My friend Adam Copeland is a phenomenal writer. He recently pondered the limitations in our gender language around marriage on his blog A Wee Blether:
Of my 20/30 something friends who’ve been married for a few years, most have come to use the words “wife” and “husband” without any bother. While it brought them up short early in their marriages, they have become accustomed. For some, they accept “wife” and “husband” as terms that needed a certain rehabilitation for them, but after some time, the job was done…But here I am, going-on five years of marriage and still not comfortable with how to refer to the person to whom I’m married….Maybe I just need to get over it. Maybe, after a few more years, I will.
Language creates culture and affects worldview. When God is referred to as Him, I feel less divine. When I am clumped into “you guys” I am reminded that my vagina keeps me outside of the default societal norm. Wife is another word that makes me wince. It may have something to do with terms like
- Trophy Wife
- Wife Beater
- Starter Wife
Do a google image search for the word wife and try to tell me that gendered words don’t have power.