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.

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.

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

Writing About Fat People

BBW stands for big, beautiful woman. Why does a site like the Urban Dictionary post negative definitions like this? (See below).

How do you know what’s humour, what’s serious and what’s over the line?… Substitute something else for “fat” or “black” or “Mexican” and see if it still sounds okay. Changing one descriptive word can do more than just change your perception.

Fat itself is not a bad word. The words around it change the sense of how the word is intended.

How would you write about a fat character?

What are your own preconceptions about people and how do they influence the way you write?

 

bbw peoplevia – Urban Dictionary: BBW.

The Most Odious Woman Alive

Gloria – Gilmore Girls Wiki.

Are you a Gilmore Girls fan? Do you remember when Richard took Rory to golf at the country club and they met “The Most Odious Woman Alive”?

We never found out what was so awful about her. So, put it to your imagination… how would an ordinary looking woman who doesn’t seem to be anything especially bad or good become known as “The Most Odious Woman Alive”?

Women are Afraid Men Will Kill Them

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood.

Do you agree, or disagree? Does your opinion reflect your gender? Do men ever feel threatened with bodily harm, assault, torture, sexual violence or death on an average day?

My Dad and my brother both make light of anything like this. Women are over reacting, being silly… but the fact is that a woman does not feel safe out in the world and it’s not because of other women.

When you write about fear, what do you draw on? I draw on my feelings at the times I have been assaulted, molested and/ or attacked. It does make me wonder what men have to draw on when they write about fear. Do they have any real experience or is it all based on stuff they have seen on TV? Isn’t it handy then, that there are so many movies and TV shows where women are attacked so men will have something both entertaining and educational to have some understanding of what it feels like to be afraid for your life.