Language And Misogyny

It is not the word itself but it is how the word has been used over the years that lead to it being a good word or a bad word.

The other day a friend was complaining about her boyfriend and said that she was on the verge of leaving him and one of the reasons being that he was a mama’s boy. It got me thinking. Is being a mama’s boy really such a bad thing? After all, we all love our moms, don’t we?

I would be very proud whenever anyone would say “Oh you are just like your mom!” Would my brother be equally proud if he was dealt the same comparison? Well, I don’t know. My best guess would be that he would be plain indifferent.

As I was pondering more over the topic, I suddenly realized that being called ‘daddy’s princess’ has all good connotations with it. Like would your partner/boyfriend break up with you just cause your dad loves you too much or vice versa? On the other hand, he would probably be happy that way. Happy probably because the other man in his girl’s life is no competition to him? Or happy because there was someone else to shed some responsibility too? Whether a girl/woman is a responsibility of a man is a topic for another day, I guess.

As more of such phrases played in my head, I came to realize that henpecked husband was a bad word but an ideal wife has nothing but good associated with it. That is when I figured that any kind of overindulgence by a man towards a woman is not considered, well, manly enough? And hence not acceptable? Then one would think probably any kind of association or over the association of men with women does not put men in a good slot. But then a man with multiple women is referred to as a Casanova! As per my experience men who were called or labelled Casanova was never looked down upon. But a woman with multiple men, not even at the same time is called a what!? A slut. And yes, I would be lying if I don’t agree with the fact that slut, is a bad word.

Misogyny is so deep and wide rooted that I sometimes wonder whether fixing the big issue needs one big change or do we have to deal with individual situations to fix the issue completely. And then as a side note, one would think that maybe it’s the language that needs to be fixed in some cases, but that is not the case.

The other day my son comes to me and asks why is calling someone a dog a bad word? After all, dogs are the most amazing pets that one can have. And that got me to thinking, it is not the word itself but it is how the word or phrase has been used over the years and years that lead to it being a good word or a bad word.

Maybe a step in the right direction would be to stop using derogatory or biased words/phrases as freely as we tend to use. Use them only if it is needed to explain the situation. Fix/change the attitude and language will follow suit.

Image Credits: Brett Jordan | Unsplash 

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