Singapore Expats Forum

Is "trailing" spouses a derogratory term

A moderated forum for serious discussions only.
User avatar
sierra2469alpha
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue, 27 Feb 2007
Location: Singapore (Finally!)

Postby sierra2469alpha » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 9:51 pm

road.not.taken wrote:I believe 'trailing spouse' is not at all offensive. If your job did not bring you to the posting and you are married, you are 'trailing' spouse. ....


Sorry? As usual RNT you bite for no reason and without any form of logic. Maybe it's the way YOU were bought (or maybe you were brung). There is a difference between the two words.

I did not read SMS's post in the way you have. You do seem to like to include the Yiddish, well, all fun for you.

Enjoy your obvious pain here.

Mr. P

User avatar
Zeenit
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 603
Joined: Wed, 02 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore

Postby Zeenit » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 10:19 pm

I hate the term Trailing spouse........it feels like I dont have a brain nor opinion. But the bank went one step further and referred to me a "HOME MAKER". I thought I was a Tax accountant but find out that I am a builder. I bet work on my orther cleavage. :shock: :P
Zeenit

User avatar
Saint
Director
Director
Posts: 3535
Joined: Thu, 16 Jun 2005
Location: The Juban Stand, Boat Quay
Contact:

Postby Saint » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:42 pm

road.not.taken wrote:I believe 'trailing spouse' is not at all offensive. If your job did not bring you to the posting and you are married, you are 'trailing' spouse. Tai-tai on the other hand, which may have a completely benign meaning in it's antecedents, is used quite derogatorily to describe rich, over-bling-ed, teased-up haired, Mercedes driving, Chinese Auntie types with entitlement issues. And they are usually bad drivers.



Totally disagree and have checked with my local source :cool:

User avatar
Saint
Director
Director
Posts: 3535
Joined: Thu, 16 Jun 2005
Location: The Juban Stand, Boat Quay
Contact:

Postby Saint » Thu, 15 Jan 2009 11:48 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:3. "Woman of leisure": As in "look at those tai-tais having high tea".

I often have days off during the week and my friends enviously refer to it as a "tai tai" lifestyle (I'm a self-supporting tai tai though!). So generally it is something good.


Haha, sounds very much like Mrs S and why her friends call her tai-tai

RNK, think there must be another expat version of tai-tai :wink:

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:16 am

Saint wrote:
Tai-tai on the other hand, which may have a completely benign meaning in it's antecedents, is used quite derogatorily to describe rich, over-bling-ed, teased-up haired, Mercedes driving, Chinese Auntie types with entitlement issues. And they are usually bad drivers.


Totally disagree and have checked with my local source :cool:


Your local source is correct. And any local source would tell you the same thing. "Tai tai" is no more derogatory than "woman". Both can be used with a tone of contempt, as can any word really, but the terms themselves are neutral. In fact, as you and KSL pointed out, "tai tai" is usually used respectfully, and to be a tai tai is rather enviable.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:42 am

QRM wrote:I am a male trailing spouse, house husband, stay at home dad, kept man, primary carer, sponger, etc. her chums call me Mai Mai don't know what it means but gives them lots of giggles. You are what you are, not too bothered what they call me as its all done in jest and with no malice.

I should learn a thing or two from the Tai Tai, I dont ask for designer gear, large diamonds, or a fancy car, give me a play station, few Newspapers and a quiet corner with a massage chair and I am a happy as a clam.

Cant wait for the kid to start school I can finally get my nails done.


Snap! :lol:

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 4:48 am

Saint wrote:
road.not.taken wrote:I believe 'trailing spouse' is not at all offensive. If your job did not bring you to the posting and you are married, you are 'trailing' spouse. Tai-tai on the other hand, which may have a completely benign meaning in it's antecedents, is used quite derogatorily to describe rich, over-bling-ed, teased-up haired, Mercedes driving, Chinese Auntie types with entitlement issues. And they are usually bad drivers.



