by Carl, 02/13/2013, 5:08 PM

I’m glad for the policies that Obama embraces when he uses the phrase Wives, Mothers, & Daughters. The Violence Against Women Act and Paycheck Fairness are crucial steps forward.

But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, our mothers, our daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. And I now urge the House to do the same. (Applause.) Good job, Joe. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. (Applause.)

Yay for those policies! Still, when we watched that part of the State of the Union at Drinking Liberally, I asked Darryl if Obama realized that women were watching the speech too. That phrasing makes it sounds like the women who’ll benefit from the VAWA and the Paycheck Fairness Act aren’t listening.

I’m sure it polls and focus groups well, but it’s not as inclusive as it ought to be. So I’m glad to see that Melissa McEwan has started a petition to ask the president not to use that particular phrase.

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.

Please embrace inclusive language, Mr. President.

18 Responses to “Wives, Mothers, & Daughters”

1. Steve spews:

Speaking of wives, mothers, daughters and “crucial steps forward”, why is it that HA has no female bloggers? Don’t you have a binder?

2. Ten Years After spews:

I suspect there are women who leave comments here, from time to time.

3. YLB spews:

why is it that HA has no female bloggers

Roya is female..

4. JosephW spews:

“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.”

And yet…..the President said this is relation to women being ABUSED, largely not by other women, but by “their” men. And when the discrimination in the workplace occurs against women, it’s generally NOT because other women are doing it, but by men.

I really don’t understand why Ms McEwan feels that “women” need to be talked to about issues they, most likely, are already facing. Some folks would call that type of talk “preaching to the choir,” something which is rarely a productive endeavor.

5. Ten Years After spews:

Well, women say “our husbands” and “our children.” What’s the big deal?

6. Lauramae spews:

I think the phrasing is designed to appeal to men in these terms because it makes it personal rather than theoretical. If this is something that happens to “those women” rather than women men have connections to, then there isn’t as much empathy for advocating for such laws as VAWA.

Since it was 22 yahoo MEN who voted against the law, it is clear that the people Obama is speaking to would be men. And in the House, I’m guessing that it will be MEN who will come up with some half-assed version of VAWA that will strip out the protections for women like those on Indian reservations.

Men perpetrate the majority of sexual assaults and rapes and so men should be educated on stopping it.

7. Serial conservative spews:

why is it that HA has no female bloggers?

Most people get the strong impression that YLB is female.

8. Kidding right? spews:

It must really suck to be a liberal, constantly worried and afraid of offending someone with every word you say….fucking pathetic.

9. YLB spews:

7 – Most (thinking) people get the strong impression Bob is a silly dumbass…

11/03/2010: YLB is male?

05/02/2012: you’re a smart chick.

10. YLB spews:

constantly worried and afraid of offending someone with every word you say

Please do something anatomically awkward to yourself right wing troll.

It’ll make your day.

11. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@7, @9
Typical that Dr. Bob the sneering radiologist would use the word ‘female’ as an epithet.

Jackass

12. YLB spews:

11 – There’s hardly a right winger alive that doesn’t.. Even the female right wingers do that.

It’s too strange and disgusting for words.

13. Kidding right? spews:

Sounds like someone needs diversity training.

14. Roger Rabbit spews:

@7 I get the impression you’re a runty 7th grade cross-dresser with severe acne.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 Yeah, we liberals constantly worry about what rightwing asswipes think of us.

(raucous rabbit laughter in background)

16. YLB spews:

13 – Awwwww… Did I offend you?

Sorry but the truth is right wing is bad.. Instead of solving problems like jobs, right wingers move heaven and earth to make rich people richer, police vaginas, promote more deadly guns as a solution to gun violence and make people wait in long lines to vote..

Among lots of other things..

Right wingers don’t care for diversity.. When right wingers fail at the ballot box, the only solution is a more hard-core right winger, i.e double down on the stupid.

17. Roger Rabbit spews:

@13 Nah, just neuter ‘em. There’s too many of you humans anyway. We need to rightsize the human population and turn the management of this place over to a more intelligent species, e.g. mine.

18. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@14
I’ve seen his picture, and that’s not too far off the mark.