What do they mean to you?
Are they empowering? Demeaning? Irrelevant?
Does it matter who they come from?
Honestly, I had an idea for this topic but when I started thinking about it, my thoughts have snowballed into a million different tangents, so I am not sure where we will end up. Let’s just start with some word vomit and see what happens.
Lets start from the beginning….
Like many teenagers, I used to work in retail, at an establishment that was frequented mostly by blue-collar men. I had a great time, most of the customers were lovely, however, a lot of these guys – especially the older men – would refer to me as “honey”, or “love”, or “dear”. And I hated it. It felt so demeaning, like these men couldn’t respect me for being me; like all they saw was a little girl.
So when I started dating my husband and he had a habit of calling female servers “love” I couldn’t believe it. Broke him of that habit real quick! Telling him that women do not enjoy that shit. He disagreed, but stopped to appease me.
Now, looking back on it, who the fuck am I to speak for all women? Personally, I hate it when men I don’t know call me pet names in a casual way like that. Maybe some women like it, I mean I like getting catcalled.
I don’t like it, but the men that do it don’t mean any harm by it and it doesn’t cause me any harm to suck it up and let them call me “love”. On the other hand, maybe it makes another woman’s day. Makes her feel seen. Desired. Boosts her confidence. Who am I to take that away from someone?
On an entirely different note, what about the role of terms of endearment in relationships?
My lover will refer to me as “his girl” or “his whore”. I find one empowering and sexy, and the other mildly demeaning (which is the purpose, and which I have consented to).
He uses “my girl” when I am sad, depressed, or something is wrong. It is to show that he cares, that he loves me and that he will take care of me. On the other hand, I am only “his whore” when he wants me to feel powerful, confident, and sexual.
Well, this has been all over the place, but I am okay with that.