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Do women have the right to say they feel uncomfortable over a name?

(554 Posts)
SarahNade Sat 09-Nov-19 13:54:26

I hope this is as safe place to ask this. I am on a discussion on another thread, and it seems many think that a woman has no right to ask not to be addressed by a colloquial term, and if she does ask, she is the one being unreasonable for daring to stick her neck out, she is the one overreacting, for merely asking. Yet the male who went politely asked, gets offended that a woman dares utter her discomfort, and gets abusive with her. So why is it the woman who is 'overreacting' by merely asking not to be called something, but the man is not seen as overreacting by taking offence to her request and getting indignant?

Do women have the right to ask politely not be called something, without being told they are 'overreacting'? Or should women accept being called a term they don't like, shut up and put up with it in case she gets the male in trouble?

formerbabe Sat 09-Nov-19 13:57:17

I'm honestly not sure but what if a woman calls another woman by a name such as love, babe, darling? I often do this without even thinking.

tiktok Sat 09-Nov-19 14:00:47

Are you referring to things like 'darling' and 'love'? Or a version of her name she doesn;t use, like 'Sue' for 'Susan'?

Whatever it is, of course if a term is not to your liking, you can ask for it not to be used.

I mean.....choose your battles. If I'm buying vegetables and the greengrocer says "£2 please, love' I'm not going to say anything. But if a man at work continually calls me something like 'sweetheart' or whatever (unless I'm working in the theatre and the person calls everyone 'darling'!!!), then yes, I'd ask him not to. It's not very professional, and it's actually quite demeaning.

The idea that women should 'shut up' about things like this is ridiculous.

As for a name they get wrong, the same applies. 'I'm Susan, by the way, not Sue, thanks' is fine.

MIdgebabe Sat 09-Nov-19 14:04:13

I think she told the person she didn't like being referred to and was told she was being rude

Quitedrab Sat 09-Nov-19 14:05:28

Do mean when the delivery guy called someone "love"?

notacooldad Sat 09-Nov-19 14:07:30

I think all regions have their own form of colloquialisms.
I also think context is important as in, it's not what you say, its the way that you say it.
It's only woman seemthat moan about being called 'love' even when it is used in a neutral everyday way. I said on the other thread that men get called 'cock', 'mate', 'pal' and other terms as well as being called 'love'

Somebody on that thread said we are not robots and I agree. Little harmless pleasantries make the world go round in my opinion.
It is a different story if it is said in a way that is used to sneer or put you down. It becomes an issue then.

Everybody I know in my area calls others 'love' it's normally 'Hi love, y'alright?' My ( female) boss calls me love, my friends, the maintenance guys, shop assistance, child minder and so on
If I asked everyone who called me love in the course of a day to stop saying it I would spend the whole day doing so and leave a lot of people baffled as to why!

CranberriesChoccy Sat 09-Nov-19 14:07:56

Was it sugar-tits? I'm not keen on that one myself.

Stillmuddlingthrough Sat 09-Nov-19 14:08:22

Isn’t the point that some words are class/region based and very very common usage by both sexes to both sexes. A large part of the initial premise of the thread was that the word used was sexist and others where trying to make the point that it isn’t necessarily sexist at all.

ArnoldWhatshisknickers Sat 09-Nov-19 14:11:16

Assuming you are talking about colloquialism such as 'love' I think you can ask but should be prepared for your request to be ignored and that such a request can be rude depending on context.

I am Scottish. I call other women 'hen' and men younger than myself 'son'. These are ingrained speech patterns. If you asked me not to use them I might remember, I might not. If someone from another region tells me I'm wrong to use them they will be given short shrift. I have no tolerance for my specific dialect of Scots being policed.

YouJustDoYou Sat 09-Nov-19 14:11:30

Isn’t the point that some words are class/region based and very very common usage by both sexes to both sexes

This. You were annoyed the asda driver called you love- you asked him not to and he got offended. I can see both your points of view. It can be patronising - depending on where it's from. In other areas, it's a normal term not seen as patronising. His offence at you asking him not to call you that was frustrating - after all, bet if you were a 6.5foot man he wouldn't have got so arsey.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 09-Nov-19 14:15:46

* Do women have the right to ask politely not be called something, without being told they are 'overreacting'? Or should women accept being called a term they don't like, shut up and put up with it in case she gets the male in trouble?*

I'd say anyone (regardless of sex) has the right to ask anyone else (also regardless of sex) to not address them by any term they don't like. The other person has the right to decide whether to comply or not, but no need to get huffy (let alone call the person they're addressing 'abusive' for making a polite request, which I think was what happened in the thread you're thinking of)

Aggressively defensive responses to such requests are a pretty sure sign, imo, that the person using the term knows damn well they're being sexist or whatever-ist.

