This post is by TheNotMom team writer Laura LaVoie:
I admit, I was a little shocked the first time I was called a DINK.
I hadn’t heard the term before, and when it was said it me, it was definitely with a little bit of malice.
I was working for a staffing company and we had just hired a new sales person. She had never met me before, but as my boss was introducing us, she asked all the requisite questions about my life. She made some assumptions based on photos on my desk and asked the obvious next question (right?), “Do you have any kids?”
When I answered “No,” she smirked and said, “Oh, so you’re a DINK.”
I had no idea what that meant and she was more than happy to explain that it means “Dual Income, No Kids”. (Apparently, there is a sub-category, DINKY, which adds the qualifier, “Yet,” to the equation.)
All I could do was laugh this off, but I admit I was a little surprised and a little offended.
I never said anything because she was often quick to label me as being “too sensitive”, which is something I learned over the time she worked with us. (I frequently would tell her not to make hurtful comments about other individuals).
Maybe I am a little too sensitive, but I feel that DINK, when used in the wrong context, can be deeply hurtful and more than a little misguided. All it does is create more of the Us vs. Them mentality.
When this person said it to me, it was with the knowing wink and contempt that somehow my life choices were not as important as hers. There is a lot of weight when we use words, as I have mentioned before, so why are women often looking to label each other and call out our differences?
Sure, DINK can be reclaimed just like many other words. Talk to the LGBT community and find out how they feel about certain phrases and how they can be both hurtful and empowering depending on their context.
I suggest a different descriptor for couples that don’t have children. How about “family”?
What do you think about terms like DINK?