Originally Posted by avoidscauliflour
Possessive language is so ingrained in our culture that for many people, it is often the goto way to express other feelings.
I've thought that very thought myself, and I've wondered if there is some other easily-spoken, natural-sounding idiom that can be used instead of the familiar, possessive ones.
One might say, "my wife," or "my girlfriend," out of ingrained habit, when one might prefer to express "the mother of my children, the woman to whom I've pledged to spend the rest of my life" or "the girl with whom I have a deep connection, who chooses to spend time with me," but those constructs, though accurate, make for awkward and stilted-sounding conversation.
I'm kinda strange, I guess, but for the woman I've had a crush on for a long time, I'd get a kick out of introducing myself as "her boy toy" rather than introducing her as "my girlfriend." At this point, neither are true, but I think you see where I'm going.
Originally Posted by MindfulAgony
We often use language poorly, without precision. And, you're correct that we often use stand-in concepts for what we really mean not thinking about the deep meaning of what is said.
On the other hand, we do live in a heavily mysogonist, patriarchal environment that encourages such distainful notions for men in particular. But, also women have corresponding expectations that are equally as corrosive.
Alas, most of recorded history has been that of women being treated poorly by men--almost as furniture. It is only in the relatively recent past that this has begun to change (and in many societies, it still has not changed). The history lives on in the language, even without most people being conscious of the origins of the idioms they use, and of the corrosiveness of the ideas behind them.
By far, the most corrosive and toxic idea (IMHO) is the Princess Bride style "one true love" fantasy and all of the BS that surrounds it. At best, one couple in eight has a shot at that (I got there from applying Bayes Theorem to the U.S. divorce rate, and to U.S. infidelity rates, which I've seen quoted as 60% among men and 40% among women). The other seven couples suffer from the toxicity of unrealistic expectations, and the pain that comes when those expectations are not (cannot be?) met.
 As a humorous (and somewhat horrifying) example, consider how many people use the phrase, "your turn in the barrel" without having any idea of how that phrase came to be! Thus it is with much of our language.