Totally disagree and have checked with my local source :cool:

RNK, think there must be another expat version of tai-tai


Exactly my point. Locals use it one way, expats another. To be called a 'tai-tai' by another expat is not a compliment. Just like the use of the word shvarts in Yddish. It translates very innocently as 'black' but if you say: "I can't believe they're going to let a bunch of shvartsers live in the White House," well it means something else entirely. It's the yiddish equivalent of the n-word.

So back to the original question:

carteki wrote:Can some-one please clear this up for me - I was rapped over the knuckles for calling a group of wives who spend all day at home looking after the house and kids (if they have them) "trailing wives" as they considered it derogratory. I didn't mean it in that sense and have heard it used on more than one occasion as a way of describing that particular group of people - just like soccer mom's. Is this term derogratory, or was the person who mentioned it just especially sensitive?
Thanks


Trailing spouse in itself is not deragtory, but obviously some people out there are using it that way (or just interpreting it that way). This is how words morph and change. Not unlike Ang Mo, right?

Again though, trailing spouse and SAHM (stay at home Mom) are not the same thing. A trailing spouse can work outside the home.

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 10:33 am

road.not.taken wrote:Locals use it one way, expats another. To be called a 'tai-tai' by another expat is not a compliment.


Because it means you look like this....

road.not.taken wrote:rich, over-bling-ed, teased-up haired, Mercedes driving, Chinese Auntie types with entitlement issues. And they are usually bad drivers.


...? :lol:

Sigh... go ahead. Mangle our language, use it on each other, then claim that it's a bad word. And tell the rest of the expat world so some innocent expat will take offence next time a local says enviously "Oh, you're a tai tai." No wonder so much misunderstanding arises. You could at least use your own bad words and stop getting us in trouble.

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 10:50 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
road.not.taken wrote:Locals use it one way, expats another. To be called a 'tai-tai' by another expat is not a compliment.


Because it means you look like this....

road.not.taken wrote:rich, over-bling-ed, teased-up haired, Mercedes driving, Chinese Auntie types with entitlement issues. And they are usually bad drivers.


...? :lol:

Sigh... go ahead. Mangle our language, use it on each other, then claim that it's a bad word. And tell the rest of the expat world so some innocent expat will take offence next time a local says enviously "Oh, you're a tai tai." No wonder so much misunderstanding arises. You could at least use your own bad words and stop getting us in trouble.


This does not need to be contentious. Some people use words one way, some use words another. If I used the n-word to describe someone with a sneer it is completely different than when two black people affectionately refer to themselves that way. I'm not claiming any thing -- just merely pointing out that it is used differently by different people. Relax already. Just because we usually disagree doesn't mean you have to raise your hackles on instinct. Relax.

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 12:30 pm

road.not.taken wrote:This does not need to be contentious. Some people use words one way, some use words another. If I used the n-word to describe someone with a sneer it is completely different than when two black people affectionately refer to themselves that way. I'm not claiming any thing -- just merely pointing out that it is used differently by different people. Relax already. Just because we usually disagree doesn't mean you have to raise your hackles on instinct. Relax.

Making it personal again? I am taking you up on the point. Let's stick to that.

I believe it was Saint who kindly gave you a way out by suggesting (tongue in cheek, or at least that's how it sounded to me) that expats may use it a different way. And I was the one who pointed out that the term is neutral, but the tone could be derogatory. You were the only one who stated that the term tai tai was unambiguously derogatory. I decided to correct that, much as I dislike engaging you, because there are people reading this forum who may take away the wrong understanding, which is potentially disruptive to world peace. :)

Perhaps you should relax enough to allow the words "Sorry, I was mistaken" into your vocabulary. It would certainly earn you more respect than all this disguised backpaddling and attempted condescension.

