There are far too many love songs being written, recorded and played that call women “baby.” I fundamentally object to this. It is demeaning, even for a term of endearment. It is not sweet, it does not show or shower affection, it is a put-down. I know what a baby is; I’ve nursed, diapered, burped, and wiped two of them countless times. Babies are helpless; they need help with most tasks, except body functions. So what the heck does calling a grown woman “baby” have to do with her turning your love button on?
Now “babe” is an entirely different story. Call me babe and a bit of the mortar holding up my walls just may crumble. Babe, it’s cool, it’s hip, it’s risqué in a refined way. Babe. I can be a babe. No one would confuse a babe with a helpless infant in a onesie. A babe gets kissed on the neck right before the door is held open for her. A babe decides what movie to see and where to eat after... and even if that’s necessary.
Call me baby and you get a look, maybe even the look. I am not a baby. But if you intuit that I am a babe, my scorn meter might be turned off, at least temporarily.
Songs that refer to women as “baby” should be censored and banned from the air waves. Words matter, and if you call a woman a word that confines her and defines her as a different sort of eye candy, then it should not be used. Instead, try a word that tussles with and challenges perception.
“Baby come back” just isn’t going to happen, but, perhaps “You got me babe” will.