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Chauvinism and how do you deal with it?

(105 Posts)
Spangler Sun 27-Sep-20 16:13:22

At the self-serve checkout at a supermarket today, a young lady, no more than 16 or 17, was being called darling by a fellow in his early 40's. She was clearly uncomfortable by it. There's a young manager who works there who impresses me. I caught his eye and told him of the young woman's distress. He spoke quietly with her, having got the gist of the matter he confronted the customer.

"Pardon me, Sir," he politely said, "it might seem rude of me to ask, but do you have children?" The fellow was taken aback but still answered yes. "A girl 14 and a boy of 10." The manager went straight for the jugular, "Would you be uncomfortable if a middle aged man kept calling your daughter, darling?" He got the point immediately. Looking at the young woman he said: "Sorry my dear." Emboldened by her manager she said: "I'm not your dear, any more than I am your darling." The chap couldn't get out of there quick enough.

I smiled at the young lady and mouthed: "Good for you," she smiled back and mouthed: "Thank you!" I winked at her and left the shop.

In my opinion it's not trivial. At work it's been my goal to impress upon those men who quite happily call a male customer, "Sir," that such a similar salutation should be offered to the ladies. Call her, Ma'am, madam, Miss, Mrs, followed by her surname, or if she permits, call her by her first name. As my wife used to say when called, "Love." "I'm not your love, I'm my husband's love." It might have put noses out but the men certainly knew not to call her by an endearment.

Rufus2 Thu 01-Oct-20 13:54:54

Rufus, please try to imagine me saying this in my best Kath’n’Kim accent
Alegrias No thanks! I can't stand the originals and you sound worse by wearing your face mask as you speak!
Peter Sellers would have made a better job of it! grin
OoRoo.

Rufus2 Thu 01-Oct-20 13:46:12

No, please tell me the difference between Sheila and Bruce
Callistemon
I'm surprised! Being a psuedo Banana bender, I thought you'd know! shock

"Sheilas can spit further!"

It's a competition at the Queensland Annual Exhibition held in Brisbane; known as "Ekka", but unfortunately had to be cancelled this year for health reasons due to Covid.
They've got the AFL Grand Final by way of compensation
later this month!
We live and learn! grin
OoRoo

Alegrias Thu 01-Oct-20 10:57:07

👍 Greeneyedgirl

Greeneyedgirl Thu 01-Oct-20 09:50:15

Alegrias I just loved your post Wed 20:52:10 grin

Alegrias Thu 01-Oct-20 09:45:18

Two granddaughters at different Universities, doubt very much they would bother,

I'm wondering Sparkling if they can think like this because of those of us who came before and made the changes?

I'm not referring to your GDs here but I got very fed up of telling young women I worked with that despite the fact they hated the word, they were indeed feminists because they expected the same pay as the men.

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 21:23:05

The chemist might sell you some eye drops and an eye patch.
With a mask and an eye patch you could be unrecognisable!

LauraNorder Wed 30-Sep-20 21:06:44

Spangler, the youngster on the tills was probably trained to treat all customers with respect no matter what. Outside in a social situation she would most likely be able to defend herself with a few choice words. Not many shrinking violets left, thankfully. Young people these days don't just accept inequality thanks in part to us sixties activists.
No white chargers required although I'm sure you meant well and please stop winking, especially if you've gone in to the chemist for aspirin!

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 21:04:44

Callistemon Our female PM was a disaster unlike Maggie. They came from different sides of the tracks! grin
And born in Wales, I believe!

No, please tell me the difference between Sheila and Bruce

Alegrias Wed 30-Sep-20 20:52:10

Rufus, please try to imagine me saying this in my best Kath’n’Kim accent.

So there we were having a noice discussion about how men talk down to women and try to undermine them, bit of disagreement but a good discussion, then this bloke comes along and decides we Sheilas are all being a bit too serious and we should have a bit more fun, so he made some bad jokes and called us ladies.

Do you think he understood the irony mate?

Don’t think so me old cobber, don’t think so…..

FannyCornforth Wed 30-Sep-20 19:14:03

I beg to differ sparklingsiver
There is no embarrassment in being called your name. I really don't understand your problem.

Jane10 Wed 30-Sep-20 19:00:22

Only if you're willing to be offended!

sparklingsilver28 Wed 30-Sep-20 18:08:46

I find it disrespectful for any organisation/individual, including hospital and surgery staff, to call elderly patients by their forename followed by surname. They are not school children.

Nothing more infuriating either to be addressed, more commonly these days, official correspondence in the uncouth/uneducated manner of "Dear Betty Brown" rather than Dear Miss/Mrs Brown. Another appalling discourteous address M/s.

Furthermore how many people these days know or observe the correct formal address for a widow as Mrs (and late husbands initials (or if preferred blank)) Brown, and a divorced woman as Mrs B (Betty) Brown. How often do you see a professional male addressed in correspondence as Thomas Brown, Esq., or both female or male with their correct professional title?

