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Chauvinism and how do you deal with it?

(104 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.

Oopsminty Sun 27-Sep-20 16:15:52

Was winking at her a good idea?

Spangler Sun 27-Sep-20 16:23:24

Oopsminty

Was winking at her a good idea?

Winking was meant as body language, a substitute for saying: "Good for you." Her smile reassured me that she understood that. But I do take your point.

Jane10 Sun 27-Sep-20 16:40:25

A nice middle aged waitress at a hotel we stayed at used to refer to us as 'sir' and 'dear'. Not sure what to make of that!

EllanVannin Sun 27-Sep-20 17:02:32

I don't care what I'm called so long as it's not too late for dinner.grin

trisher Sun 27-Sep-20 17:10:17

In Yorkshire it is common to refer to men and women as "luv" or "duck". Here in Geordie land it can be "hinnie" or "man" for either sex. Maye there's more equality up North!

Spangler Sun 27-Sep-20 17:18:30

Jane10

A nice middle aged waitress at a hotel we stayed at used to refer to us as 'sir' and 'dear'. Not sure what to make of that!

If you find it acceptable that a man is called Sir, but a woman is dear, then who am I to argue?

In the same situation my wife would be enraged and I would back her to the hilt.

That sort of contradicts my first paragraph, but I'm not suggesting any sort of right or wrong, I just think that the Ladies should get a similar kind of respectful greeting as a man gets.

Am I getting myself into hot water?

Oopsminty Sun 27-Sep-20 17:22:20

trisher

In Yorkshire it is common to refer to men and women as "luv" or "duck". Here in Geordie land it can be "hinnie" or "man" for either sex. Maye there's more equality up North!

I do get your point, Spangler

But I'm in the north west of England

Most people in my village get called darling, love, sweetie etc.

Men and women of all ages will use these terms of endearment to men, women and children of all ages!

Oopsminty Sun 27-Sep-20 17:22:50

Sorry trisher!

Didn't mean to quote you there.

eazybee Sun 27-Sep-20 17:31:56

I don't think I have ever called anyone other than a young child anything but their name, and I have never, and never will, call a man 'sir.'
On the other hand, it doesn't matter to me if I am called ducks, dear, darling or whatever. The only thing I don't like is Ms, because it is not a real word.

Jane10 Sun 27-Sep-20 17:33:54

I just thought it was funny Spangler. If I objected to a man calling me dear or darling I wouldn't expect another man to complain on my behalf - I'd deal with it myself! A lot depends on the situation and the individual concerned.

Jane10 Sun 27-Sep-20 17:35:40

PS I don't think 'sir' is particularly respectful these days. Its most often used patronisingly or ironically.

Spangler Sun 27-Sep-20 18:10:28

Jane10

PS I don't think 'sir' is particularly respectful these days. Its most often used patronisingly or ironically.

You mean as in everyday use? I must remember to make myself clear. My use of any sort of title comes from the business world, Sir is used until you know a person's name, then it's Mr, or Mrs or whatever the lady prefers.

But, having been out of the hot seat for quite a while perhaps things have changed, I wonder if anyone, in the business world, ever calls a man 'mate' instead of Sir?

Perhaps the use of formal titles is deemed to be something of class distinction.

Elegran Sun 27-Sep-20 18:38:46

I am with Spangler on this. If a man is deferred to as "sir", then in the same situation a woman should get the same deference.

Equally, if the woman is being called "darling" or "dear", or "love", then in the same situation the man should be "mate" or "pal" or "me old cobber" or whatever a bloke informally calls a dear friend. If they wouldn't dare be as matey with a man, how come they feel it is OK to assume such familiarity with a woman?

Anyone who can't see the discrimination between the different levels of respect with which some people address males and females needs to take off the blinkers and see clearly just how sexist their subconscious attitudes are.

Beauregard Sun 27-Sep-20 18:41:49

Generally I'm not bothered by things like that as I'm quite easy going.

The only time I might be mildly irritated is if a much younger person were to call me 'love'. I'd find that a little patronising.

Alegrias Sun 27-Sep-20 18:47:12

At work I was very often the only woman in the room. Men People used to think that referring to us as "Gentlemen and Alegrias" was polite. It used to drive me up the wall.

Also, I was often referred to as the "lady" in the room. They got quite confused when I would tell them that they didn't know if I was a lady or not, use my name or don't refer to me separately at all.

grandMattie Sun 27-Sep-20 18:58:27

I was once at a lecture where I was the only women. The lecturer graciously addressed us as "Madam and gentlemen"! Being only 19 at the time, I was thrilled.

Alegrias Sun 27-Sep-20 19:14:50

Spangler That sort of contradicts my first paragraph, but I'm not suggesting any sort of right or wrong, I just think that the Ladies should get a similar kind of respectful greeting as a man gets.

Am I getting myself into hot water?

Well, a little bit smile I bristle a bit when men are men but women are ladies...

Please take this in the spirit its offered!!

Jane10 Sun 27-Sep-20 20:01:50

In my business experience people's actual names were always used. To refer to an individual as sir or madam would attract only smiles and the assumption that the speaker was joking.
Of course written and spoken language use is different.
As regards my own personal experience of face to face communication nobody would dream of talking down to me in any way. The waitress in question was a nice lady and we enjoyed her attempt to be professional and its 50/50 success rate. Of course we didn't have chip on our shoulders.

Elegran Sun 27-Sep-20 20:42:16

That is why I said "in the same situation" Jane. In your business experience men and women were treated the same. That is how it should be.

welbeck Sun 27-Sep-20 20:54:04

Am I getting myself into hot water?

you are if you refer to women as Ladies.

MrsRochester Sun 27-Sep-20 20:54:29

I don’t find darling, dear, love, me ducks, my lover, etc., the least offensive, never have 🤷‍♀️
Each to their own.

Alegrias Sun 27-Sep-20 20:58:36

I find generally that people don't think they are talking down to you, they think they are being nice, or polite, or chivalrous. Of course there are always some who are trying to belittle you!

midgey Sun 27-Sep-20 21:01:11

Beauregard, you obviously are not considered to be old yet! There comes a time when EVERYONE calls you darling, love sug etc etc!

SueDonim Sun 27-Sep-20 21:03:08

I attend a formal do a year or two back where the audience were addressed as Men and Woman rather than Ladies and Gentleman.

It annoyed me that women had been bumped down to second place!