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Response to misanthrope (Reply #4)

Sun May 13, 2018, 02:48 PM

5. But context still matters

If you were in a formal business meeting, it would be highly inappropriate for a female (or a male, but we're talking about women) to address anyone, male or female, as "honey" or any other term of endearment. It's my experience that those terms--and I agree they are sweet--are used when you are in a more or less intimate one-on-one situation, like being served in a restaurant or helped in a department store. In most other situations, I think, "honey" et al. would be fightin' words, sarcasm.

When men, in the south and elsewhere, use the term(s), it's never to another male unless they really are fightin' words. Men use "honey" et al. to females to (maybe subconsciously) assert their power. I don't want to treat into homophobia here, but a man who calls women of a social class higher than his "honey" is often identified as gay.

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