How do you Name a Woman?

Does it bother you to hear an adult man call his wife “Mother”, “MaMa” or other words similar? How about people who call themselves their pet’s “Mother”, “Daddy”, etc.?

Names are our identity/ identification. Names are how other people view us. I do think it is a bit odd when people refer to another person by their role – especially when it isn’t the role they have for the person who spoke. (Or that whole being your dog’s Mother thing, that just annoys me, personally).

My Dad used to refer to our Mom as “your Mother”. I haven’t thought of it for years. But, someone else I happened to mention it to found it very odd, they didn’t like it.

Other people don’t like hearing a husband refer to his wife as “Mother”. Does it help to think it is the short form for the Mother of his children? I’m sure that’s how it is intended but it does always sound as if he is calling his wife his Mother. What does he call his real Mother? Maybe “Grandma”?

Today in the Arab world, there is a custom still in place to not speak a woman’s name in public after she becomes a mother. In her 2011 book Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics, linguistics professor Sally McConnell-Ginet wrote about how in some historical periods in China, women were only referred to by “relational forms,” names like “oldest sister” or “Lee’s wife,” while men were more often referred to by their individual names. These might sound odd to our modern ear, but chances are most of us have witnessed something similar in our lifetime.

Source: The Rise of ‘Mama’ : Longreads Blog

I found this, part of a long post about the use of the word “Mama”. However, the idea that a Mother loses her name was more interesting to me. When a woman marries she (still usually) changes her last name. She loses her family identity – or exchanges it for a new family identity. Then she has children and loses even her own personal identity as an individual. From then on she becomes a role, not an individual. Isn’t that like a nun too? They are referred to as “Mother Someone”, “Sister Someone”.

Without getting feminist about it, I wonder why or how our culture evolved to take away a woman’s name? It’s really interesting to think about. Not so much about laws, rights, fairness, equality, etc. But, just the fact of it.

How do you Name a Woman?

Does it bother you to hear an adult man call his wife “Mother”, “MaMa” or other words similar? How about people who call themselves their pet’s “Mother”, “Daddy”, etc.?

Names are our identity/ identification. Names are how other people view us. I do think it is a bit odd when people refer to another person by their role – especially when it isn’t the role they have for the person who spoke. (Or that whole being your dog’s Mother thing, that just annoys me, personally).

My Dad used to refer to our Mom as “your Mother”. I haven’t thought of it for years. But, someone else I happened to mention it to found it very odd, they didn’t like it.

Other people don’t like hearing a husband refer to his wife as “Mother”. Does it help to think it is the short form for the Mother of his children? I’m sure that’s how it is intended but it does always sound as if he is calling his wife his Mother. What does he call his real Mother? Maybe “Grandma”?

Today in the Arab world, there is a custom still in place to not speak a woman’s name in public after she becomes a mother. In her 2011 book Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics, linguistics professor Sally McConnell-Ginet wrote about how in some historical periods in China, women were only referred to by “relational forms,” names like “oldest sister” or “Lee’s wife,” while men were more often referred to by their individual names. These might sound odd to our modern ear, but chances are most of us have witnessed something similar in our lifetime.

Source: The Rise of ‘Mama’ : Longreads Blog

I found this, part of a long post about the use of the word “Mama”. However, the idea that a Mother loses her name was more interesting to me. When a woman marries she (still usually) changes her last name. She loses her family identity – or exchanges it for a new family identity. Then she has children and loses even her own personal identity as an individual. From then on she becomes a role, not an individual. Isn’t that like a nun too? They are referred to as “Mother Someone”, “Sister Someone”.

Without getting feminist about it, I wonder why or how our culture evolved to take away a woman’s name? It’s really interesting to think about. Not so much about laws, rights, fairness, equality, etc. But, just the fact of it.

Ordinary Horror

Think of something ordinary and give it a horror story.

I like reading about objects like paintings, furniture and dolls which have stories of death and destruction behind them. I do wonder if there is some truth to it. Of course, people who tend to live with risk, take adventures and such, are likely to have accidents and die in crashes or even pick up diseases. So, you can’t take every story seriously and believe it just because you read it.

However, I do think strong emotion hangs around in places and objects too. There are places which give people a strange, out of sorts, feeling. There are people you meet and dislike right away, without any reason. Almost everyone has walked into a room where people have argued and felt that tension – without anyone saying a word. So it does seem possible something like that could stick around. Possible but I wouldn’t say I believe fully.

It does make a good story. How would you write it? What object or item would you pick? Was it stolen from an ancient site? Did it belong to a murdered woman? What was the tragic event connected to it? What happened to people who owned or used it since then? Pick an outline and give it a good story. Try to spook yourself with it.

Source: 25 Terrifying Objects That Are Genuinely Linked To Freaky Paranormal Events

Quotes from a Widow’s Blog

I found these today while checking links for dmoz. The Anne Lamott quote is the most emotional for me. These were collected by a young woman, recently widowed at the time. But the site hasn’t been updated since 2012. One of the great things about sites on Blogger, they don’t disappear unless they are actually deleted by the owner (or made private).

