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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:43 AM

Stop calling us wives and moms


A petition calls on President Obama to drop his retro rhetoric about women

BY TRACY CLARK-FLORY


In the wake of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union, a petition is taking him to task for his habit of framing women’s equality as a struggle to protect the rights of “wives, mothers, and daughters.” The campaign was inspired by one line in particular from last night’s speech in which Obama said, “We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace and free from the fear of domestic violence.”

A totally righteous argument, right? But the petition, which has 716 signatures at the time of this writing, says that this sort of language is “counterproductive to the women’s equality the President is ostensibly supporting.” It goes on to explain, “Defining women by their relationships to other people is reductive, misogynist, and alienating to women who do not define ourselves exclusively by our relationships to others. Further, by referring to ‘our’ wives et al, the President appears to be talking to The Men of America about Their Women, rather than talking to men AND women.”

Of course, Obama’s larger message, as he went on to say, was that in addition to passing the Violence Against Women Act, Congress should “declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.” With his “wives, mothers, and daughters” rhetoric, he was largely addressing Congress, which is predominantly male — and Republican men are especially in need of convincing on this. So some might argue that it’s simply a smart strategic move in service of the greater good, even if it’s alienating to women.

But it’s also a refrain Obama has turned to time and again. In fact, at one point in last night’s SOTU he said, “We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat.” There was also the “Father Knows Best” paternalism of his argument for restrictions on emergency contraception in 2011. (Not to mention how first lady Michelle Obama presented herself, as Rebecca Traister wrote, “precisely as she needed to in order to be digested by the American people: as a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother.”) As Melissa McEwan, who started the petition, writes on her blog Shakesville, this makes it sound like Obama is “not speaking to those wives, mothers, daughters, and any women who are none of those things and/or do not define themselves that way” — and that’s not to mention the women who are in Congress.

On the Daily Kos, McKenna Miller — a man, or rather son — makes an excellent comparison to rhetoric about gay rights, “The reason to fight homophobia isn’t because ‘you’ve got a gay friend,’ it’s because it’s simply the right thing to do. The reason why a woman is valuable isn’t because she’s someone’s sister, or daughter, or wife, it’s because of the person she is unto herself.”

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/13/stop_calling_us_wives_and_moms/

Link to the petition:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-using-wives-mothers-daughters-rhetorical-frame-defines-women-their-relationships-other-people/3yvcscVK

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Arrow 106 replies Author Time Post
Reply Stop calling us wives and moms (Original post)
DonViejo Feb 2013 OP
leftynyc Feb 2013 #1
roody Feb 2013 #4
leftynyc Feb 2013 #10
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #43
leftynyc Feb 2013 #47
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #48
leftynyc Feb 2013 #50
Drahthaardogs Feb 2013 #69
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #71
Drahthaardogs Feb 2013 #72
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #74
Drahthaardogs Feb 2013 #75
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #77
kestrel91316 Feb 2013 #78
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #79
undeterred Feb 2013 #93
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #94
JustAnotherGen Feb 2013 #103
undeterred Feb 2013 #104
FBaggins Feb 2013 #12
Paladin Feb 2013 #13
RBInMaine Feb 2013 #89
pipoman Feb 2013 #2
SummerSnow Feb 2013 #16
lunatica Feb 2013 #3
bemildred Feb 2013 #5
Heather MC Feb 2013 #6
laureloak Feb 2013 #7
CTyankee Feb 2013 #9
leftynyc Feb 2013 #11
CTyankee Feb 2013 #15
FBaggins Feb 2013 #18
CTyankee Feb 2013 #20
MuseRider Feb 2013 #34
CTyankee Feb 2013 #36
MuseRider Feb 2013 #37
forestpath Feb 2013 #46
magical thyme Feb 2013 #8
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #14
phleshdef Feb 2013 #19
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #24
phleshdef Feb 2013 #31
magical thyme Feb 2013 #22
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #25
MADem Feb 2013 #30
magical thyme Feb 2013 #35
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #67
bettyellen Feb 2013 #81
a la izquierda Feb 2013 #86
LiberalFighter Feb 2013 #17
EastKYLiberal Feb 2013 #21
meow2u3 Feb 2013 #23
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #26
marybourg Feb 2013 #27
MADem Feb 2013 #33
marybourg Feb 2013 #38
MADem Feb 2013 #39
marybourg Feb 2013 #41
MADem Feb 2013 #42
marybourg Feb 2013 #44
SheilaT Feb 2013 #28
CBGLuthier Feb 2013 #51
SheilaT Feb 2013 #57
MADem Feb 2013 #29
RC Feb 2013 #32
treestar Feb 2013 #40
forestpath Feb 2013 #45
davidpdx Feb 2013 #49
Still Sensible Feb 2013 #52
HappyMe Feb 2013 #53
Dash87 Feb 2013 #54
Le Taz Hot Feb 2013 #55
Blaukraut Feb 2013 #56
CTyankee Feb 2013 #58
phleshdef Feb 2013 #60
CTyankee Feb 2013 #61
CBGLuthier Feb 2013 #63
bunnies Feb 2013 #66
CTyankee Feb 2013 #68
bettyellen Feb 2013 #83
CTyankee Feb 2013 #91
bettyellen Feb 2013 #95
CTyankee Feb 2013 #96
bettyellen Feb 2013 #98
SpartanDem Feb 2013 #59
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #62
jenmito Feb 2013 #64
bunnies Feb 2013 #65
gollygee Feb 2013 #70
NightOwwl Feb 2013 #73
Swamp Lover Feb 2013 #76
Bluzmann57 Feb 2013 #80
bettyellen Feb 2013 #82
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #84
HockeyMom Feb 2013 #85
senseandsensibility Feb 2013 #87
CTyankee Feb 2013 #92
RBInMaine Feb 2013 #88
Drunken Irishman Feb 2013 #90
pink-o Feb 2013 #97
BigDemVoter Feb 2013 #99
aikoaiko Feb 2013 #100
d_b Feb 2013 #101
Ash_F Feb 2013 #102
dionysus Feb 2013 #105
secondwind Feb 2013 #106