User avatar
micknlea
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 572
Joined: Fri, 09 Sep 2005
Location: Singapore

Postby micknlea » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 1:15 pm

Trailing spouse to me is not offensive either...and I am one. It all depends on how it is used. It is just a sort of literal title given to the partner of the person who is posted to wherever. I don't feel any less of a person if someone uses it when describing me. I can see how some people find it offensive but does anyone have a better term for it? After all it encompasses quite a lot of different people, male, female, working, not working, parents, er not parents etc...

As for the tai tai bit, well, I do know quite a few locals who use it meaning the same sort of thing that r.n.t said and others that use it like WIMH and Saint said. I will always remember my real estate agents (two local girls) discussing a possible landlady (they thought I couldn't hear them) in just those terms and believe me they weren't being nice at all. Funny too, when I met her she was indeed a complete match for the description as per r.n.t...although I can't comment on her driving. :wink:


But the bank went one step further and referred to me a "HOME MAKER". I thought I was a Tax accountant but find out that I am a builder. I bet work on my orther cleavage.

Zeenit: love it... :lol:
"My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes." - Unknown

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007

Postby road.not.taken » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 1:26 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
road.not.taken wrote:This does not need to be contentious. Some people use words one way, some use words another. If I used the n-word to describe someone with a sneer it is completely different than when two black people affectionately refer to themselves that way. I'm not claiming any thing -- just merely pointing out that it is used differently by different people. Relax already. Just because we usually disagree doesn't mean you have to raise your hackles on instinct. Relax.

Making it personal again? I am taking you up on the point. Let's stick to that.

I believe it was Saint who kindly gave you a way out by suggesting (tongue in cheek, or at least that's how it sounded to me) that expats may use it a different way. And I was the one who pointed out that the term is neutral, but the tone could be derogatory. You were the only one who stated that the term tai tai was unambiguously derogatory. I decided to correct that, much as I dislike engaging you, because there are people reading this forum who may take away the wrong understanding, which is potentially disruptive to world peace. :)

Perhaps you should relax enough to allow the words "Sorry, I was mistaken" into your vocabulary. It would certainly earn you more respect than all this disguised backpaddling and attempted condescension.


WIMH I am not making this personal at all, I only sought to address a point directly. Saint may have been gracious by offering a way out, but none is needed. We are both right! It literally means one thing, and it can mean another thing depending on who is using it. I don't feel I was mistaken -- again: some people use it one way, some people use it another. I don't understand how I can be mistaken? Micknlea has heard it used this way as well. Are we both wrong? World peace aside, perhaps people will now understand that it depends on the context and it is not so black & white.

I don't know where I have backpeddled or attempted condescension, but that just proves the point -- even when the words are clear, the meaning may not be.

User avatar
QRM
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1831
Joined: Mon, 17 Oct 2005
Location: Nassim hill

Postby QRM » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 2:16 pm

Zeenit wrote:I hate the term Trailing spouse........it feels like I dont have a brain nor opinion. But the bank went one step further and referred to me a "HOME MAKER". I thought I was a Tax accountant but find out that I am a builder. I bet work on my orther cleavage. :shock: :P


No need to work on it just get one of these butt bra

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... M-bra.html

Mine works a treat in black.

WIMH and RNT I love Friday bun fights.

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 2:35 pm

QRM wrote:
Zeenit wrote:I hate the term Trailing spouse........it feels like I dont have a brain nor opinion. But the bank went one step further and referred to me a "HOME MAKER". I thought I was a Tax accountant but find out that I am a builder. I bet work on my [bold]orther cleavage [/bold]. :shock: :P


No need to work on it just get one of these butt bra

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... M-bra.html


I think Zeenit meant the brain... Don't worry - the staff at the bank just wish that they could be tax accountants!

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 16 Jan 2009 2:36 pm

QRM, I think I'll join you and do nails now that the point has been made. Certainly more gratifying than fighting, which interferes with my hard-earned zen-ness. 8-)

Tai Tai now disengaging from Trailing Spouse - over and out! :wave:


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Strictly Speaking”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest