Staff writer LeeAnn Yops discusses how a small word can give many impressions.
I’d like to take a moment to address a dirty, hurtful, 4-letter word. When said, it makes you feel used up and makes you question yourself a lot. It shames you, berates you, teases you and worst of all ages you. That word is “ma’am.”
How is it that a word that derives from the word “madam” (which actually sounds kind of sexy in that whole stringy haired, black book, prostitution ring kind of way) sounds so mean? As cited by Dictionary.com, “ma’am” or “maam” was the colloquial shortening of “madam” which was used as a title of respect, especially when addressing female royalty. I do not feel anything close to royalty when the cashier at Kmart repeatedly shouts “ma’am” at me. In fact I ignore it until it’s said so much that I eventually have to realize that they are talking to me. Sure the years of binge drinking and late nights have aged me a bit, but in no way am I a ma’am. I’ve actually repeatedly been told I look younger than I am. I’ll stick with the latter.
I think we should lay the term “ma’am” to rest. Maybe we should follow suit with Al Bundy and bring back the group NO MA’AM (National Organization of Men against Amazonian Masterhood). Sure his group was an anti-feminist group that existed so that men could still have bowling nights without their nagging wives, but I think he was onto something. Instead of taking away guys night out, I say we take a stand and form NO MA’AM (Nation Organization of Mademoiselles against Moth-Eaten Maxims). I am not a ma’am and you are not a ma’am. Now who’s with me? We will have monthly meetings where we read old issues of YM (Young Miss), prank boys and shop at Contempo Casuals or maybe Forever 21. Please recite the following and stand up for the greater good: only a Miss can be a thang. NO MA’AM!