Tuesday, April 22, 2014

If men are called Sir, then I want to be Madam

I haven’t met many who agree with the daft claims from a UN official that Britain is the most sexist country in the world. But there is one small area of everyday British experience that is commonly less respectful to women than to men; an anecdote will illustrate the point.

I was in my local Marks & Spencer on Saturday, waiting to pay. There was a middle-aged man just ahead of me. “Thank you, Sir,” said the check-out woman, as he gathered his purchases. After mine came through the conveyor belt and I paid, she looked up and said: “Thank you, my darling.”

This scenario occurs regularly and I often ask the same question. “If you address a man as 'Sir’, why don’t you address a woman as 'Madam’?” Marks & Spencer staff are well-trained and polite and she didn’t quite know how to respond. She just smiled and shrugged: “I’ve never thought about it.”


This virago was addressed in a pleasant way but that was no good to her.  Her loss.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps if a male had been serving the opposite would have occurred with the man being addressed as mate and her being addressed as madam?

Anonymous said...

Why so touchy? It should be nice to have a kind goodbye.

Anonymous said...

"Madam" sounds like "old lady". Is that how she really wants to be addressed?

Anonymous said...

"Is that how she really wants to be addressed?"

Yes, ma'am