Last night the NeW ladies of Meredith College met in a pale green room filled with comfy couches and over sized chairs to discuss the death of feminism. Wait. Feminism is dead? Well according to S.E. Cupp’s June 2009 article exclaiming Barbara Boxer as the final nail in the coffin of angry, pant suit wearing pseudo-feminists. Cupp writes:
When Boxer had the audacity — and some would argue, questionable mental clarity — to scold a U.S. Army general publicly for calling her “ma’am” instead of “senator,” it telegraphed to the rest of the world the sheer inanity of today’s modern feminism, a rusting relic of the ’60s that’s been pushed so far to the extreme borders of relevance that it actually has Boxer hearing things.
Yes, in today’s feminism, calling a woman “ma’am” is a mark of disrespect.
Over the next hour NeW members discussed the word “ma’am” using Cupp’s article as a starting point. Anna Beavon, NeW at Meredith’s President, questioned whether the word “ma’am” was actually disrespectful or if Senator Boxer was the one with a respect issue. Needless to say, when a General, who protects America in a way many of us cannot fathom, says “ma’am”, he means no disrespect he is merely addressing a WOMAN. Apparently, Ms. Boxer is a Senator first, and a woman second.
In the south “ma’am” is used to address women in their 50s just as much as women in their 20s. I learned this my first week in Raleigh when I asked a young man to help me carry bags of ice to my car and he responded, “yes ma’am.” I quickly turned around to see if my grandmother was standing behind me—she wasn’t—but “ma’am” to a Florida Yankee means you are old.
So is “ma’am” a term of respect and endearment to only women in the south? No. This ugly brand of ultra-feminism has taken words and manipulated them to meet their own demands. Feminists refuse to be called “ma’am” or “miss” because that connects them with being a woman—something feminists refuse to embrace or accept. Cupp is right when she argues that the credibility of feminists is ruined as new levels of lunacy, hypocrisy and incivility take over and blind women who expect a title and not respect.
And for your viewing pleasure: