London: The Associated Press is being lampooned online after its style guide weeded out the term ‘mistress’ from the lexicon because the word ‘implies that the woman was solely responsible for the affair.’ Instead, the AP Stylebook, used by journalists and writers as sort of a thumb rule, recommends that the term be replaced by gender-neutral words like ‘companion,’ ‘friend,’ or ‘lover.’
The AP initially recommended the elimination of the term ‘mistress’ last year, but a tweet reminding the public of the change went viral on Wednesday. ‘Don't use the term mistress for a woman who is in a long-term sexual relationship with, and is financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else,’ the AP tweeted.
Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover on first reference and provide additional details later.’
In a follow-up tweet, the agency wrote: ‘We understand it's problematic that the alternative terms fall short.
‘But we felt that was better than having one word for a woman and none for the man, and implying that the woman was solely responsible for the affair.’
On Twitter, social media users ridiculed the AP. Mark Harris of New York City sniggered: ‘Yeah, definitely use “friend,” the term the husband uses to explain himself. That’s much less sexist.’
Christian Schneider thinks that a synonym for mistress should be ‘homewrecker.’
Joe Cunningham tweeted: ‘The preferred gender-neutral phrasing is “Sugar Baby”.’
‘The word for the man is "adulterer”,’ wrote one Twitter user.
Another Twitter user suggested ‘mister-ess’ as an alternative.
Matt Comer thinks the AP should just adopt the term ‘paramour,’ which is ‘just waiting to be plucked from the dictionary.’
One Twitter user claimed to be cheated on by her husband. She said dropping the term ‘mistress’ absolves the other woman of her responsibility.
Katherine Neukomm tweeted: ‘Rather than diluting words about love and friendship, which invoke none of the scalding vitriol mistresses so often merit, perhaps an equivalent term for a man should be devised.’
One Twitter user suggested that AP simply adopt ‘adulterer’ or ‘cheat’ as the male equivalent to ‘mistress.’
Another Twitter user hilariously offered up terms like ‘gigolo,’ ‘kept man,’ ‘fancy man,’ ‘toy boy,’ or ‘cabana boy.’
(Report culled from Daily Mail).