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Mike Pence calls his wife 'Mother,' and we need to talk about it

I'm Parenting Editor at SheKnows. I'm the co-author of Let's Panic About Babies(Macmillan, 2011). I've also written for numerous publications including Salon, Redbook, Nerve, and The Onion. I live in Brooklyn with my husband, son, tiny d...

Our new VP has a nickname for his wife, and it's creepy as hell

A Rolling Stone article about Mike Pence confirmed what we already knew about our new vice president:

Where his heart should be there’s just a pile of old teeth

His soul is a washtub full of garter snakes

He’s a reincarnated possum

… He’s not a good guy.

On top of everything we know about him — his virulent anti-LGBTQ stance, his aversion to women’s rights — we learn that he was a horrible, very bad, no-good governor. You should read the article to appreciate fully how terrible Mike Pence is: how he used campaign funds to pay his mortgage; how he defied the Constitution to turn away refugees; how he “dragged his feet” during an HIV outbreak as well as a lead-poisoning crisis.

Among his many deadly sins, however, is one that I feel called to address posthaste

Mike Pence calls his wife “Mother.” 

No. NO. This will not stand.

From the article: 

While Mike Pence was governor, his relationship with the Democratic minority in the legislature was crap. Someone on his staff suggested having the Democratic leaders over to the governor's mansion for dinner. The table was set for 20, but there were only around seven in attendance. One unlucky legislator stuck next to Pence tried to make conversation, but found even at dinner she couldn't shift Pence off his talking points. Gov. Pence shouted to his wife, Karen, his closest adviser, at the other end of the table.

"Mother, Mother, who prepared our meal this evening?"

The legislators looked at one another, speaking with their eyes: He just called his wife "Mother."

Maybe it was a joke, the legislator reasoned. But a few minutes later, Pence shouted again.

"Mother, Mother, whose china are we eating on?"

Mother Pence went on a long discourse about where the china was from. A little later, the legislators stumbled out, wondering what was weirder: Pence's inability to make conversation, or calling his wife "Mother" in the second decade of the 21st century.

Listen. Here are the rules: You can only call your wife "Mother" if you’re a 19th century potato farmer. Yes, only potatoes. I don’t make these rules, folks. So unless you are a ghost from Idaho, you have no business calling the woman you’ve dedicated your life to, the one you bang on the regular (I hope), “Mother.” 

(If you have a husband and you’re calling him “Father,” I have one question for you: Do you need help? Mouth the word “cinnamon” if he’s holding you against your will.) 

More: Mike Pence scares the bejesus out of women and he should

I'm pretty judgmental, so it's not hard for me to find all kinds of terms of endearment offensive. If my husband called me "Mama," I would divorce him immediately with zero explanation. Fortunately, he knows this about me, and this is what keeps us together. As for me, I have pledged for all eternity that I would never call my beloved or refer to him as any of the following: Hubby, Hubs, the Hubster or that most loathsome of terms, DH.

In other words, sure, maybe I'm extra-picky. But you have to admit that "Mother," especially from someone who seems to have so little respect for, oh, mothers, is more than weird: It's downright chilling.

More: Politicians are using kids like my son to ban abortion

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