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7/11/08

Warning: Some Grumpiness Ahead.

A few weeks ago, someone asked for my number, so that we could "play" sometime. I'm serious. But she didn't actually want to "play." Based on our previous interactions, I assume that by "play" she meant go out to lunch or shopping or some other type of thing that adult women mean when they choose to say the word "play."

Apparently, grown women adopting the terms they used as children is cute and trendy. They say that we want to "play," they describe all our food as "YUMMMYYYY!!!" and in general, they talk like children.

And no, this isn't a case of a Mommy forgetting to turn off her mommy voice when interacting with adults, I've heard plenty of childless women shriek like a little girl when they see an absolutely "Cuuuutteeee" skirt.

The feminist in me revolts. Especially when women of my "generation," the twenty-something women who benefit from the civil, economic, and social struggles of our mothers and grandmothers, revert to talking like a child.

I get it. It's cute. It's trendy. And most of all, it's very non-threatening. But I'm sick of hearing an adult woman talk about how "cute" and "adorable" her husband is, and how he "SPOILS ME" rotten by buying her cute and adorable presents. Children are cute. Boys are adorable. Children are spoiled by grandparents.

Adult men do not "spoil" adult women. When married or in a committed relationship, they support them in their endeavors and recognize their success as individuals and partners.

Ladies, if we want to be respected in the world, if we want to be taken seriously, we really need to stop talking like children. From wanting the world to value your decision to be a stay-at-home-mom, to wanting your boss to take you seriously, it all starts with, well, talking like a grown-up.

Oh, and treating your husband like your partner, not your white-knight. You are strong, capable, and smart. Your husband is your partner, you support each other in your endeavors. He doesn't "save" you from your inadequacies by buying you a gift card to Anthropologie.

At least, he shouldn't. Furthermore, it's interesting to note that with rare exceptions, men do not talk like babies. If they blog, they use a normal "speaking" tone. They keep the !!!!!!'s to a minimum. Their blog could never be mistaken for a seven year old's. And they certainly don't shriek when they see each other. That is a good thing.

I don't mean to imply that the gender inequality still present in today's society is women's fault. I also don't want to accuse all women of engaging in this behavior. There are plenty of articulate, non-baby-talk using women who are still ridiculed for their decision to become mothers, or miss that work opportunity because of their gender.

But the baby talk certainly doesn't help the cause. If we want the world to respect our beliefs, values, and decisions, it is important for us develop the vocabulary necessary to articulate them. As long as we keep talking like children, we can never fully participate in and influence the adult world.

I'm not trying to be a jerk. I know some things really are WAAAY cute. And my husband buys me presents all the time, so I'm not against that either. And I am also a terrible speller with limited grammar proficiency, so I don't advocate perfection. But everything in moderation. Okay? Okay. Thanks.

16 comments:

Valerie said...

AMEN! I am not your typical blonde, bubble-gum chewing, squealing-at-cuteness person. True, I do indulge in the squealing every so often but it's an indulgence, not a lifestyle.

And while I enjoy my husband I have a difficult time calling him by anything other than his first name in the company of other women...not "my honey" or "hubby" or anything else that makes me want to shake other women when they use those terms.

However, I have forgotten on occasion to turn off the mommy when with just adults: a few years ago in our apartment complex my friend and I were having a girls night sans kids and as we went down the hill out of the complex I said, "Wheeee!" b/c that's what I normally said with my then-2-year-old in the car. She didn't even notice until I apologized for my mommy behavior.

Anonymous said...

I also think you write Seriously so blessed. Funny how that blog showed up right after your post about fellow MCB blogs. Hmm...interesting.

Nik "the BoyWonder" said...

I am the exception to the rule of non-childish word usage in my blog! :)

Kristina P. said...

Stephanie, I found your blog from KT's blog, and I really enjoy it. I was shocked to see you are only 21! You write like someone with a lot of maturity.

I married a conservative Republican, while I'm a staunch Independent, more left leaning, so it makes for some interesting times, but somehow it works. Oh, and we've been married over 4 years, and I turned 30 a couple of months ago, and no kids. The horror!

tawnya said...

I found your blog via "Seriously So Blessed" and thought it a breath of fresh air!

I just wanted to de-lurk and say...AMEM, SISTER!

Anonymous said...

I am also weary of the following

1. Females feigning helplessness. If you can't lift it, don't whine, ask for help, get a forklift, but please don't whine.

2. Women who can't make a decision until a man tells them what to decide. Forge a trail, make a choice, live for goodness sake.

3. Women who claim they need a man's protection from others. Stand up and be heard, don't cry, melt, dislove, or back away. Take charge of yourself.

4. Women who teach their daughters helplessness and consequently teach their sons that women are not their equals. Teach respect to both. Teach patience, love, and hope, but please for the love of all men and women, don't model helplessness.

Stephanie said...

why so many anonymous comments this time?

i'm posting them. for now. because i really liked the points anonymous #2 made.

KT said...

Wait, is it bad that sometimes I pretend to not know how to do something because I'm lazy and want to manipulate someone else into doing it for me? I hope not because I do that all the time. I like to think of it as "creative delegation."

I'm definitely not a squealer--most of the time I try to hide from people I haven't seen in a long time because those catch-up conversations can be awkward.

Your brother-in-law, I guess, maybe. said...

Tsch, so I didn't go to your house Friday night because your sister totally blew me off. So if you went there hoping to see me, I'm very sorry that you were let down, but it really wasn't my fault. I hope that someday you'll be able to get over the crushing disappointment, perhaps with counseling and/or mind-altering medication. Good luck as you begin this journey of healing and forgiveness.

Lena said...

I tend not to squeal. Gasp maybe. But not squeal. I do call my husband Baby in just about every situation, but its not in any kind of baby-talk way, its just his name now. Get over it, you know?

Kari said...

Amen to this post! I completely agree. So many women I know to be intelligent grown ups turn into helpless little simps when they talk to/about the men in their lives. And then they wonder why they aren't treated as equals.

I stopped reading a blog recently b/c the person used baby talk in such an obnoxious way. She would add things to the end of sentences like this; ((giggle)) or ((gasp)) or ((wink)). So annoying.

And what's even worse to me than grown ups saying "yummy", is the recent trend from Racheal Ray of grown women saying "yum-o". Makes me shudder.

I have to admit though, I am very guilty of using too many exclamation points. It's a bad habit of mine. I completely related to that Seinfeld episode where Elaine broke up w/ her boyfriend b/c he didn't use enough exclamation points in a written message to her, haha!

Katie said...

Okay, I have to admit that I do ask my friends if they want to "play." But that stems more from my Peter Pan complex than from a desire to be cutesy.

As far as the professional world, when women act totally helpless or fawn over men it drives me nuts. Our grandmothers and mothers worked hard and endured a lot so that we could be taken seriously. I want to say to these girls, "Don't set women back 50 years because you want to be a simpering fool." But I usually just settle for a look of death.

Katelynn said...

This post makes me want to make out with you. Smart 21 y/o you are. :)

Jen said...

My best friend and I always say "Let's get adult beverages." It's from some movie we watched as teenagers.

My daughter refers to me as Jenny and my husband as Hon. Maybe I should just call him Dad to help her out, but I find that as distasteful as you seem to find the baby talk. Parenthood is such a great adventure.

Still, I do love it when my husband lifts heavy objects for me (even if I could have lifted them myself.)

The Boob Nazi said...

I'm not gonna lie, I totally do baby talk to small animals. It's kind of creepy, and, I'm sure, extremely annoying, but there's something about little animals that pulls that voice out of me.
Then again, I don't do it to any grown men. Does that make up for it?

Petra said...

Sheesh, why don't I know in real life? That's just not fair.