Missus“… Really?

Laura Kebby -

Lifestyle Opinion

We all get dates wrong sometimes. I mean personally I often think that June and July just run into one another to form one big delicious grey cloud. But to forget what year it is entirely? Now surely that’s a bit of a stretch. But here I was, scrolling through the ‘news’ this morning (I use that term ever so loosely) and that’s exactly what happened. The article was centred around the budding success of a brand new design business. The words focused on the entrepreneur, and her future plans now that her life situation allowed for a stronger focus on her passionate project. Her work. 

The article itself was fine, wonderful even, and focused on the way our lives change when our families grow, and the passionate dedication it takes to support your partner, regardless of their football career. It wasn’t the content of the story, or anything about the article itself that made me go back and check the calendar year, it was the tag line. And to whoever wrote the tag line, women are not just someone’s missus, or someone else’s husband, or the shadow behind a busy man, because surprise surprise we’re people too, and deserve to be treated and celebrated as such.

See you had the opportunity to celebrate the family in question and in particular the woman who, I dunno, is actually at the centre of the story? Why decide to shape the words around the role her husband plays in her career. Am I going too far here, in reminding you that you’re a journalist? I wasn’t sure because it seems that you’ve inherently forgotten that particular detail of your job. Despite the publication you work for, you’re not meant to be some loose cannon slurring at a party rehashing a story you were told once, by some guy, at some place, apparently proud as punch that his missus is finally doing something she’s passionate about? Did you just get lazy in your approach and fall back onto whatever click-bait line you picked out of the trash?

I will say this. The University education you slaved over for three years has done you wonders. I’m sure you spent many (many) classroom hours debating with your lecturers the phonetic differences between “missus”, “misses” and the ever controversial “misso,” so at least good on your for coming to a conclusion.

Another burning question I have, is why exactly you chose that particular perspective? Is it all too much to keep the woman at the centre of the story, the focus of the tag-line? The overall tone is honestly cringe-worthy, and I’m so confused as to why you had to take many a detour to simply focus on the story at hand. You know people read articles about women too right? Like you know people will read well written stories about wonderful, interesting and insightful people? Surely the amount of confidence you have in your words isn’t determined by the availability of a male protagonist to lead the way? It’s 2017 after all. 

Sure. I get it. “Missus” can absolutely be seen as a term of endearment to some and a way of outwardly communicating a specific bond between a couple within an informal setting. But it’s definitely not your place to label or reduce anyone else as such, particularly when you’re (hopefully) attempting to act with journalistic integrity. Like I said, it’s 2017. 

Just to be clear here, this little think piece has nothing to do with the subjects mentioned in the article, it’s purely about the way their story was fed through the mainstream media machine and spat out to the masses via social media this morning. Because you know what? It’s not good enough. And personally, I’ve had enough.

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.