On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@calamity But women can and do behave in ways that reflect an internalized misogyny. It's worth calling them out in those cases.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 10:11 am 0

On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@xtinamartinson High-five, fellow southerner. I remember the first time I was called "ma'am" because I was 16 years old. I was at work and it was a little kid making a request for something or other. It gave me a sense of gravitas: like, that 10 year old has acknowledged my maturity, truly I have arrived in adulthood! That said, I'll also lean away from passing "ma'am" on because it does seem old-fashioned now, or too stodgy. I wholeheartedly agree on the "honey" distinction. It's so hard to explain the difference to outsiders, but so easy to tell from experience. ETA: Hilariously, while this was still in the editing window, someone just called me "ma'am" in the context of "Thank you very much, ma'am". And it still gives me a little "aww, what good manners" glow, so perhaps I will pass it on.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 10:07 am 0

On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@xtinamartinson High-five, fellow southerner. I remember the first time I was called "ma'am" because I was 16 years old. I was at work and it was a little kid making a request for something or other. It gave me a sense of gravitas: like, that 10 year old has acknowledged my maturity, truly I have arrived in adulthood! That said, I'll also lean away from passing "ma'am" on because it does seem old-fashioned now, or too stodgy. I wholeheartedly agree on the "honey" distinction. It's so hard to explain the difference to outsiders, but so easy to tell from experience.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 10:07 am 0

On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@Hater in Heels +1 The words have the baggage of being dismissive/patronizing, etc. so if another woman uses the word with me, it can potentially have those same undertones. For example, say I have a legitimate complaint or inquiry [i dunno about a coupon say] and someone, even another woman, brushes it off with a "Don't worry your pretty head about it, honey." That's going to make me angry: it's a rude way to address a customer. Where I'm from age also really matters: if someone noticeably younger than me called me "hun" or god forbid "honey" it would be really out of line [writing this just made me feel old, because I used to be on the other side of that equation]. It's a measure of politeness, yes, but also more generally respect.

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 10:01 am 1

On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@Taffeta Darling I like "bub" personally because it makes me feel like Wolverine, which is never a bad thing.

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm 2

On Honey, Sweetie, Chief, Boss: How We Talk to Strangers

@Josh Michtom@facebook I think it is fairly presumptuous to suggest that someone who's probably heard "hun" and "sweetie" and "sugar" and "babe" [I could go on forever: I spent my formative years as a waitress in the deep south] several times in her life that a particular instance wasn't over the line. It can't hurt to ask among friends, privately though, but it was good to defer to the person with actual experience. Especially because there's a difference between gender neutral terms that are meant to be jovial and gendered terms that are meant to be dismissive. It can be hard to pick up on the subtleties of the later. I'm happy to be called all of the above mentioned pet names, even "sugar" if you look just like my grandmother AND you gave birth to my mother. But there are times when it's a casual expression tossed off harmlessly and times when it's a leering imposition and/or downright demeaning. There are a lot of subtle factors, such as relative age, tone and context that can tip the balance either way. The women I know and work with have to navigate a lot more of these double edged terms, so I'd guess we're a lot more adept at sussing them out. I'd trust your friend's interpretation.

Posted on November 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm 0

On WINTER IS COMING Time to Watch Some Movies

Everyone should go see Big Hero 6! Did not disappoint: completely worth the $7.50, plus bus fare.

Posted on November 12, 2014 at 10:13 am 0

On How Wizards Do Money: Ginny Potter

Bloody hell, that was gooooood.

Posted on October 23, 2014 at 12:26 pm 0

On How Wizards Do Money: Gregory Goyle

Note to the world: I no longer have credit cards, just magical money rectangles. Also, this is the best one yet. I've said it before (and will probably say it again) but I mean it every time.

Posted on October 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm 0

On Why Don't American Women Bike To Work?

I bike to work! It's about 3 miles each way. Wonderful savings and I get to work feeling energized. It's really nice all around, except in summer when I do kind of wish for air conditioning...

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm 0