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:48 AM

1. This is ridiculous

If, after putting two women on the Supreme Court to protect our rights - something with REAL consequences - people want to call this President a misogynist they are only going to look like fools who are only happy when they have something to complain about.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:59 AM

4. It is as ridiculous as

calling men husbands, sons, and fathers.

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Response to roody (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:31 AM

10. Is that supposed to be insulting?

Because I don't see it that way at all. Not even a little bit.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:27 PM

43. And for a woman like myself who is

childless, single and adopted, then what?

Love, Peace and Shelter.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:10 AM

47. Are you not someone's daughter?

I am also childless and single. You made two women mothers. Sorry, I just think this is bitching for the sake of bitching.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #47)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:29 AM

48. You are assuming a bit here...

two and women...? And labels matter. Try to get a grip on the concept of other peoples feelings... how would you prefer to be classified? A spinster? Or you may be a man... IDK. You clearly have a strong opinion on this subject, are others not entitled to their own strong opinions? There are many reasons labels offend. I consider being called a bitcher not very nice. I do not bitch. I whine. Thank you very much. LIGHTEN UP, FRANCES.

Love, Peace and Shelter. lmsp



http://www.democraticunderground.com/1237526

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #48)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:01 AM

50. Wait a minute

I clearly don't have a strong opinion on it - couldn't possibly care less about being called someone's daughter rather than some other label. I'm not the one getting upset about this - check the OP for someone who needs to lighten up.

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:20 PM

69. You still had a mother

and as the parent of an adopted daughter, if she said she had no father, I would be devastated. Shame on you.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #69)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 03:33 PM

71. Shame on you for being so vague in your argument, for using that tradition patriarchal phrase and...

Last edited Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:20 PM - Edit history (1)

for the antediluvian perspective. Shame on you.

It is about the language.
Labels matter.
The ways we speak to and about each other matter.


If I called you nothing but "Honey" and "Baby" and blessed your heart I am not sure you would understand what that really means when used around where I come from.

Thanks, but no thanks for the finger wag finger pointing "parental guidance" on your part.

"You still had a mother as the parent of an adopted daughter, if she said she had no father, I would be devastated. Shame on you."


1) Thank Mothergod for the anatomy clarification, "you still had a mother" but I beg to differ. She had me and if abortion had been legal before she got pregnant, I would not be here. That has been made vey clear to me.

2) "as the parent of an adopted daughter" Are you the parent of an adopted daughter?

3) "if she had no father" What is the referent for the word "she" in the phrase "if she had a father?" Is it the mother or the adopted daughter? Your sentence is not clear. I do not understand your point.