Majorcollywobble Sat 09-Nov-19 14:21:12

@CranberriesChoccy
agree with you . If a woman objected to that charming (not) nickname she’d be immediately labelled Vinegar tits .

OP of course you should be able to state that you don’t want to be called by any other name than your title or what you prefer to be called . As it’s patronizing. Especially if it’s someone you don’t know .
I’ve been addressed by bus drivers, butchers, delivery men , window cleaners, builders , check out operators and patients where I worked as Love, cutie , angel , ducks, chicken , flower, sausage , sweetheart, sweetie , lovey , and everything in between . I’ve never once considered it important enough to challenge unless it was a put down .
Life seems too short to sweat the small stuff.

goadyficker Sat 09-Nov-19 14:26:53

You have the right to say anything you like.

The driver also had the right to be offended that you're accusing him of being rude, when he wasn't.

notacooldad Sat 09-Nov-19 14:32:42

is offence at you asking him not to call you that was frustrating - after all, bet if you were a 6.5foot man he wouldn't have got so arsey
A 6.5ft bloke probably wouldn't get upset at being refereed to in any everyday, informal term and go running to MN claiming how offended they are.

DoneToDeathNow Sat 09-Nov-19 14:33:51

You do have the right to say something but it doesn't mean you should. The delivery driver calling you "love" probably isn't a raging sexist who believes all women should stay in the kitchen. He took offence because you took offence. You made him feel that you felt he was belittling you with a simple colloquial phrase, when it was probably just habit.

He didn't become abusive towards you. He told you that YOU were being abusive and then stopped serving you. He over reacted, but he was not abusive towards you.

Sorry, but I don't think "love" is anything to get offended over.

MIdgebabe Sat 09-Nov-19 14:34:22

If you continue to call someone love after they have asked you not to it is being rude.

If you ask someone to call you Lynn when you look like a Lionel, again it is rude if you don't.

Here it seems however that people are telling woman to suck up the first case, and face persecution in the second

DoneToDeathNow Sat 09-Nov-19 14:36:19

Oh and I find it laughable how vague you have been in your OP. It shows you know you probably don't have the high ground here. You have massively over reacted.

Childrenofthestones Sat 09-Nov-19 14:37:29

My experience of people starting threads on this subject here and elsewhere is it's middle-class people taking umbridge at being addressed like this by working class people.
Working class men and women happily address one another like this all the time all the time. They are friendly terms of endearment.
What would you prefer....Madam?
I don't know how you would cope with my experience on the first time I was waiting in a bus queue in St Helens town centre and middle aged women turned me to and said "Do you have the time on you c*ck?)

ErrolTheDragon Sat 09-Nov-19 14:41:20

My take on the incident as recounted in the original thread was that the OP made a mild and reasonable request and the bloke massively overreacted.

DoneToDeathNow Sat 09-Nov-19 14:43:10

Apologies, I assumed you were the OP on that thread (you still might be after a name change). If you weren't the OP then apologies for addressing you as such. I stand by my comments though.

notacooldad Sat 09-Nov-19 14:46:13

I was visiting a care home for the elderly with my friend to see her dad.
A very elderly lady there called me 'love' many of times. She was not at all malicious and telling me a tale from her youth. OP would you have told her to stop calling you 'love' and got all offended or would you have sat and had a cup of tea and a bit of a giggle with her which is what we did.
If you would have would have sat and chatted, why if she called you love several time? You don't like it remember.
if you walked away because you are offended, shame on you.
or is it different because a man said it to you?

lazyarse123 Sat 09-Nov-19 14:46:59

The lady with the asda driver should have let it go it wasn't as if she would seem him every day and have to speak to hi again. It sounded very much like a class thing.

MIdgebabe Sat 09-Nov-19 14:49:07

It is irrelevant that it might be normal for some people to talk that way, she asked that he do her the respect of not using that term as it makes her feel uncomfortable and he refused. Her request would not cause him any harm. She was not asking him to go the extra mile or anything, just asking for some respect /sympathy because it's a term that makes her feel uncomfortable due to sometimes sexist and belittling overtones

Volvemos Sat 09-Nov-19 14:49:35

I think you have every right to object, but in deciding whether to object or not you should take what the person means by it into account. If they mean a general camaraderie/friendliness it’s fine, if it’s a put down it’s not.

The other day I said thank you to the driver as I got off the bus. He said “cheers m’dear”. I thought it was lovely- haven’t heard that for ages, used to hear it a lot. It’s a nice thing to say. It enhances social bonds in a small rural community.

For some people who live on there own, something like that could be the only nice/friendly thing they hear all day.

I really prefer that kind of thing to the kind of empty politeness that customer service training seems to specialize in now, pretend empathy with nothing behind it and no warmth.

TitianaTitsling Sat 09-Nov-19 14:50:15

children l think someone on that thread does expect to be called 'Madam' by those in customer service roles!

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