Here’s the deal-i-o, men of the workplace. If you are not my father, my husband, or a sweet old man born before 1940, please call me by my name. It’s Elizabeth, by the way. It’s 2011 and if I’m your colleague and your professional equal, I deserve to be treated that way.
And I don’t care how you meant it. When you call me “sweetie pie,” you communicate that you believe that you and I are different, that I am sweet and cute and young and female, and that you are a strong, paternal, authoritative man. But the fact is that you and I have received the same education. We’re doing the same job in the same field. If you wouldn’t call a male PhD student “sweetie,” you shouldn’t call me that, either. I certainly would never address you as “hun” or “sweetheart.” Because that would be disrespectful and unprofessional, possibly even inappropriate.
And don’t hug me without asking my permission. We’re not that friendly.
What can I say? Actual sexism bugs me.