4) "I would be devastated" Is that you personally?

5) If I was a "test tube baby" with two fathers, then what?

Feel free to elaborate or explain. Thank you. For the reply. I don't care to much for the finger wag. You could have kept that to yourself. Bless your heart.

Love, Peace and Shelter. lmsp

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #71)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 04:51 PM

72. Sound and fury, signifying nothing...

Nice try to deflect.

For YOU,

I ADOPTED my stepdaughter and raised her as my own. I taught her to read. I took her to softball. I spent ten hours a week with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals because she was bi-polar. I sacrificed so she could do with. Her biological father was/is a self-centered asshole who contributed nothing in the way of emotional, spiritual, or financial support. I, however, saw a three year old girl who needed a dad, so I DID it.

She called me Dad. I was her father.

If you truly are/were adopted, I pity those who raised you. You are quite ungrateful. I will finger wag all I want, I earned it.

Peace, love, and a little thanks for what you have.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #72)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:42 PM

74. This is the place where the words:

hypothetical debate have been lost apparently.

Brag.
Whine.
Insult.

Bless you heart.

Love, Peace and Shelter. lmsp


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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #74)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:49 PM

75. Nothing hypothetical

at all about your statement.

Insult all parents who opened their hearts and adopted children who were not theirs by stating they are not mothers (which tacitly means I am not a father)

Bless your own heart, it really needs it.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #75)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:01 PM

77. In you mind? eom

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:01 PM

78. We are unpersons.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #78)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:02 PM

79. Thank you. n/t

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #43)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:17 PM

93. I am childless and single

and I get tired of all the "family" language. I deserve rights and respect regardless of whether I am a wife or mother or have living parents. I know Obama is trying to be inclusive and I am not offended but sometimes it all gets to be a bit much. Its like we're still in the fifties and single people are the unmentionables.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #93)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:18 PM

94. Thank you. n/t

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Response to undeterred (Reply #93)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:36 PM

103. Thank you undeterred

There are more women than man in the US. Take out those men and women who were born with a preference for the same sex and add in a block on same sex marriage in the majority of states in the US.


In this new age - after all the handwringing last year about how there are now "Oh my! Oh heavens! More singles than marrieds in America!!!" - Wake up.

Being a mother should not define a woman.
Being married should not define a a woman.
Lots of children including girls are 'thrown' away by their neglectful parents - I know women who had a mother AND maybe even a stepmom . . . but feel like they are on their own in this world.


Now - am I going to beat Obama up for this? Nope Is it Patriarchial in it's tone? Yep.

Does it get moderate men who lean to the RIGHT thinking 'left' because:

Over my dead body will some guy in Ohio dictate to my daughter that if she is raped at 15 she will HAVE to first prove it was a 'legit' rape and THEN maybe that 'man' might let her have abortion if her life is in danger AND it's decided the child might be a minority AND, AND, AND . . .

I don't like the language - but if it gets that 'spark' of emotional pull in that white, middle class guy in a square state who is opening their eyes up about the RepublCON party then so be it.

Now - I'll sign the petition because this President has been very friendly to women - but next year he can change the language to just . . . WOMEN who are tax payers and citizens and they are pissed about being pushed around. Their money is just as green as yours fellas and you better get used to that fact.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #103)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:25 PM

104. Thank you.

I am kind of amazed by the responders here who are not even willing to consider this point of view before they march right into the usual bashing and mockery.

I signed gladly.

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Response to roody (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:40 AM

12. Which, of course, is not insulting in the least.

Just the opposite in fact.

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Response to roody (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:44 AM

13. Yeah, Those Of Us Who Are Men But Not Sons Should Be Really Pissed.


(Sarcasm notice, because somebody is sure to need it.)

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Response to roody (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:38 PM

89. Well, men ARE husbands, sons, and fathers. Move on. This is nonsense.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:54 AM

2. We need a petition to stop all politicians from

referring to working people as "Joe 6-pack", too...what an insult that is..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:25 AM

16. I agree with you..

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:54 AM

3. In my life and workplace I'm pretty much thought of as an individual

as well as my role in my relationships. That's because I define myself without expecting all of society to change on my command.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:04 AM

5. "No good deed goes unpunished." nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:27 AM

6. I would rather be referred to as a wife sister daughter

than a slut.

isn't that what the Right calls women who seek easy access to birth control?

