The mistress is cracking the whip on language.
The Associated Press Stylebook, which has traditionally set standards for language usage within the media landscape, mystified Twitter users Tuesday when it tweeted a reality-bending, wrist-slapping admonishment.
“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. Instead, use an alternative like companion, friend or lover on first reference and provide additional details later,” the tweet read.
Of course, goomah is a much better term.
The announcement led many to wonder which mistress had taken control of the account, and what is truly wrong with the word mistress.
It also spurred a joke-fest with people tweeting alternatives to mistress, like “side piece” or “homewrecker.”
NPR reporter Susan Davis tweeted: “His wife probably has some words she’d also like to use to describe her.”
Author and mathematician James Lindsey wrote: “I call her whatever I want. You call her mom.”
Cheeky college hoops commentary account @noescalators took the AP’s advice on word substitution, writing: “Rick Pitino and his companion got a brief tour of an Italian Restaurant,” referring to the 2003 incident during which Pitino had sex with a woman on the table of a Louisville restaurant.
Though it surfaced yesterday on social media, the AP Stylebook’s policy regarding the word mistress dates to 2016, when it said to avoid the word because there was no male equivalent.
Then in 2020, the AP grew stronger in its woke feminist convictions, saying it was banning the word because it was “archaic and sexist.”
“We now say not to use the archaic and sexist term ‘mistress’ for a woman in a long-term sexual relationship with, and financially supported by, a man who is married to someone else. Instead, use an alternative like companion or lover on first reference.”
That led to a round of skewering from media circles. It’s unclear what sparked this latest woke lecture — but mistresses everywhere must be thrilled at the opportunity to rebrand themselves in a more favorable light.
This content originally appeared in the New York Post.