All very sloppy and offensive.

FannyCornforth Wed 30-Sep-20 18:04:20

Spangler I'm sure that you are lovely (wink) but leave the feminism to 'the ladies'.

Jane10 Wed 30-Sep-20 17:24:16

And poor checkout person. Three men involved!

Sparkling Wed 30-Sep-20 16:39:34

Doesn’t bother me one bit, I would get upset if someone was aggressive but not being called dear. I can’t understand why people are so insecure it worries them. Two granddaughters at different Universities, doubt very much they would bother, What matters is that people are kind. I bet that man was sorry he went in that shop. Poor guy.

MawB2 Wed 30-Sep-20 16:35:30

It’s not something I get hang ups about but I can remember noticing that when Paw was in hospital, the nurses and doctors often addressed him as “sir” as well as by his first name.
Female patients were “dear, love, my lovely, “ etc
Not arguing with terms of affection in the right place, but in shops I would rather be called “Madam” than “my dear”, it makes me stand up straighter and lose at least 15 years!

Rufus2 Wed 30-Sep-20 16:05:42

And neither do the women in charge of those men!
Callistemon Our female PM was a disaster unlike Maggie. They came from different sides of the tracks! grin

Given your in-depth knowledge of the Australian working environment, you can probably remember the test of distinguishing a Sheila from a Bloke!? Very practical grin
OoRoo

Greeneyedgirl Wed 30-Sep-20 15:42:05

Things have moved on since many of us on here were in our heyday, and we accepted things as the norm which would not be acceptable now.

I believe that language does colour attitudes and although some terms of address are regional and used for both sexes and are quite inoffensively meant, language can be, and still is used IMO, to put women down.

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 15:34:33

Those blokes you worked alongside don't stand on ceremony
And neither do the women in charge of those men!

Callistemon Wed 30-Sep-20 15:33:29

In my day "Girls Friday" were a friendly lot as they gathered around the coffee machine taking care of their respective bosses, whether M or F
But I guess things have changed in the last 30 years!

Interesting, Rufus, that the term started off as Man Friday but, when referring to female gofers, became Girl Friday!

By the way girls, if you think its bad in France or the US, you should try Australia
Especially up north! grin
Women do attempt to fight back but it's not easy.

Even after having a female PM.

Rufus2 Wed 30-Sep-20 14:07:09

By the way girls, if you think its bad in France or the US, you should try Australia

So you were a Sheila then? What as, a sheep-shearer or mustering cattle? Those blokes you worked alongside don't stand on ceremony and there wouldn't have been a coffee machine to stand around gossiping; straight out of the billy! grin

Btw; Somebody had to pick up that reference to Helen.
A fine Australian no-nonsense lady. So sad. sad
OoRoo

dontmindstayinghome Wed 30-Sep-20 14:03:56

When I was working I challenged a male member of staff who used to call me 'darling'.

I was in a very senior position - I was his boss in effect - and it made me furious. He didn't use any 'endearments' when he addressed the male managers!

I just told him to stop calling me darling, that I didn't like it and it was inappropriate.

Fortunately he got the the message and apologised.

In my younger days I was once introduced to a very senior manager as 'the dolly bird of the office' by my (male) line manager. I really didn't like it, it upset me a lot, but in those days I was too young and inexperienced to speak out.

I would have chewed him up and spit him out if that had happened later in my career!

Esspee Wed 30-Sep-20 13:58:48

I wasn’t really aware that I called friends darling (a hangover from the days when my husband was in show business).
One day I was speaking to the daughter of a male friend and addressed him as darling when including him in the conversation. Her knee jerk reaction made me conscious something was wrong. Conversation stopped, the air was electric. I had to ask what was wrong and her father said “you called me darling”. “Well I call everyone darling don’t I.” I responded. “Yes you do but Julie doesn’t know that.”
It took a while to convince her that there was nothing going on.
From that day onwards I have been extremely careful about what I call people.

Alegrias Wed 30-Sep-20 13:38:12

Yes Rufus2 a lot has changed. I'm glad I made you laugh, after all, isn't that what us girlies are for? Entertaining the chaps?

The important thing wasn't that Helen sang the song beautifully, it was what she said.

By the way girls, if you think its bad in France or the US, you should try Australia. I did.

Rufus2 Wed 30-Sep-20 13:33:45

I guess this might be a contentious post
Good Evening Ladies, Women and Gentlemen.
There, I think that just about covers everyone! grin
Algerias I hope so, but shouldn't this subject be on the "Let's see if we can make each other laugh" thread!?
In my day "Girls Friday" were a friendly lot as they gathered around the coffee machine taking care of their respective bosses, whether M or F.
But I guess things have changed in the last 30 years!
Pity that Helen has died; she sang that song beautifully. sad
Good Health Ladies!
OoRoo