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A question for today: I ocassionly hear men refer to their wives as their Trophy Wife. I assume it's a term of endearment, and an announcement to the world that she is great woman. But to me it sounds rather crass as if they won her at the county fair or something. What do you think?

At a time when many thought that news out of the Gulf of Mexico couldn’t get any worse, BP announced today that the oil in the Gulf needs to be changed every six months.

“The oil will need to be changed every six months or every 15,000 lies,” said the BP spokesman. “Whatever comes sooner.”

In the new study, the researchers held weighted threads in front of the ants. Instinctively, the ants bit and held. Without losing its grip, the average worker could hold on to 8 grams, or some 5,700 times its body weight. In proportional terms, that’s like a house cat holding on to a humpback whale. Passing insects don’t have a chance.

This week the food and nutrition pills industries are complaining. They like to make health claims about their products, which often turn out to be unsupported by the evidence. Regulating that mess would be tedious and long-winded, the kind of project enjoyed by the EU, and so the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation was brought in during 2006. Since then, member states have submitted tens of thousands of health claims on behalf of manufacturers about cranberries, fish oil, and every magical ingredient you can think of. This week it turned out that 900 have been examined so far, of which 80% have unsurprisingly been rejected.


 

Comments

Huh. RE: the first link I was pretty sure that 'persuasion' was a corruption of the original meaning in the following way: 'suasion' refers to advising so it seems sensible that 'persuaded' would just mean 'advised' and over time this switch meaning to 'acquiesced to given advice' or 'convinced'.

I'm puzzled by the distinction the author attempts to draw: is this supposed to be some kind of heteronymous/autonymous distinction at work. I'd be just as happy to say someone who decided to do X because they had a gun to their head was 'convinced to X (by means of a gun)' as to say they were 'persuaded to X (by means of a gun)'.

I think the real trophy wives aren't referred to as such, but you see them all the time. The empty headed blondes with fake tits and smiles. The ones who are high maintenance, who you'd be a fool to marry without a prenup. If they are called trophy wives, it's usually whispered behind their backs.

I think if a guy refers to his wife as a trophy wife it's mostly in jest because he's so amazed such a beautiful creature would want him.

Like Ravelin, I always thought "trophy wife" referred to the bimbos that chubby, rich guys attract with their money and/or fame.

Wikipedia defines it this way: Trophy wife is a pejorative term used to describe a wife, usually young and attractive, who is regarded as a status symbol for the husband, who is often older and affluent.

(...)

The marriage of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith to oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall was widely followed by the US mass media as an extreme example of this concept. At the time of their marriage, he was 89 years old and she was 26.

Typically, such men don't come right out and admit that they have a trophy wife, since doing so would ruin the myth they have constructed that they are able to attract such women by merit alone. So, again, I agree with Ravelin that if a man refers to his wife as a "trophy wife," he is probably doing it as a self-effacing joke.

i've never heard or seen anyone actually refer to their wife as a "trophy wife"- normally a pejorative- except pz myers, who obviously means it with affectionate irony. he may even be bragging a bit, something that wives in general (in my experience) are not averse to. i think the general rule would be: if the woman in question objects, don't do it. on the other hand, for feminist men to object on their behalf is demeaning. these days, the ladies can take care of their own honor. it's so sexy when they do. :)

I'm all for feminist men who object on our behalf. Not in the least demeaning.

And of all the bloggers that I've ever encountered, Norm has the greatest respect and love of women, and often objects on our behalf, which is I why I am so damned fond of him.

ooh, that's so sexy. fighting for your right to be protected. let's invent some more fake insults like "trophy wife" so we can watch your sexy reactions.

Happy to be the comic foil for your comedic wit. ;)

I must say I'm rather surprised by your attitude. Even in jest terms like "trophy wife" strike me as tacky. And if a woman is okay with it or thinks it cute, well that's her choice, but I can't imagine wanting a relationship with a woman like that. It seems rather childish to me. But hell, to each his own.

Bravo Norm! Perfectly stated and even further proving my point. :)

if a woman is okay with it or thinks it cute, well that's her choice, but I can't imagine wanting a relationship with a woman like that.

are you insulting pz's wife? i take umbrage on her behalf. screw feminism, this is chivalry. en gaurde.:)

I'd never insult anyone's wife, unless them taking offense at the fact that I wouldn't be interested in them even if they were available and I was looking is an insult.

I discovered long ago that not everyone, though I can't imagine why, agrees with my view of the world. I also promise not to snicker out loud if I hear someone use the phrase.

I wouldn't be interested in them even if they were available and I was looking

ok, ladies, i won't presume to speak for you on this point. is this an insult or not? to me it sounds like " i wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire". but maybe i'm too thenthetive.

user-pic

Eh, when I hear it, it's generally meant ironically, and people get away with it because it's so ridiculously and obviously untrue that it's hard to be offended and easy to laugh at. I could see how if that wasn't the case, it would be a pretty strong pejorative.

As a rather extreme example of the same type of humor/teasing, I often tell my brother that I don't really have to care about what he's doing because everyone hates him (and he's dumb and ugly and is going to die alone and unloved, etc.). He thinks it's funny, and I think it's funny, and it's actually become more or less a form of affection. But of course most people think it's awful and don't understand it and I can't blame them.

Basically the idea is humor/affection through saying things that are so wrong they can't be sincere.

people get away with it because it's so ridiculously and obviously untrue

That sounds more like an insult to me :)

I've often wondered about PZ and how he came to joke about the Trophy Wife™. I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's in reference to something specific that may have happened.

As a woman, a feminist (and a philosopher!), I completely agree with the following comment from Norm:

"Even in jest terms like "trophy wife" strike me as tacky. And if a woman is okay with it or thinks it cute, well that's her choice, but I can't imagine wanting a relationship with a woman like that. It seems rather childish to me. But hell, to each his own."

Well, actually the only part I object to is the "to each his own" bit. This is an ethical and political issue where "to each his own" makes no sense.

there are women feminist philosophers? i didn't know. :)jk

i've never seen a philosopher of any gender address the issue of "tackiness". so you're also a pioneer.

I consider the term "trophy wife" a perjorative term. If the right friend or over used it in a joking manner, I'd probably be fine with it; riles aren't that steadfast. however, if PZ Meyers applied that term to me, I'd probably be pretty insulted, cause I'd assume he'd mean I'm some sort of ditz.

A question for today: I ocassionly hear women refer to their husbands as their Trophy Husband. I assume it's a term of endearment, and an announcement to the world that he is great man. But to me it sounds rather crass as if they won him at the county fair or something. What do you think?

With the progress of women into the work force and into other positions of power, the script has been flipped in my presence more than once. Because of gender bias in regards to age, a woman with a man who is younger, if even slightly, has been jokingly referred to as a Trophy Husband. This is usually said by another woman with a 'you go girl' type of overtone.

This is usually said by another woman with a 'you go girl' type of overtone.

This doesn't say much for the type of women that you socialize with.

Is it bad if I do want to be objectified?

Specifically my mother and sister-in-law joking about the fact that my brother is one year younger than his wife. They are quality human beings.

The other instances have been in social gathering where I didn't have the pleasure of screening my company. I'll be sure to screen women for 'type' on my next outing.

:-P

Sheesh - what a humorless bunch. You guys would have a stroke around my family.

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