You’ll Never Guess What Mike Pence Calls His Wife

Many couples have pet names for each other, many of which are universal—hun, babe, sweetie and, ugh, bae, to name a few.

Other couples have unique names for each other that usually come with funny anecdotes as to how they came about. Most of the time, they’re endearing and cute but sometimes, they’re just awful.

The nickname Mike Pence has for his wife, Karen, has caused a ruckus on the internet, and for good reason.

Rolling Stone published an article that recounted a dinner party Pence hosted as governor of Indiana in which he reportedly revealed to guests that he refers to Karen as “mother:”

“Mother, Mother, who prepared our meal this evening?”

Inevitably everyone exchanged glances with one another, and one person reasoned that it may have been a joke, but Pence again shouted:

“Mother, Mother, whose china are we eating on?”


I don’t really know what to make of this. I mean, I guess it all depends on context. Some women refer to their boyfriends or husbands as “daddy,” so it can’t really be much different than that, but you don’t often hear them calling them that in public. It’s more of a private moment type thing.

I personally would not want to be called “mother” by my boyfriend. It’s doesn’t exactly have sexy connotations, or at least the kind of connotations you would hope your boyfriend would associate with you. It’s one thing if he thinks you possess some of her admirable qualities—some might argue that it has positive associations—mothers are, in the best of circumstances, viewed as nurturing and loving—but it’s another thing entirely if he starts calling you with the same name he calls the woman who birthed him.

Bottom line, it all seems very Oedipus-like, and Pence calling his wife “mother” kinda makes me shudder. Anyone else find it a little creepy?


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