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  • Writer's pictureLia Athena

Don't call me sweetie

(originally an Instagram post on March 26, 2021)

Don’t call me sweetie. Don’t call me baby. Don’t call me honey. It’s insane how many people call me that. People I don’t know, strangers almost. Call me dude or sis. But don’t call me something so demeaning. By using those words, you’re making yourself higher than me. Better.

Sweetie, baby, honey, those are used for intimate settings: Baby, I love you. Honey, please stop snoring so loudly.

Aww, sweetie pie you’re so cute. (To Rexy, my cat).

I took a covid test for work today. And I’m so grateful to the medical professionals that test us. And these tests do get intimate to a degree. I’m sitting on a chair, facing another chair where the professional is sitting. And he gets close to me, mask down, knees slightly touching, and he puts the cotton swab in my nose, seeing my nose hairs and’s rather intimate. But then when it’s done, he says: “all done, sweetie baby.” Now, that’s what makes me cringe. Not all the other stuff. Why call me that? Is that consciously or subconsciously? A choice or an instinct? Does he call me something intimate, to make him feel like I’m his girlfriend? His honey pie? Does it make him feel manly to make himself feel like he owns me? It puts me down, it puts every women he says that to. I’m so thankful for the covid test. It's the best feeling to know you’re negative from this horrid disease, but come’on.

I notice men call other men bro, or man. Like on the subway yesterday, a man was asking people for money. He asked one man for money and the guy said: sorry, bro, I don’t have my wallet on me. They don’t know each other, they will probably never see each other for the rest of their life, but he calls him brother. Brother, meaning a sibling, a friend that has your back. Okay, I understand we call people certain things when we don’t know your name. But why does a man call a woman/non-binary/ trans woman something degrading, and calls a man something more friendly? This issue goes on and on. And then there’s assuming the gender of the person, they could identify themselves differently than what you think. We gotta change this mindset. You gotta change this mindset. Sexism is ingrained in minds. Let’s change that.

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