Christian masculinity

It’s a horrifying thing. Look at the effect it has on men, amplifying their sense of entitlement.

I find the insistence on “daddy” as a name for your partner to be deeply perverse. If my wife tried it it would probably set me aback, and no, I’m not going to call her “mommy”, or in a Pence-style move, “mother”. Ick.

For that matter, I don’t think I’ve ever addressed my wife with a pet name. She’s a person, dang it, not a toy or a child or a stereotypical role, and she has a name, a real name, and her own identity. Same as me.

If two people in love have nicknames for each other, that’s fine, just not my thing — but if you insist on “sir” or “lord” or “master”, you’re not in love, you’ve got a possession.

(OK, another possibility: if it’s part of a role-playing scenario, that’s also fine. Yeesh, interpersonal relationships are complicated.)


  1. ospalh says

    That is one of those paradoxes that, in SF movies, causes the robot’s head to explode, right?
    Your wife is your daughter. A daughter is a child born by your wife.¹ So when your wife is your first-born daughter, than how did she come into existence?

    Apart from all of those other problems, i mean.

    ¹In this context, with the man in a purely cis-het marriage speaking.

  2. wzrd1 says

    My wife had a few pet names for me, one being “Dammit”. ;)
    Still, if she suddenly called me “lord” or “sir”, we’d be breaking the sound barrier getting her to the hospital.
    As for what’s found in the bible, no such bullshit is there at all, just more inserting shit that ain’t there, as usual.
    As for forms of address, call me whatever you want, save being called “unpaid”. :P

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    In my lone romantic relationship, she called me “Bunny Face” and I called her “Kitty Cat.”

    Yeah, I’m pretty boring. Once again, I blame my right-wing Catholic upbringing for a large part of making me such a loser.

  4. wzrd1 says

    @Akira, admitting to a problem is the first step in recovery. Alas, I’ve not a clue what the second step is, so don’t look here, I’m a basket case.
    But, if it’s any comfort, we also did “Bubba and Babs”, which came in handy in case of emergency when we were in the Middle East together. Even Uncle Sam didn’t know those names. Also, “Popi”, “Pasquale” (my middle name) and “son of a bitch” (which I swore I had papers to prove it). ;)
    Yeah, we’d snipe at each other in fun, it was a crowd pleasing routine at parties. We got the idea from “The Lockhorns” comic strip years ago.

  5. Susan Montgomery says

    I can’t help but imagine PZ’s love letters notarized and written in triplicate.

  6. PaulBC says

    WTF? It took several tries to understand what the reply was even saying out of context, and I still find it impossible not to read it as sarcasm. He’s serious?

  7. robro says

    I would never expect her to use “sir”, “lord”, or “master.” I can’t imagine a quicker way to get into a fuss. I’m not particularly comfortable with being called “husband” or using “wife” even. “Partner” is a fallback for when I’m talking to someone else about her and her name wouldn’t mean anything to the other person. I’m not too fond of that because it feels so legalistic, like notarized letters and triplicate forms, but it’s all I’ve come up with so far.

    We do generally use our names with each other, although “hon” or “dear” come out sometimes. With our son she’s “mom” and I’m “dad”. I sometimes use “your mom” with him but I’m lazy and have defaulted to just “mom” when I message him about her. I never call her “mom” to her face.

    As for the Bible, you won’t find “sir” or “my lord” anywhere in it as those are obviously English translations of something. If you’re going to use the Bible to stipulate usage, I suggest speaking in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew. It’s the only way to be true to the Bible’s words.

  8. PaulBC says

    “Partner” is a fallback for when I’m talking to someone else about her and her name wouldn’t mean anything to the other person.

    There’s an idea. Call each other “pardner” like cowboys. “Comrade” could be fun too. Sadly I am set in my ways and we use rather conventional terms.

  9. R. L. Foster says

    If this were ever to become a thing I imagine that one of the first things my wife would say to me is, Do the dishes, my lord.

  10. whheydt says

    Re: PZ Myers @ #2…
    They’re probably extremely fussy about other peoples pronouns.

  11. PaulBC says

    My very conventional and unimaginative system: first names to each other or adults who know us, wife/husband to others who don’t, spouse on forms, “Mom” or “Dad” to kids. I see the last one as role-based rather than creepy Psycho “Mother” talk.

    Reagan got some grief over referring to Nancy as “Mommy”. I am no fan of Ronald Reagan, and it is a little weird if he meant it as someone to “mother” him (which maybe he did) (and there’s Janis Joplin singing “Tell Mama”). If he meant it as “mother of my kids” I don’t have a problem. (Anyway, there’s plenty more to dislike about Reagan.)

  12. Pierce R. Butler says

    I gather the “Mother” riff expressed by Pence, Reagan, et alia, is a Midwestern thing – not that I know much about that part of the country except having ridden through it many times and flown above it a few – recognizing that the woman addressed has achieved maternality, and thereby reached a social rank a step above the “heifer” level.

    Using that term for a nullipara would surely constitute hardcore kink, to be kept behind closed doors or at least in the back of the bar where nobody else could hear it.

    That’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it, so y’all can stop dragging all them Eddy-puss allusions out of the sewers of your minds and let them remain subliminal dawg whistles, like Gawd intended!

