Don’t Call Me Baby–Because I’m Not Yours

don't call me baby or I'll get this angry

You think you’re being cute? I think you’re being a jerk. | Source: Shutterstock

Honey. Baby. Sweetie. Cutie. What do these four words have in common? They are all NOT my name, but lately I’ve noticed how many times complete strangers have called out to me, talked to me, referred to me, as the aforementioned words. And it’s not just me, either. I’ve heard plenty of people call their waitresses in restaurants and female shop workers “honey,” too. It used to be that dealing with cat calls from a construction site was a rite of passage for a young girl, but these days the passive aggressive sweet nothings are being called out a lot closer to home . . . by the pizza delivery guy, the over-friendly bus driver, a new co-worker, the list goes on and on and it’s pissing me off.

this is a baby

This is what a baby looks like. | Source: Shutterstock

Out of the right mouth, “baby” and “honey” are terms of endearment. One of my best friends always sends me text’s that say “love ya sweetie” and my mom always calls me “honey,” but coming out of the mouth of a relative stranger these words take on a completely different meaning. They’re insults disguised as compliments, a vocabulary wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s infantilizing–I mean, you might call a five year old “honey,” but to anyone old enough to wear big-girl clothes, it’s degrading.

your waitress is not a baby

She’s a grown woman. NOT a baby. | Source: Shutterstock

Naturally, this name calling is a phenomenon that only happens to females. Could you even imagine calling a guy you didn’t know “Babe” in casual conversation? Or referring to the man interviewing you for a job as “Cutie?” Nooooo!!! We would never do that, because it would be unprofessional and seen as insulting. So, why I ask is it okay for the opposite sex? It gives a false sense of intimacy to a total non-relationship. We are not friends, we are not a couple, you probably don’t even know my name, so I’m thinking cutie-honey-sweetie-baby is not an appropriate moniker.

Don’t call me baby (or any of those other names!)–even if you say it with the best of intentions. It’s demeaning and insulting even if you say it with a smile. As they say “You catch more bees with honey,” and this bee prefers to be called by her name!

Do you get mad when strangers call you “baby” or “honey”–or do you think it’s totally okay? Tell me all about it in the comments!

This Girl Has Has Enough Of Cat Calling. Have You?


Posted in: Beliefs
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  • t-ra

    yes totally agree with your article. Another place where you are more likely to be called like that is in the world of psychics and tarot readers who have referred to me as a first time client (a stranger to them) as ‘sweetie’ or ‘sweetheart’, assuming that you would even like to be called like that, even though it’s utterly insulting. As others have pointed out, it implies a level of intimacy that simply isn’t there and I don’t care if it’s done with ‘good intentions’. Even in ‘the south’ where it is known people talk like that to “everyone”, I’m pretty sure that your average southerner would not literally call everyone ‘sweetie’, if you could imagine them having the president visiting them, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t call the president ‘sweetie honeybun’ because they know it’s disrespectful. So why they justify it for everyone else? Because they have a lower opinion about the rest of the people, but they think it’s ok because they assume that’s just the level at which you are. So I’m not the one to accept it just because they do it with “good intentions’, because at a subconscious level it’s never done with good intentions. I had another psychic justify her calling me ‘sweetie’ with ‘oh I just talk like that when I’m feeling spontaneous’. Like really, that is akin to a man who justifies groping a woman because he felt spontaneous about doing it. *rolleyes* Even people who claim to not feel offended by it will often add that it does kind of irk them and if you actually love being called like that by a stranger, then you simply don’t know what it’s like to be treated with respect and you accept it because you’re a little dummy.

  • M E A

    I just filed a complaint to the BBB on a company to whom I was originally willing to give the benefit of the doubt in a billing dispute…. until the office assistance I was speaking to called me both “honey” and “sweetheart.” Yes, it is always done in a condescending tone. No, being “from the south” does not make it ok – you know damn well you are being passive aggressive.
    We all have given names – use them. If you don’t know someone’s name, either ask, or just speak without creating your own name for that person. Those who do this know what they are doing….

  • Celia Cloete

    Dont worry darling, Im sure you’ll be fine! Lots of love hon <3

    • t-ra

      you’re such a sweet, little whore, celia cloete <3

  • MynameisPT

    Female nurses call their male patients sweetie, hon. My mother gave me a name for a reason.

  • Steven E. Lowder

    The exception to me being from the south is an older woman, usually black, calls me honey, dear, sugar, honey child, I consider it a name of endearment. I think it is ok.

  • Carla D Dobbs Curtis

    I get very annoyed and upset when someone that is not my mother ,father,or husband calls me any of theses terms of endearment ,hunny ,hub,babe ,sweetie,or any of them , there are some girls at mcdonalds where I live ,that call me hon every time I go thru there and I get very upset but have not said anything yet I wanted to see what others thought about it ,if they felt the same way as I ! I just have to figure out how to address this? Any ideas? I just can’t believe that the management doesn’t tell their employs not to use those terms with customers ! I would not mind if they called me ma’am or by my name I am thru there every day for sweet t!!