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:08 AM

7. I am a wife, mother and daughter

Always will be.
Why feign being insulted unless someone is looking for justification for their persecution complex.

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Response to laureloak (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:14 AM

9. I think the objection is that it can come across as a kind of "ownership." I think it would be

better if he had just said "All women" or just "women." That would solve the problem, wouldn't it?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:33 AM

11. That is stipulating there is a problem

when I think it's just some group who has nothing better to do than focus on bullshit.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:59 AM

15. I knowit wasn't meant to denote ownership of women, but I can see a reasonable objection to it.

Also, sometimes when making a point the simpler the better. He was speaking to everybody, right?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:08 PM

18. I can't (see a reasonable objection).

Being "my" brother does not denote ownership... only relation. One form of relationship is ownership, but the adjective does not force a particular relationship.

And it isn't reasonable to read it that way when you're talking about a human being.

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Response to FBaggins (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:19 PM

20. Look, my reference is just that women have been in the past seen as men's chattel without

rights, simply based on the fact that they were female. You can't really argue with that point because it is factually correct (and in some places it's still the same today!). As daughters, female children had their spouses picked for them by their fathers and were excluded from inhering property from their fathers. As wives, women were under the authority of husbands. That's the historical reference that I meant.

As I said I don't believe Obama meant that at all. I think he meant it the way you characterize it. I was pointing out that it "could" be read the other way.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:05 PM

34. I agree with you.

I do think it is way past time to consider women in their own right rather than as wife, mother, daughter. I know I do not allow my name on any list as Mrs. Husbands name and I usually put myself down as Ms. It just makes it easier to be taken seriously in some situations. My bills will come to me for payment but as a Mrs. they often get switched (I have been told by the computer programs they get switched) to him and he gets all the bills and information from whatever company the bills come from. Really, that kind of thing needs to stop.

So, I agree that Obama probably never thought about that and apparently his speech writers did not either but I do think it is time to address women as people, humans and not according to their relationships. It truly does feel like ownership sometimes.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:31 PM

36. It's really so simple I don't see why some folks here are pushing back so hard.

We're only pointing out an historical truth as background information. Nobody needs to get their undies in a wad...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:35 PM

37. I really have never understood

why people think it is OK to say things that hurt or demean or make someone else feel something uncomfortable. Why they push back? Dunno. Makes no sense to me at all.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:20 PM

46. +1

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:10 AM

8. It is sad that he has to remind the (mostly) men who would restrict unrelated women's rights

that they are simultaneously restricting the rights of women they know. But it's a silly thing to criticize him for.

If he were addressing issues relating mainly to men, over which women had total control, he would refer to them as "your husbands, sons, fathers." He's making his appeal personal to evoke the power of emotional persuasion.

It is not really that much different than when somebody dies, and we immediate express sympathy for their grieving family members. A man who dies in a car accident isn't defined solely as an individual or an employee, but also as somebody's husband, son, father, brother. Likewise, the woman becomes somebody's wife, daughter, mother, sister.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:51 AM

14. I noticed that too. You can be female and NOT be a wife, mother, sister or daughter

 

And you can be male and not have a wife, sister, daughter or mother.

I think he means well but it grates on my ears every time. It comes across as an attempt to sweet talk which just reinforces the same old stereotypes.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:47 PM

19. Um no you can't. Every woman on this planet is a daughter.

Being a daughter is not a stereotype. Its a biological fact.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:34 PM

24. Both my parents have been dead for years.

 

As are their contemporaries. Calling me their daughter is utterly meaningless to anyone but me.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:50 PM

31. The status of your parents is irrelevant. My father is dead, but I'm still his son.

You are a daughter. I don't make the definitions of these words up. They were decided upon and accepted long ago.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:26 PM

22. you can be a male and not have a mother?

Ok, which males crawled out from under a rock?

Spawn of Satan, perhaps?

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:34 PM

25. If you mother is dead, you don't have one.

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:48 PM

30. Sure you do--you have a deceased one.

Your mother's DNA lives on in you.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:12 PM

35. you don't have a *living* mother

but that doesn't mean you don't have a mother. You are the product of a mother, like it or not.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:53 PM

67. Jesus are you serious?

My grandma died, but my dad, uncle, and aunt still have a mom.

