She has some very good role models in her brothers and sisters-in-laws! :-)

Nee S. said...

I hope you are right about the role models. Jooge and Mr. Jooge have a more traditional split between work and home than John and I due to their particular circumstances, but when you see them together, you see the love and respect they have for each other, and how they treat each other as equals. So I hope that with the example of her oldest brothers, she will see that a household can take different shapes but still be based on equality and love, that they are not mutually exclusive.