Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Fox News and the term ‘Baby Mama’

posted by Nell Minow

I have always disliked the terms “Baby Mama” and “Baby Daddy.” Originally they were used only to describe unmarried parents and the implication was that their connection through the baby or children was all that remained of their relationship. The implication is derisive and distancing. As often happens with slang, the expressions originally from one segment of the culture (Jamaican terms adapted by African-Americans) appeared in popular song lyrics and were then picked up by the mainstream. Salon’s Alex Koppelman noted that Fox News used the term “Obama’s Baby Mama” in a graphic for a story about criticism of Michelle Obama and Fox is now responding to criticism that the term was inaccurate, inappropriate, offensive, and racist by saying that its producer used poor judgment.
Families should talk about how words used in different contexts can have different meanings and how slang terms move from the fringes to the mainstream and yet still be seen different ways by different people in different circumstances.

  • jestrfyl

    When I was a kid (as my own kids roll their eyes and try to slouch away) we were very accountable for our vocabulary. Rather than simply forbidding foul language, if we were heard using it we had to stop and either explain what we meant, a better way to express ourselves, and failing that, we had to read aloud the etymology of the offending word. I can now recite a fairly lengthy history of certain sexual functions (the “f” word is actually quite fascinating)as well as give a comprehensive history of toilet usage and history (Mom did not like the word cr*p). It helped. I now challenge my own kids to explain what they just said and why it is lazy and foolish. I was taught to prefer Mark Twain’s style of cursing and nonsensities. Creativity is far better than simply, thoughtless expletives. (I keep an etymological dictionary on my desk and in my favorites file on my computer) Confirmation Classes and youth groups are astounded at the breadth and easy command i have with the words they simply spit out – and how I can help them visualize what they just said. But then I am pretty good at real cursing too (having been cursed myself, but that is another story)
    Now, FOXnews, what exactly is a Baby Momma” and how does that apply to a candidates wife? Is Senator Clinton also a “Baby Momma”, and if not, why not? Is your won mother a “Baby Momma” and would you be willing to call her that in front of the neighbors? Ignorance is a relection and not a reduction of your subject. FOXnews, you have once more compounded the case for your own ignorance.

  • recovering ex-Pentecostal

    Hey, it’s Fox. What else do you expect?

  • Honora

    I had heard this was said but have never heard who said it. How could this be considered anything but incredibly offensive & racist? Whoever said this should lose his/her job.

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