There are three reasons I will allow a male to call me by a pet name:
1. We are related. I figure if you share my blood and/or have had to tolerate me my whole life, you have earned the right to call me whatever you want. (“adopted” families included!)
2. We are dating. Like seriously dating, not just “hanging out.”
3. You are elderly.
(Also, I’d probably make an exception for those people I’m obsessed with. If Josh Hutcherson walked up and called me babe, I’d probably be okay with that.)
If you don’t fall under one of these categories, please do not refer to me as babe, honey, sweetheart, darlin’, baby or anything along those lines. I have a name. And if you can’t take time to learn my name, then you probably don’t deserve my time anyway. And if you do know my name and you just don’t care enough to call me by it, then I don’t really care enough to respond.
I don’t really consider myself a feminist, but I just feel like it’s so condescending when a guy calls me babe (just using that one as an example because to me it’s the most offensive one and it’s also the one I hear most often). It’s like he thinks it gives him some sort of power over me (which it doesn’t, all it manages to do is make me mad). I don’t know if that’s just me and I’m being overly defensive about it, but I just don’t appreciate it. I think part of what makes me feel that it’s condescending comes from that fact that they are called “pet names.” You are the master of your pet, so I feel like when you refer to someone with a pet name, then you are subconsciously (or for some it may be conscious decision) saying that you are their master. And for some reason our society has decided that it’s okay for men to refer to women with pet names, but then it would be weird if a woman did the same thing. I don’t like the double standard. I don’t walk around calling you babe, what makes you think it’s okay for you to do that to me?
And some guys think it makes them charming to refer to girls as babe or baby. And maybe that works on some girls, but they are probably not the girls you’re going to want to take home to mom. And you, guy-who-does-this, are not the kind of guy I want to take home to my family. In fact, if you refer to me as babe (without meeting one of the above mentioned criteria) then I will probably file you under sleazy in my brain. And then you will have dug yourself a hole that you will spend forever trying to climb out of.
And I know I’m being general here and stereotyping, but I’ve just had some situations where this has occured recently and it’s been bugging me.
Pet names are only okay when they come out of a place of real affection, if used under any other circumstance they get tainted.
Am I the only one who feels this way?