Feminist Friday: The Words We Choose

The in-laws are here for Thanksgiving. This is many, many things, all worthy of speed drinking in order to pass out, but here is a snippet:

MIL: (droning on and fucking on about a relative I hardly knew who has been dead for over ten years and what her widower’s dating life has been like since she died [also I’ve already been told all of this like ten times]) So, the Older Boy, he got sent to an all boy’s Catholic School because he fooled around at public school, yanno, being a kid, and had to repeat a year.

Me: (Imagining what it would be like if my kid flunked a year of high school): Huh.

MIL: But he got his grades up and….

FIL: (Interrupting, his all-time favorite hobby is not letting people finish a sentence): Well he’s, he’s got that girl’s got her claws in him!

MIL: Yeah, yeah, he’s got a girlfriend.

FIL: (to me, apparently because he can’t help himself trying to be offensive): He’s WHIPPED.

MIL: Yeah, kinda like you were sayin’ your daughter has taken charge in her marriage. [you guys needs to know I let that shit slide simply because it would have resulted in some sort of permanent schism and we only see them once a year if we can help it and my daughter is awesome and married a guy who needed help fixing his life and she has and that’s not the same at all]

Me: (Fuck me, why am I not drunk and passing out is anyone else going to deal with this? No?) I wouldn’t call it WHIPPED.

FIL: Well, she made him get his grades up so he could go back to public school and see her! She’s got him good!

Me: I would still refer to that as something other than “whipped” if, you know, the kid couldn’t manage to get through high school on his own, it sounds like he made a good choice in dating someone who could motivate him to do something other than be a drop-out.

MIL: (blinking in the headlights)

FIL: (does his penguin laugh) NYAK NYAK NYAK!

Me: (texts spouse: BRING ME A DRINK NOW)

Oh poor men, whipped by women with their claws in them. So, this kid, who btw is doomed entirely by a fucked up family situation that is beyond repair and practically worth a novel on its own, can’t manage high school, but meets a girl who, for the time being, seems to motivate him to be more successful.

Wait. I was trying to see what was wrong with that and why I should feel sorry for the poor trapped boy. Let me try again.

So, this kid, whose mother died of a drug overdose when he was 7 or so, whose father has been a non-parent, who has mostly lived with his grandparents his whole life, whose uncle died of a drug overdose, whose grandfather died of a drug overdose, this kid is failing in high school. So he gets sent to an all boys school, and what motivates him to get his shit together is this awful girl…wait. She makes him get his grades up. She makes him get a job, and now he has a job and good grades and this girlfriend…..

HOLD THE PHONE! I know why. Because we must constantly cast all things in the light of patriarchy, that’s why. So, scratch the above. Kid’s got a girl whose got her claws into him, he’s whipped and the little bitch will probably trap him with a pregnancy.

I understand. Now someone get me a goddamned drink.


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