Why I am not, and never will be your ‘love’
I don’t belong to you, thanks
It is a phrase that young women today are all too familiar with.
“How are you, my love?”
Whether it’s your boiler man, a sales assistant, or the voice at the other end of the line of customer services, it’s a turn of phrase that has been thoroughly embedded into British culture. And, up until recently, hasn’t cause any problems at all.
You could hardly label me as a typical feminist. In fact, Maisie William’s latest argument that “You’re either normal or a sexist” rings true to my own beliefs. However, I think it is about time we brought this turn of phrase to our attention.
It all started on the eve of my 19th birthday. As you would expect, (and I hope, you not judge me for) I’d had more than a couple of shots of tequila. I wasn’t passed-out-on-the-floor kind of drunk, but frankly, I was beyond the driving-limit. My girlfriends and I approached my favorite hometown club and were greeted by the bouncer, “you’re not going in like that, my love”. What followed was my best friend leading me to the chicken shop in an attempt to sober me up.
“As if I am ‘his love’! I don’t belong to that man. I don’t even KNOW him!”, I exclaimed. And although it was said between mouthfuls of cheesy chips and water, my point still holds validity. Was I “his” that night outside that horrendously awful hometown club in Salisbury? No, I wasn’t. Ironically, on multiple occasions, I probably said that I hated him.
It was an unconventional case of drunk words, sober thoughts.
Just like many other of my early twenties crises, I spoke to my mum about it. In a half accusing tone of hilarity she told me: “He was simply being affectionate, he probably felt sorry for you! The world has gone mad.”
And in many ways, I agree with her. It is quite a common expression after all. Maybe I’m being melodramatic, I mean, that would conform to me being a woman, right?
But surely “My [insert here: Darling; Pet; Sweetie]” is something you would hear in a 1920’s black and white movie. One that starts with “Honey, I’m home!” and ends with the birth of a new-born.
Haven’t we moved on from this? We’ve moved on from being the possession of our husbands/boyfriends/partners. So why does it still exist? And more to the point, why is it still spoken to us by any old barry off the street?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. Unfortunately, it’s just another case of #everydayfeminism.