Terms of Endearment

Sometimes men casually call me “dear” or “hon.” It’s not something I noticed much before living on the East Coast.

I don’t know if it’s that I’m still charmed by the down-home-ness of it all, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

Does this make me a bad feminist?


8 thoughts on “Terms of Endearment

    • I guess that was part of my question…It’s almost a non-issue when a woman calls another woman hon, though is that applying a double standard?

      I think the fact that it’s a male calling a female dear is that it could be construed as patronizing, or sexist (despite that not being the intent)- particularly if it’s in a work environment.

      Leah, do you think it’s just open for individual interpretation?

      • Yeah, I always feel *slightly* creepy when I do it, and worry that the other woman is going to think I’m being patronizing.

        But yeah, definitely up for individual interpretation. At least I hope so, because the habit is ingrained in me now!

    • I think it must be either a rural-ism or Atlantic Canada-ism! I just know of some professionals who would be put off by the familiarity of it. Personally, I think it’s endearing.

  1. I think the only “bad feminist” is the one who would judge another feminist’s level of feminism. 😉

    I don’t think it’s bad at all that it doesn’t bother you! When someone says something that offends you, there’s always a *cringe* factor involved – a reason it “rubs you the wrong way”.

    Intention definitely has something to do with it.

    I’ll take a sincere, “dear” over an insincere “honey” (or what have you) any day.

    As much as we have to be grounded and protected, I really do like to think that most times it’s meant to be kind.

    • It’s true. I do look at the intention for sure…but in these cases it almost seems unintentional and as natural as saying “eh?” at the end of a sentence. I suppose if it actually bothered me, that would be another issue entirely.

      • Exactly!

        I agree. It’s often simply an extension of the local dialect.

        Being called “Ma’am” used to bother me until I moved to Austin and realized it was really just a sign of great manners. 🙂 It completely changed my perspective.

        Perspective is everything. 😀

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