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. you wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.
-Anne Lamott

“Now we should live while the pulse of life is strong, life is a tenuous thing… fragile, fleeting; don’t wait for tomorrow – Be here now. Be here now. Be here now!”
-John & Stasi Eldredge, “Captivating”

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~Camus

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
– Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

“Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.”
~ Dorothy Thompson

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran

“Be reverent before the dawning day. Do not think of what will be in a year, or ten years. Think of today”. ~Roman Rolland

Source: She Loves You

Perfunctory Moments

According to Miriam-Webster, the word perfunctory is-

Just kidding. I would never subject you to the moist handshake of essay openers. But while we’re on the subject, now is a good time to talk about your throw-away moments. The moments you have to get through the show the big plot point you can’t wait to write.

Take a woman about to discover a body. Or a killer. Whatever. How do you make the start of the scene stand out? To you, she may just be PERSON ABOUT TO DISCOVER BODY (housewife, 40s). To a good writer, she’s a woman in the middle of a day. Good day? Bad? Maybe she’s soaked from the rain. Maybe the paper bag of groceries is so wet it breaks. Perhaps a PEAR rolls to the front door of her apartment where the shadow of TWO FEET are visible under the door…

In some scripts the writer is so excited to drop a body (or discover one) the scene leading up to that moment could’ve been written by a computer program. I’m not even talking about a good computer program. A $4.99 in Fry’s discount bin, cutting edge of 1997 kind of program.

When your script is finished, go back to your big reveals – especially those after throw-away moments – and ask yourself if you really need to throw those moments away.

Every scene we read is time we give to your script. Throw-away moments let us know if you value our time as much as you value your own.

Source: Reader’s Lament: Perfunctory Moments

This post comes from an abandoned blog from 2013. I like this post. The idea of all the little moments in our day and how even the big events have little moments before, during and after.

How would you write the scene with the woman who discovers a dead body? What was her day like up to then, what mood was she in and how is it she (in particular) was in that right place and right time to find the body? She may not be the lead character in a story, just some woman written about and then not heard from again.

His Body was Never Found…

I started reading a post about someone else, a woman who married a man younger than herself. Later he visited Asia and…. his body was never found.

Stories like that are creepy and creepier when it isn’t fiction. Whatever happened to…

Well, what did happen to the man (or woman) in the story of your own invention? Create a character and a back story then end it with “his body was never found”. But because it’s fiction and your own story you can slip in the details, discovered via time machine far in the future, about what really did happen to poor, old…. what’s-his-name.

Image source: Theos Casimir Bernard – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Trickiness of your Own Eyeballs

Do you try these sort of illusions when you find them? I really like how our own senses can trick us in so many unique and weird ways. If you have other links like this add them to comments. Share and share alike.

Look at the picture below, and stare at the little white point on the nose of the woman for about 15 seconds. Then look at the white square. Did you just see a woman appear? This is what we call the opponent process. It’s a combination of different wavelengths that makes us perceive color. The wavelengths are processed in our brain. Special neurons that are present in the lateral geniculate nucleus react to different pairs of colors. Green is paired with red, yellow is paired with blue and white is paired with black. The picture of the girl represents only one color of a pair. So in the afterimage you’ll see the opposite paired color.

Source: Niume | Posts

The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

Introductions: My Wonderful Husband, My Beautiful Wife

Pay attention to how people introduce someone. I like to listen to the introductions on game shows, to hear how couples introduce their partners. Often it is some version of “My wonderful husband” and “My beautiful wife”.

Wonderful is generic, not actually saying what is wonderful about him. But, it shows an overall value of him.

Beautiful is only about how she looks. It says she is valued for her beauty. When a man introduces his wife as beautiful I wonder if either of them knows how shallow that is. Also, it’s not even a credit to her, but more a boast and credit to himself for getting a beautiful woman.

What happens to her value as she ages and isn’t so fresh and pretty? What happens if she gets into an accident and her features change? What happens as she has children and her body changes? At “that time of the month” she may not maintain her beauty with full cosmetics and she might even dress down! Women’s bodies go through more ups and downs physically so measuring her value based on how she looks is not an easy thing to live with.

How do you introduce the people in your life?

Do you avoid adjectives in introduces and just give titles and names? This makes an impersonal introduction. Not a bad thing but it doesn’t give you the chance to show someone else how you value them, or boast about them to others. A sincere introduction is a nice thing. It is a real compliment.

When actors introduce each other on TV shows, like award shows, they pretty much say the same, generic thing. “The great, the wonderful, the beautiful, the amazing…” Even with the adjective those introductions are impersonal because they lack sincerity. Part of a good introduction is about sales, telling others something good about the person being introduced. However, the lack of sincerity makes the introduction impersonal, fluff.

Write an introduction for a few of the people you know.

Stick to one word, but take time to find the right word. Will you use it next time you introduce them? It can take a little bravery or boldness to show how you feel about someone else, when you are sincere and honest. However, you could brighten up their day with a real compliment spoken for others to hear.