An aside on side pieces

This post is part of SoCS:

The prompt for a stream of consciousness piece this week is the word “side”, and when I read that, for whatever reason, the phrase “side piece” jumped into my brain and burrowed in like a tick.  A side piece, for those not in the know, is essentially “the other woman”, a woman that a man has an ongoing relationship with despite having a primary relationship with a long term girlfriend or even wife.

The concept is obviously nothing new, but what baffles me is the term itself (yeah, yeah, another one of those “I fixate on language” posts, I can’t help it, this is my brain).  “Side piece.”  “Side” is obvious, given the fact that the relationship that has been entered into is one on the side, and that’s fine.  The problem is the word “piece”.  It’s not a word you use for a person.  You have a piece of meat, or a piece of pie, or a piece of a puzzle, or if you’re the vulgar type, a piece of ass.  A person is not a piece!  And if you feel like defending the terminology to me, YES, of course I understand that it’s “just a figure of speech”.  That doesn’t make it okay.  Here’s just another example of objectifying women that has become culturally sanctioned and, as a result, accepted (see the video).

To go further still, women are embracing the term.  This is what baffles me.  I mean, okay, you won’t see a classy woman embracing the term, but there are scads of women out there bragging and boasting about being somebody’s side piece or becoming a side piece.  In fact, just searching for that video above on youtube displayed a page full of GUIDES designed to HELP A WOMAN BECOME A SIDE PIECE.

Far be it from me to tell a woman how she should think.  I fully own and accept that any view I might have on the subject is colored if not tainted by the windows I look out through up here on White Male island.  Your sexuality and the relationships that you enter into are your choice.  Do what makes you happy. But accept and understand that in the culture you live in, being “the other woman” is a scarlet “A”; it will get you shunned and judged, doubly so if you brag about it.  And, seriously, despite all the gains they’ve made in the last century, women are still fighting a neverending tide of injustice and inequality in this country (and others).  The last thing they need is dissenters within their own ranks setting women back by embracing and making light of this vicious sexism.

I’m cutting this one short because even thinking about this topic is putting a sour taste in my mouth.  Our country needs to grow the fargo up and stop standing for crap like this, and I mean the men FAR more than I mean the women.

…My blarg has been way too preachy over the last couple of days.  I’ll have to remedy that.

3 thoughts on “An aside on side pieces

  1. I am totally with you there. It astonishes me more and more how younger women just let themselves be treated like sh.. and they either do not see a problem in it or they boast about it. That scares me because I have a young step-daughter and I do not want her to feel like that about herself. I can just show her by example that women can feel different about themselves. In the end she has to live her own life. But it would be hard for me to see her like “A side piece” (and I did not know that expression actually exists ~ still shocked)


    • I know it’s nothing new, but I teach and I see this kind of thing all the time. And yeah, I’m a father of a new baby girl and it’s suddenly hitting home for me just how different the world is for women…


  2. Congratulations to your daughter 🙂 there are the “good” examples as well. Let’s not loose hope 🙂


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