More Thoughts on Gender Neutral Language: Pete's Husband

Two hands making a heart

My 91 year old Aunt Heidi is a big fan of Mayor Pete, and last week in the middle of an engaging chat about his chances of winning the Democratic nomination, she confessed that it bothers her a little when Pete talks about “his husband.” It’s not the fact that he’s gay or that he’s married to a man — that doesn’t concern her at all. And she isn’t like the woman at the Iowa caucus who voted for Buttigieg and then discovered that he was gay and wanted her vote back. But when Pete says “my husband” it confuses Heidi. Shouldn’t he say “my wife”? or does Chasten call Pete his wife?

Uh oh.

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The Dread of Saying I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom

cookies cooling on a rack

Did you know that in some societies it’s considered impolite to ask someone what they do for a living: it’s looked on as a backdoor way of asking how much money they make or of sussing out their social status. Rude! But here in the US, “What do you do?” is a perfectly acceptable question, as harmless and as common as “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “Paper or plastic?”

“So, what do you do?” You probably get asked that question all the time.

And for most people the response is pretty straightforward. “I’m a teacher.” “I sell cars.” “I’m in retail.” “I own my own business.”

But I always dreaded the question. Especially when it came up in conversation with my husband’s colleagues or business associates, all of whom were accomplished professionals with equally-accomplished spouses. Because my response to their simple question was never well-received.

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The Women’s Movement: Success at What Cost?

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Walk through any neighborhood on a sunny afternoon and you feel like you’re walking through a ghost town. No children are riding bikes, playing ball, or climbing trees. No adults are chatting together over the hedge. Houses stand empty all day. Even in the evening, people are sequestered away inside.

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She/Her – They/Them – Person

What are your pronouns? Do you prefer she/her? He/Him? They/them? Any of the above? Are you wondering what I’m talking about? No doubt you’re familiar with “pronouns” in the grammatical sense — those little words that refer back to a noun mentioned previously: he, she, it, they, etc. But maybe you’re not familiar with the idea of choosing one’s pronouns and then sharing that choice so that others know your preference.

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Men: Let’s Talk About Your Birth Control

You know it’s not just slutty liberal college women who are having sex.

Non-slutty women in monogamous relationships have sex too.

In fact, I have it on good authority that there are plenty of perfectly respectable, married, conservative, Christian women out there engaging in the act, many of them with their own husbands. And though I’m sure that most of them don’t enjoy it, some of them actually might. But that’s beside the point.

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The Mrs. (Maisel) is a Miss

Mrs. Maisel is back with season two. More praise for this season. But not all of us think she’s a hit. Some of us still think the show’s a miss. Apparently even the New Yorker has soured on her sweetness. And some of us are sick to death of women being sold more unattainable expectations in the form of “harmless fantasy.”

Here’s what I said a year ago: Marvelous or Misguided?

Eleanor Roosevelt: July 23, 1943

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”

I have deep admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States during one of our country’s most challenging times. She had bold, and you might even say modern, opinions about political, social, and racial issues. She was articulate, thoughtful, outspoken, and worked tirelessly for the causes she believed in.

In so many ways she was a woman well ahead of her time.

We could benefit from her voice today. And so I think that I will post regular quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, starting with this one, which I believe is quite appropriate for those of us who read and write blogs:

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”
From her nationally syndicated “My Day” newspaper column, July 23, 1943.