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Response to a la izquierda (Reply #67)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:04 PM

81. I HAD a Mom and Dad, and was their daughter. Past tense. It is a little odd to be addressed as

Last edited Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:26 PM - Edit history (1)

one. Or referred to as one by our president- who is apparently addressing men here.

I understand why he is doing it, but it is a slight.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #81)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:20 PM

86. Yeah, it is a strange way of phrasing it. nt

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:34 AM

17. I'm wondering what they should be called?

Women just as men play different roles. I think this is more of a familial connection that suggests a stronger connection than being a friend or co-worker.

If there is a better way to present the relationship I would like to know.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:23 PM

21. Oh, Jesus Christ... and people say there's not kooks on both sides. nt

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:47 PM

23. Why not mention "the women in our lives"?

in comparison to "the men in our lives"?

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:35 PM

26. Why not just mention WOMEN? Who are the "our"?

 

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:37 PM

27. I'll be happy if people just learn not to call grown women

"girls".

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Response to marybourg (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:52 PM

33. Lena Dunham needs to be taken to the woodshed!

And in the interest of fairness, we should go after those Jersey Boys, too!

I think the use of those terms are all down to context. Adult men and women "go out with the girls/boys" even when they're pushing seventy. It's a phrase that, to older folks, brings back fond memories of youth and vigor.

If the words are used as put-downs, that's a different thing entirely....but that's not always the case.

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Response to MADem (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:01 PM

38. Frankly, I'm old enough not to to know

who either of those folks are, and I don't like it when people refer to their co-workers as "the girls in the backroom' or" I'll get my girl to do it". Sure doesn't bring back anything fond to me.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:23 PM

39. HBO series in its second season, and a successful Broadway Play.

Here:

http://www.hbo.com/girls/index.html

Loads a bit slow. I think there are some DUers who wouldn't care for the frank nature of Ms. Dunham's work. She'd probably get a PPR if she spoke here as she does on her television series.

http://www.jerseyboysinfo.com/broadway/
This is the stage musical play about "boys" from New Jersey. It is the Frankie Valli story, essentially.

The use of the term in your example isn't the use of the term I am referencing.

Do you have a problem when a woman says "I'm going out with the girls tonight" or "I'm having a luncheon for the girls," or other uses in that context?

That's the sort of use I am talking about--not the "Mad Men" usage.

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Response to MADem (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:08 PM

41. I wouldn't correct a woman my age (70+) if she said something

about going out "with the girls", but of course, I wouldn't correct someone as old as I now am for anything (and never did), but it would not endear her to me-I find it silly and "girlish". I do correct younger people-men and women- when they refer to co-workers and, especially lower status ones, as "girls". And I did so in my working years, even when they had power over my career. But, having worked in N.Y., it didn't happen all that often. But, oh my, here in the center of the country? It's as though the feminist revival had never happened. And the women are as bad as the men.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:19 PM

42. I am not talking about "lower status" anyone.

I am talking about people who use the term to describe their circle of friends. Not people they work with, people they hang out with AFTER work.

It is a common usage. It's not used to denigrate in that context.

It is also a common usage amongst men to call their circle of male friends "the boys." Fellows watch football with the boys, they go golfing with the boys, they have a beer with the boys, etc.

There's a negative context to the word "boy" too--but I'm not talking about that, either.

I think you probably want to skip the HBO show. It's a bit raw on a number of levels.

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Response to MADem (Reply #42)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:28 PM

44. Don't even have a way to watch HBO and haven't since '73. (That's 1973)

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:37 PM

28. Not every woman is or has been a wife or a mother.

Really. And for those who aren't, the constant referring to them that way can unintentionally imply that without doing those roles they are somehow lesser women.

I've been a wife, I am a mother, even though both parents are long gone I am or at least have been a daughter. My current role in life is mainly as an independent person.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:04 AM

51. No, but every single one of them was a daughter and every human being alive had a mother

no matter what the relationships may have actually been like, those two facts can not be disputed which is why this rhetoric is valuable.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #51)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:19 PM

57. Then just refer to all women as daughters.

Not all women as wives and mothers.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:42 PM

29. Husbands, fathers and sons. Is that offensive or limiting?

Every female person is a daughter, and every male person is a son. Even if they're orphans.

I think the point of using that sort of language was to make the point that WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. We, as a group, related to one another, are stronger than we would be individually. It's a theme that Obama is running with this term.

