Monday, November 5, 2012

Social Media Language

I am a frequenter (read: addict) of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I mean, what else am I supposed to do in class when the grad student who is our teacher drones on and on about the folds (the folds!) in the clothing in the particular painting we are looking at?

(Self Portrait by Artemisia Genteleschi. See? Folds. Which can be kind of cool. But not when you talk about it over and over and over.)

Back to the social media platforms. See, something about them have been bothering me of late.

It's the wording that people use.

On Facebook, I see status updates like this: "Hubby just bought me a new stand mixer! So excited!" or "Hubby finally let me buy a dishwasher! Yay!"

First of all, I have many problems with the word "hubby," but that is a matter of opinion and you shouldn't listen to me if you like it. The real problem I have with a post like that is how sexist it is. Readers might not think its sexist because it was posted by a female, but it still is.

What I'd rather see is something like this: "Hubby and I finally bought a stand mixer! This will make cooking so much easier for the both of us!" or "Hubby and I made a huge, grown-up financial decision and bought a dishwasher!"

Your husband may have been the individual who made the purchase, but (if you share your finances in a traditional way), he did not buy you that stand mixer. If you have all of your finances combined and share a bank account, then you both bought that stand mixer. He also never "lets" you buy anything, because this is not the 1950s, and you do not have an allowance that he gives you. The two of you may have decided on a budget together that you choose to adhere to, but you are also an adult who is allowed to make whatever decisions you want regarding money.

Readers, I'm really sorry for using the word "hubby" so much.

The moral of the story is that I really just feel bad for these young women. All of the ones I'm thinking of are under the age of 23. They're all really excited about their new marriages and starting a life and a home of their own, which is understandable (and, I think, a pretty awesome phase of life). The problem comes when these girls adopt retrograde family, marriage, and domesticity models, for which I blame their mothers, the false, idyllic images they have in their heads, and, often, a misuse of common religious values.

It probably means next to nothing at this phase of their lives. They're excited to try out new ideas that they get from Pinterest and to use all of the kitchen gifts they were given from their wedding registry. I doubt that most of their husbands are trying to push them into old-fashioned and demeaning roles (although, I could be wrong). But if wives start their relationships out a certain way, down the line, years from now when they finally decide that they are sick of being stuck in that role, it'll be so much harder to get out of. They're starting an unfortunate, downhill precedent.

So, yeah. Hope that's some food for thought.

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