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Terms of Endearment (a rant and a question)


PerformativeSurprise
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So I was at a convenience store today, and there was a man running the till.  After he rang up my items, he asked, "Do you need a bag, darling?" This always makes me angry--you do not know me, so why do you think it's okay to use a term of endearment with me?! Me being female does not give you or any other man the right to refer to me as "honey," "darling," "sweetie," "sweetheart," or any other variant.  It particularly irks me when a man refers to another man as "sir," then turns around and calls me "sweetie." >:(  

 

How do other women/female-bodied people feel about this? Does it bother you when male strangers do this? I've always found it upsetting, but I also feel like it'd be a waste of time and unhelpful to make an issue out of it in the moment.  So I just end up not saying anything but feeling frustrated. *sigh*

 

P.S.  Although this is aimed at women/female-bodied people, anyone feel free to jump in :) 

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I can totally relate! What I find the most frustrating is when I see two men having a hand shake (which I can either be friendly or professionalB|), but as a young female, it would be considered rude if I presented with a hand shake instead of being kissed on both cheeks (which I find disgusting¬¬).

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Actually, that kiss on the cheek thing is sort of annoying. It only happens to me usually with women older than me, where they either hug and expect the kiss on the cheek or they kiss on the cheek. It doesn't happen that often, but it'd be nice if it didn't happen to me at all.

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I don't mind it so much in the north, because it's much more common here so it doesn't stand out. In the south though, it gets grating. (Thinking about it I'm also fairly sure I get terms of endearment from older women from time to time)

 

As for the kissing thing, if you're not a member of my family my cheek isn't going anywhere near your face (but in my family kisses on the cheeks is how most women greet and show affection to each other).

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There was this greek restaurant in our neighbour town and they had really good food, but the waiter always used to refer to me as "princess" and I hated it >:(

About that cheek kissing thing, it depends on what you are talking about. If you talk about actual kisses on the cheek as in pressing lips on a cheek, then I don't like it at all :S But if you talk about this weird fake cheek kissing to greet someone where you just press your cheek to the other persons cheek, then that seems extremely weird to me, but also doesn't really bother me.

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Y'know, I don't mind it so much from strangers, I don't know their verbal tics, they're probably not treating me any differently. What I can't stand is pet names from people I know. I'm fully aware that this is probably an irrational thing, but it just feels so patronising from friends. Don't call me love, babe, sweetie, you know by now that I'm a majestic forest creature who can't stand being disrespected.

 

The cheek kissing scares the crap out of me, but I think that has more to do with my social anxiety issues. My nan is about the only person who'll do it here, but with continental family of friends etc. I'm like "Are they going to do the kiss on the cheek at all? Are they only going to do one to make me feel comfortable, or their standard three? Where do you actually kiss??"

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I hate it as well. I'd much rather be called sir as well. I can't wait to get my phD and then I can be like, "That's doctor to you."

 

(Even though I'm in first year - failure is not an option! Totally noble reasons behind my ambitions.)

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21 minutes ago, aihpen said:

About that cheek kissing thing, it depends on what you are talking about. If you talk about actual kisses on the cheek as in pressing lips on a cheek, then I don't like it at all :S But if you talk about this weird fake cheek kissing to greet someone where you just press your cheek to the other persons cheek, then that seems extremely weird to me, but also doesn't really bother me.

I hate both since I do not appreciate having someone's face near mine, but where I live you get both kinds depending on the person's habit.

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I'm assuming nicknames count as terms of endearment here, but I'm perfectly okay with nicknames, as long as only my friends are using them. As soon as someone else uses them, it's just weird and it makes me uncomfortable. And I'm okay with, for example, when my grandma calls me 'sweetie' or things of that sort. As soon as a stranger is referring to me by a different name, I'm pretty uncomfortable, especially if it's a guy doing so. 

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Cheek kissing would be awful.  Thankfully, that's not a thing where I grew up, so I never had to worry about it.  If someone did that, it would completely freak me out. Ha.

 

Now I actually don't mind pet names/nicknames/terms of endearment from people I know or even women I don't know.  I grew up in the American South, so most women over the age of 30 refer to absolutely everyone as "hon," "darlin' " etc.  It doesn't matter if you're older, younger, male, or female--everyone is referred to the same way.  In that case, it actually serves more as an equalizer; everyone is referred to in the exact same way.  But with men, they only refer to women (usually younger women, at that) as "honey," "sweetie," etc.  That's what bothers me.  It seems to have a more divisive purpose, a means of separating men and women.  It feels dismissive, as if I'm not taken as seriously or seen as not as worthy of professionalism as a man.  

