A matter of respect
I am writing to address the recent letters to the editor that express bewilderment as to why it is inappropriate to address female colleagues by terms of endearment in the work place.
The use of endearments at work is demeaning, regardless of whether it is your intention to make us feel so.
Even if there is no maltreatment intended, it can be easily misconstrued to seem that way.
Recent studies indicate that most of us are made to feel, at the very least, uncomfortable by being addressed using terms of affection at work.
It’s a matter of respect.
Would you call your superior by an affectionate name? It’s a fine line.
According to an article by Nicole Lyn Pesce published in MarketWatch, “Terms of endearment are defined as an example of sexual harassment by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Civil Rights.”
She goes on to explain that according to the Department, “The effect is the primary issue rather than the intent.” I would conclude that to avoid misunderstandings and potential conflicts, do not use pet names at places of work.
We have names, use them.