  13. PaulBC says

    Pierce R. Butler@16 Well, the idea that a grown man wants a “mama” to take care of him isn’t exactly a hardcore kink. In fact, the lyrics sung by Joplin were written by Etta James (a fact I did not know until today).

    It’s not something I’m into, but that kind of imagery as well as a big daddy or sugar daddy… I mean who am I to judge?

  14. acdoylejr says

    I can cook pretty well, and I summon up some tasty meals. My penultimate girlfriend used to say: “Baby, you can cook for me any time!” I took it as a compliment on my culinary skills, and read nothing else into it. She always said it with a smile. I’d get a mirepoix going in a Dutch oven, then add garlic, then stock, then tomatoes, then the meat (sorry, if that offends some of you, but yeah, perdriz or faisan or conejo), then steam some orzo, and I’d look forward to her calling me “baby”. Lord or master or daddy would have been icky. But I didn’t mind “baby”.

  15. PaulBC says

    @18 I can summon up tasty meals. But they don’t come when I summon them.

  16. vucodlak says

    I found the idea of being called “daddy” by my partner shudder-inducing even before I came out as non-binary. A partner who insisted on being called “daddy” or “mommy” would be a relationship-ender. A male partner who insisted on being called “my lord” would get to hear the term exactly once: “stick it up your ass and blow it out your ear, my lord.” I’m open to calling a partner “mistress,” but not in public.

    When I first met my beloved bestie and we exchanged names, she added “I don’t really like my name, but you can call me [name], [this shortened version name] or [this other name], but don’t call me [that shortened version of the name], ever, or I’ll hurt you.” So I said “hmm, okay, how about [something derived from her name that I’ve never heard anyone called]?” She laughed, and promptly turned it into something dirty with a slight change of pronunciation. I knew we’d be good friends then. When she turned my hated name into something slightly goofy, I knew I was right about us being friends. Those were our secret names for one another, and I treasure the one she gave me.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    I would prefer to be called something that would fit into a Conan movie, like ‘Hrun’ or ‘Zlorf’ .

  18. birgerjohansson says

    When people are allowed to dictate what they should be called, we get those absurdly long descriptive titles of feudal-age rulers, the snobbery of titles among middle-class and upper-class people in 19th-20th century Germany et cetera.

  19. DanDare says

    Call me Ultralord.
    Most everyone I know calls me “hey you” and I’m a bit fed up with them not knowing my name.
    I know my wife and daughter’s names.

  20. nomdeplume says

    What the hell? I thought the disintegration of American society had reached the bottom, but then I read this!

  21. fentex says

    I generally agree with the opinions that using language like “sir” and”master” etc is quite depraved and about abusive ideas but I also think people are wrong about husbands who call their wife “mother”.

    They don’t mean “my mother” as if they’ve a weird relationship – when ther wife is a mother to their children they’re acknowledging her parenting position and authority – it’s a respectful term (well, in those who don’t mean it restrictively – as in “you’re ONLY a mother” is intended to put someone in a submissive state which I guess is possible in some?)

  22. silvrhalide says

    From The Simpsons:
    [Cletus to Brandeen] “of all the cousins I could’ve married, you was my sister”

    Maybe it’s the source material?
    In the Bible
    -Jacob marries his paternal cousins, the sisters Leah and Rachel
    -Cain and Abel marry their SISTERS. Yep. Look it up.
    -Cain murders Abel so he can sleep with Abel’s sister/wife because she’s the hot one.
    -Adam and Eve, having had one unsatisfactory son and one dead son decide to double down on a bad decision and have a third son, Seth, after Cain is banished from Eden for fratricide. His parents have a third sister for Seth to marry.
    -Abraham rapes his wife’s teenage slave Hagar, has a son Ishmael by her and then later abandons them both in the desert to die at his wife Sarah’s urging, because she was afraid that Hagar’s (older) son would supplant her own son (Isaac) in terms of inheritance.
    -Isaac and Ishmael were actually friends as well as brothers. So when Abraham abandoned Hagar and Ishmael to die in the desert, he was effectively killing his other son’s best friend as well as brother.
    -Abraham first tries to sacrifice Ishmael rather than Isaac to God. (Guessing there were not a lot of Father’s Day cards back then.)
    -Jacob successfully robs his brother Esau of his birthright/inheritance in return for food. Apparently sharing and caring is not a big thing in the Old Testament Bible.
    -Jacob’s oldest son Reuben sleeps with Rachel’s slave/Jacob’s concubine, Bilhah. Inappropriate sharing is somehow okay?
    -Adam’s first wife, Lilith, tells God she refuses to sleep with Adam because he’s a selfish ass and a lousy lay. So much so that she would rather live in the desert and shag monsters than live in Eden/Paradise and bang that selfish asshole Adam.
    -After Lilith’s rejection of Adam, God builds Adam a Stepford wife, Eve. They have spectacularly awful children.

    No wonder evangelicals and right wingnuts hate female empowerment.

    Generations later, when God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, was He thinking of Cain when He came up with “thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife”?

    I’m just saying, when you consider the source material, it isn’t really surprising where these misogynistic asshats get their ideas.