Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tazi's Corner #26: Let's Eradicate The Use Of "Baby Mama"

Dear Readers:

As a cat, I am often confused by your human habits – like why you leave the house to go to work instead of sleeping all day, why you dislike the dead animals we bring you, and why you have a need for caffeine in the morning. These habits all pale in comparison to the way you disrespect yourselves and each other.

There is a phrase that never fails to raise my hackles, one that will probably be getting more and more use now that Kanye West and KimKardashian are expecting a baby. The phrase – which Mr. West used to introduce Ms. Kardashian at a recent concert – is “Baby Mama” – the leading source for up-to-the-minute definitions of cultural slang- defines “baby mama” as “The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved.”. Further definitions go into detail of how a “baby mama” was never her “baby daddy’s” girlfriend but rather a casual sex partner or a one-night stand. Regardless of the type of past relations that brought the child into existence, the title of “baby mama” is usually used in a derogatory or passive manner, said with so little care or emotion as to impart the impression that the woman in question means nothing – and never did – to the man whose child she bore. If this is not the ultimate disrespect for a woman – to see her as nothing more than an incubator for human seed – than will someone please explain to me how much worse it can get!

Men, to call the woman who bore your child your “baby mama” denies her very person-hood; it denigrates her; it denies her the right to claim a place in your past or your present – and most likely your future – as she is denied the social position of “girlfriend”, “ex-girlfriend”, or even “ex-wife” and is referred to as someone who is connected to you exclusively through your child, as if she is nothing to you but someone you tolerate her in order to have access to your offspring. I understand that relationships end, not all of them well, and when there are children involved you cannot just walk away, no matter how much you would like to do just that. I understand that lives move in different directions, that people change, and that past feelings are washed away with time…but for the sake of your child, don’t forget those past feelings; be a real man and acknowledge your past for what it was, not how you would like to present it to future conquests. Regardless of what you would like to believe, reproducing is not manly; almost anyone can do it. Respecting your child's mother and being there to help raise your child is what a real man does.

If, at the end of the day, all your “baby mama” is to you is a woman you had meaningless sex with and see as a piece of human [garbage], it says a lot more about you as a person than it does about her; it says that you are not man enough to treat your child’s mother with the respect owed to the woman who makes up half of your child. By disrespecting your child’s mother you are disrespecting your child; by calling her [garbage] you are saying your child is half [garbage], too. If, at the end of the day, all your “baby mama” is to you is a woman you had meaningless sex with and see as a piece of human [garbage], it also says that you are more animal than human, so controlled and blinded by your sexual urges that you lack the common sense to wear a condom.

Women, I hear you cheering, but you are not off the hook here! I applaud you for choosing to raise the child(ren) that you were not planning on having, but being a Mom means earning the respect of that title, and demanding that respect once you have earned it. Be a Mother, not a muther. Resist the urge to bad-mouth your child’s father; you never know when your little one might be within hearing distance. Learn to put your wants second to your child’s needs – this may sound like a no-brainer, but this desire does not come instinctively to all women. Most importantly, do not allow anyone – from your child’s father to your own family – call you a “baby mama”! Do not embrace the term as a compliment because it is not! Do not be fooled into thinking it makes you someone in the eyes of your child's father; it makes you nothing but a notch in his bedpost!! Demand to be referred to by your name first, and then your title of “my child’s mother"; refuse to allow someone else to determine your identity, especially if that someone thinks so little of you in the first place.

Young ones are the most precious gift we can receive in this life, and like all gifts we have the responsibility to cherish them, but we also have the responsibility of raising them to be responsible, caring (or at least altruistic) beings. If the animal world can do this, surely the human world can, too. Children learn not only the lessons we teach them, but the lessons we do not realize we are teaching them. Do you want your child to see his or her mother as nothing more than a piece of [garbage]? In 2013, let’s work to eradicate the use of the term “baby mama” and work towards respecting the women who have born members of the next generation - and that goes double for the women who need to learn to respect themselves.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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