And as for "sister" and "brother," those are words that go beyond an actual sibling relationship.

I can't get behind this. I'm glad that combat exclusion has been lifted, I'm pleased that Obama is on the right side of history in terms of equality for women, and this seems to me like a "limiting" and limited understanding of the true power of words.

Beats the hell outta "You people" as far as I'm concerned, anyway.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:51 PM

32. What is wrong with the all inclusive term "Women"

 

Not all women are wives and mothers. True, most were daughters, at least at one time.

I also have a little problem with this too: "declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts,..."
Their efforts? That is what someone has decided way back when. That also sounds like the excuse for not paying equal pay for equal work.

But because Obama said it, there are no problem here? Sure, whatever you say.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:27 PM

40. just trying to humanize

It does not bother me, and I'm not even two of those things.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:18 PM

45. That irks me too, as do his constant references to "families" as if family units only are worthy

 

of his notice.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:28 AM

49. OMG OMG What a sexist bastard he is!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:10 AM

52. Much ado about nothing.

"Describing" is not "defining" unless one chooses to be defined.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:18 AM

53. Good grief!


There are a hell of a lot more important issues out there. This is ridiculous.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:33 AM

54. :/

I think his actions should speak louder than a nitpicked sentence from a long speech.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:44 AM

55. I actually think this is a valid point:

“Defining women by their relationships to other people is reductive, misogynist, and alienating to women who do not define ourselves exclusively by our relationships to others. Further, by referring to ‘our’ wives et al, the President appears to be talking to The Men of America about Their Women, rather than talking to men AND women.”

It's pretty hard to argue against that.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 11:24 AM

56. He is eliciting empathy

People naturally feel empathy if they can relate to a person, so if the President talks about wives, mothers, and daughters, his audience will automatically empathize because they will think about their own mothers, wives, and daughters in the context of violence, inequality, and denial of choice.

His words would have less of an emotional impact if he used the generic terms "women" or "men". There is nothing sexist or demeaning here.

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Response to Blaukraut (Reply #56)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:31 PM

58. Some women might not see themselves as being in one of those categories. They see themselves

as women. So when you say "people" who will "naturally feel empathy" you are leaving those women out. I do know women who have never married, never had a child, and whose parents are dead for many years. They have careers, friends and lovers. The term "women" would appeal to them more.

I agree that Obama was not being sexist or demeaning. It is just an outdated way of saying something that could be updated to reflect those women as well as others.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:12 PM

60. Some women AND men, need to stop being so god damn nitpicky over nothing.

I'm sorry, but this kind of stuff is just semantic whining. No normal, well adjusted person is honestly offended by "wives, sisters, daughters" etc. And I'd even wager that most people who say they are offended by it are just pretending to be in order to make a stink.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:54 PM

61. Well, I guess if you say so, it must be so!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:12 PM

63. Any woman who does not see herself as a daughter is very confused about language.

The whole thing about all of this is the elegance of language.

Now which sounds better to the ear.


Our wives, mothers and daughters....


Women.

They both mean exactly the same thing. Prove they don't. but one is powerful on the tongue and the ear while the other just lays there as a plain fact.





Seriously this kind of nonsense saps the poetry out of language.




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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:31 PM

66. +1

As an unmarried woman with no children, I couldn't agree more.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:17 PM

68. Oh, dear, why do I have to explain this simple concept to you?

"our wives" only connotes a man (or possibly some gay women) saying it to other men. If the speaker purports to speak for all of the people he is falling short by the usage of "our wives."

They don't both mean exactly the same thing, QED.

Think harder about it...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #68)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:07 PM

83. you get it, feels like he is talking to other men about some women.....

and maybe, not even all of them. just the ones those men care about. odd framing.
made me cringe a little.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #83)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:57 PM

91. Yes, well I try not to project but this thread has shown me a dark side here I don't like...

I can understand their not understanding it like women do, but why are they so nasty about it? Nobody is insulting them. We aren't saying they are ninnies, we try to make our case. What is so wrong about that?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #91)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:22 PM

95. there's a lot of anger here towards women who speak up. i get PMs all the time

from women here thanking me for speaking up when they feel they cannot. they are afraid to be targeted as being man haters, etc. many are too disgusted to do anything but skim threads on women's issues. it's pretty sad. there's six or seven mainly who just come to disrupt all the time. but they get so hostile it's bizarre. they have some whole other thing going on against women, it's pretty apparent.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #95)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:32 PM

96. well, I'm too damn old to care what they think! So I am going to (and have already) push back...

this is crazy...no more...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #96)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:20 AM

98. Yeah, when I was younger I'd let a lot slide... Thinking the

Jerks would grow out of it, or times would get better. Well they didn't and they're not.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:53 PM

59. Really?

Some people have too much time on their hands.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:08 PM

62. This feeble mock outrage is so fucking nit-picky and ignorant I don't know where to start...

All I'll say is anyone butthurt over this needs to take a class in "Persuasive Political Speech 102"...

