Senator BARBARA BOXER (Democrat, California): Well, why has it been delayed?
Brigadier General MICHAEL WALSH (U.S. Army): Ma'am, at the LACPR...
Sen. BOXER: You know, do me a favor. Could you say senator instead of ma'am?
Brig. Gen. WALSH: Yes.
Sen. BOXER: It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title. So I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.
Brig. Gen. WALSH: Yes, Senator.
Please Don't Call Me 'Ma'am'
September 8, 2010
Even when it's meant to be polite, or deferential, for many women 'ma'am' is as welcome as a poke in the eye. The New York Times' Natalie Angier describes the politics of polite, and how women can be addressed politely without inferring their age or marital status.
Being a veteran from the military, female officers are addressed as ma'am while male officers are addressed with sir. While sergeants and noncommissioned officers (male and females) are addressed by their rank: corporal, sergeant, etc....
I remember working mall security at the Natick Mall in the mid90's when I approached a lady who illegally parked in a handicapped. With the most diplomatic tone, I informed her of her need to move her car to a nonhandicapped parking space.
AS by habit, when talking to strangers out of politeness while working, I addressed all males by sir (including teenage boys) and all females by ma'am (including teenage girls).
So as I was trying to convey my parking message I was addressing the lady as ma'am you have to...
etc.... She interrupt me and say stop calling me ma'am then I'd use miss then took offense to this then I called her ms. then she took offense to that then I returned to ma'am for the rest of the so called conversation. I think I remember it lasted 15 minutes and she finally got back in the car and drove to another parking space.
So? Ladies and girls? Do you take offense or pride in being referred to as ma'am
What are the proper qualifications for such referral? For such terms as dear