Terminology and point-of-view

I once saw a woman wearing a t-shirt which said:

Women who say they are not feminists
Have just got their terminology wrong

I wondered about that. Is it possible to refer to yourself in the wrong terms? Or are your terms the correct ones, and everyone else is wrong?

Dictionary says:

feminist adj : of or relating to or advocating equal rights for women

Pretty big assumption by the t-shirt there, to say that all women advocate equal rights for women. Advocate is a loaded word. It means to actively support, plead on behalf of. I hazard to say the majority of women are not this actively feminist. So perhaps the feminist in the t-shirt has her terminology wrong after all.

“I am a birth father.” Do I have my terminology wrong? Should I be referring to myself as “first father”? “Natural father”? “Biological father”? Simply “father”?

Yeah, you knew I was going here huh?

Father – According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a man who begets or raises or nurtures a child. I am not raising Sprog, but to an extent I do nurture him, and I did beget him. I call him my son – I have no other son, therefore no need to distinguish between him and any other male child born to me. Yet I find it impossible to think of myself as his father without any other qualifier. I am not one to argue that I should be referred to as “father”, because I cannot even bring myself to think in those terms. I signed a piece of paper relinquishing my right to do that.

All those other terms… they make no sense to me. I was Sprog’s father at the time of his birth, and therefore I refer to myself as his birth father. None of the other terms quite convey that fact that Sprog was adopted out of my life. I guess part of me wants it to hurt. I think I deserve it. You can layer all of the cushioning you like over it, but nothing truly covers what lies beneath.

Twisting quite a good Pearl Jam song:

Don’t call me father, not fit to be

The picture kept will remind me

 

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2 Responses to “Terminology and point-of-view”

  1. BRAD!!! Missed you 🙂 Glad I found your blog. Hate to say, but its in my favs now. Hope you are well. Congrats on the clean days.

    Jen

  2. wow, is that what that song is about??????

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