 

On 5/15/2016 at 3:58 PM, Dodgypotato said:

I hate it as well. I'd much rather be called sir as well. I can't wait to get my phD and then I can be like, "That's doctor to you."

 

(Even though I'm in first year - failure is not an option! Totally noble reasons behind my ambitions.)

 

xD YES. I'm only working on my MA right now, but when I eventually get a PhD, this will be a major perk.

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I haven't had it loads but when it does happen it makes me pretty uncomfortable... Particularly from adults, I dunno. Something about a grown man calling a teen girl/afab person "sweetie" and "darling" is kind of creepy.

And then guys my age are "young man" ¬¬ 

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On May 15, 2016 at 10:58 AM, Dodgypotato said:

I hate it as well. I'd much rather be called sir as well. I can't wait to get my phD and then I can be like, "That's doctor to you."

 

(Even though I'm in first year - failure is not an option! Totally noble reasons behind my ambitions.)

 

I have my doctoral auditions next year, (it'll either be a PhD or DMA depending on where I go,) and while I'm doing this out of passion for my craft, I still really like the idea of changing my title to Dr., especially since I only get Ms., Miss, and even Mrs. at the moment and I can't really correct anyone yet. >>

 

Honestly, strangers don't usually use terms of endearment with me. The closest I've had was someone saying "'scuse me, love," when they bumped into me by accident, but it just sounded like part of that person's vernacular. I still get ma'am'd every damn day though, and while I can't fault people for trying to be polite, that becomes my constant reminder that I don't pass yet. Can't say my experience with terms of endearment connects much with my romantic orientation though.

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If a person called everyone by pet names, I don't think it would bother me. But yeah, I hate terms of endearment, especially if they come from men. Also hate being called 'cute,' it just feels so patronizing. Nicknames too, can't really stand them except from probably two people. One of my friends keeps making up nicknames for me and it just pisses me off.

Luckily we've not got a tradition of cheek kisses, though we were made to practice them in French class in middle school. Just the girls, mind you. The boys didn't have to do cheek kisses.

Our relatives do gendered greeting a lot too, my male cousin will get a handshake but all the women get hugs. I was so happy when my uncle shook my hand instead of hugging me last time we met.

 

 

On 5/15/2016 at 5:58 PM, Dodgypotato said:

I hate it as well. I'd much rather be called sir as well. I can't wait to get my phD and then I can be like, "That's doctor to you."

 

(Even though I'm in first year - failure is not an option! Totally noble reasons behind my ambitions.)

Same here. :P Even though I only started the master's program this year and grad school is years away...

"You can call me.... the Doctor." *makes wooshing sounds and runs away*

 

 

 

 

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On 5/15/2016 at 3:18 PM, Idk What I'm Doing said:

I'm assuming nicknames count as terms of endearment here, but I'm perfectly okay with nicknames, as long as only my friends are using them. As soon as someone else uses them, it's just weird and it makes me uncomfortable. And I'm okay with, for example, when my grandma calls me 'sweetie' or things of that sort. As soon as a stranger is referring to me by a different name, I'm pretty uncomfortable, especially if it's a guy doing so. 


I was actually just talking about this in real life... I told my friend in third grade when I moved to my new town that one person had a nickname she called me, and it was only my cousin who used it. Of course, my brother and Mom have their own but no one else uses them. So then my friend started calling me what my cousin did, and her mom was always told that it was my nickname, when in reality, only 2 people used it. I was a little uncomfortable but I had to deal with it. But in fourth grade, more people heard about it and all of my close friends started using it. Now, since my friend introduced everyone to me using that name, literally my entire class uses it. And I've kind of grown accustom to that.

 

The real thing that bothers me is that now all of my teachers are starting to use it. It feels so wrong but I'm too shy to speak up or say anything about it. First, it was only my math teacher because I was pressured into telling him it in the beginning of my first year of middle school, and he's used it for three years (I still have him for math). But then, all my other teachers heard my friends using my nickname and now I have 3 teachers or so calling me it. It feels so wrong. It feels like if my mom were calling me something as a nickname, like a lot do, and then the whole school starting doing that too. It feels out of place and weird, but I don't want to say anything, so I have to deal with it.

 

About the pet names or whatever, I guess it's okay when it's referring to any gender/sex, but when it's gendered, it becomes kind of weird. I don't live in a place where anyone really uses the terms too often, except for maybe old people or diner waitresses xD

 

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I do quite a bit of customer service at work, so I had to learn to use these because its kind of part of the job. I really hate it, but there is no formal you in english, and its still less cringe worthy than the gendered stuff.:/

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