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 09:49 PM

64. WOMEN have mothers, daughters, and wives, too. n/t

Last edited Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:49 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:21 PM

65. "wives, mothers, daughters, and any women who are none of those things"

Find me a woman who is NOT also a daughter. Nice logic.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:47 PM

70. I will preface this by saying I don't think it's a big deal

but even though I don't think it's a big deal, I get the thought behind it. He's addressing men rather than people in general, so he addresses men about a problem their women (in the role of wife, mother, or daughter) are facing. It's the idea that men are the main people and women are some other people you don't directly address but talk about in other terms.

Anyway, I'm not bothered enough to make a petition or anything, but I understand their bigger point.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:03 PM

73. Although I understand the author's point,

I'd rather have a President whose actions prove he respects women than a smooth talker who does nothing of substance.

If I had to score the importance of this battle on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being least important, I'd give it a -10.



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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:55 PM

76. Impeach the bastard if he doesn't start using the term "double x chromosomes" in reference to women.

 

Any other term is insulting.

But, then again, assuming that one has chromosomes discriminates against androids and aliens!!!!!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:03 PM

80. Wow.

A lot of women are happy and proud to be known as "wives and moms".
This is a ridiculous petition.

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Response to Bluzmann57 (Reply #80)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:05 PM

82. and the ones who are not mean nothing.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:12 PM

84. Excellent catch!

Thank you.

Love, Peace and Shelter. lmsp

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:14 PM

85. Senior Woman is fine with me

at least that just defines ME as an individual and not in relation to anyone else.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 06:37 PM

87. I find this insulting because he is not talking to women as though

they are equals. He is not talking to them at all. He is only addressing men on a subject regarding women and their rights. Very paternalistic. His writers probably wrote it (I'm sure they are men), and so I don't blame him for it necessarily. I still don't like it.

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Response to senseandsensibility (Reply #87)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:09 PM

92. Chris Hayes seconded your motion today on Up with Chris Hayes on msnbc.com

Last edited Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:26 PM - Edit history (1)

It was great!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:37 PM

88. Yawn. Silly nonsense.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 07:41 PM

90. I think it's clear Obama is a sexist.



At least, that's what the first comment on the salon article said.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:27 AM

97. I was hit by sexism from almost the moment I was born...

Born in December of 1954, grew to be 6'1" by 1969, and had ADULT WOMEN telling me to act weak and stupid. So just a background to establish this ain't my first time at the rodeo confronting undermining language and sexist oppression.

But in this case, I really think the language is meant to induce empathy, not spoken as unconscious sexism. Repigs either objectify women or see us as Madonnas and whores, so by stressing the familial connection, President Obama's speechwriters are actually humanizing women to these troglodytes. Yeah, we see ourselves as far more than someone's wife, mother, sister, daughter. But many men see us as far less.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:35 AM

99. I certainly don't find this ridiculous. . .

Words DO make a difference, and this is easily remedied by NOT using this kind of language. I'm in not a woman, but I can see how annoying this could be.

With that being said, I'm sure no offense was intended. And, as I stated above--easily remedied.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

100. That phraseology is a rhetorical device to bring along those who are resistant


Its purpose is to promote empathy, indirect benefits, and connectedness between those who are resistant to change and those who would benefit directly.

I understand your point, but battles are sometimes won incrementally.


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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:00 PM

101. dat first world problem

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:34 PM

102. Remember when DUers used to read articles, instead of just the title?

Me neither.

The point is that Obama is talking directly to males in this part of his speech and not women or Americans in general. And it is a good point.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:50 PM

105. this is weak outrage here, seriously....

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:40 AM

106. Oh, for crying out loud! Proud sister, aunt, wife, mother and grandmother here. sheesh!

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