Don’t call me Sweetheart!

Just when I thought I could go almost two weeks free of nonsense!

This morning, I left my apartment to head to work and there was a moving truck outside. Three people (two men, one woman) were trying to help the truck park outside the apartment.

I continue walking, and I hear a loud “HAVE A NICE DAY, SWEETHEART!” barked at me. It was one of the moving men.

“Don’t call me sweetheart!” I snapped, not missing a beat.
“I was just trying to tell you have a nice day,” the guy says.

I hate when they do that. The same thing happened with another guy who was in front of Rosslyn Metro a few weeks back. He says the same thing, I had the same response, and his answer was “What? I can’t say hello?”

It’s as if these men are in denial of their actions. Did you not just call me “SWEETHEART” dummies? It’s not the fact that you said “hello” or “have a nice day” to me, it’s the fact that you had to call me “sweetheart” along with it. Do you not remember doing that?

In both instances, when they had “Can’t I just say hello?” or “I’m just trying to tell you to have a nice day!” responses, I responded back with “If you wanted to say ‘hello’ you would’ve just said hello” and “If you just wanted to wish me a nice day, you would’ve just said ‘have a nice day’.” These men are dense beyond reason.

Dear men who feel obliged to tell women they don’t know to have a nice day: Feel free to tell us to have a nice day, but don’t call us “sweetheart,” especially when we don’t know you.

– Tired of Being Harassed

Location: Arlington, VA

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.


11 Responses to Don’t call me Sweetheart!

  1. Lea Castelli says:


    The term sweetheart is a term of endearment not intended to harass. In a world of such hate and impersonal interaction, to have someone say “have a nice day sweetheart”; is actually refreshing.

    I find it a pleasant personal connection in a world devoid of personal connections.

  2. Golden Silence says:

    I find it a pleasant personal connection in a world devoid of personal connections.

    I disagree. Would these men call other men “sweetheart” on the streets? Would they even bother to tell another man to “have a nice day,” period? Nope.

    These men only do this to women. Calling a woman you don’t know “sweetheart,” “baby,” “honey” or other nonsense is inappropriate. It’s also very possessive, which is exactly what these men are going for. They think women are their own personal objects. That’s not cool at all.

  3. Lea Castelli says:

    Actually, you are incorrect. You asked a question and then answered it… incorrectly.

    I indeed know a number of men who acknowledge the presence of another man with “have a nice day”. I know them and am happy to say that these men are know as gentleman.

    In fact, not to acknowledge others is rude behavior.

    Let’s turn the tables for a moment.

    The luncheonette down the street from me has a waitress who calls the men “sweetie”. “What will you have sweetie?” “Can I get you anything else sweetie?”

    My gentleman friends find this endearing.

    As an observation, I notice your response is angry in tone. Could it be that anger is the issue?

    Possibly a bit of paranoia? I refer to your comment, “They think women are their own personal objects.” Who are they? All men…a few? Are you saying that you know what they think?

    I love to hear “Hello sweetheart.” Again, I find it a pleasant personal connection in a world devoid of personal connections.

    Have a good say sweetheart.

  4. Golden Silence says:

    I’m going to have to stop after this response, because I think this is a case of a dog chasing its own tail and we won’t be getting anywhere.

    There are men out there who use sweetheart condescendingly and patronizingly. I’m not talking about the waitress at your local diner or anyone like that. I’m talking about some random man who thinks I’m nothing more than some object to ogle. I think calling a woman “sweetheart” is rude. It’s a form of putting a woman in her place. Like the original post says, say “have a nice day,” but don’t call a woman you don’t know “sweetheart.”

    You can enjoy it all you want, but I refuse to enjoy it. I’m not one of those women who needs validation from men I don’t know.

  5. Lea Castelli says:

    It is so refreshing that we agree… I, like you, am not one of those women who requires validation from unknown men.

    Unfortunately your assumptions in regard to how men use language (condescendingly and patronizingly) and what they think “…who thinks I’m nothing more than some object to ogle”, I believe is over reaching. I further suspect, as I stated before, that these assumptions are based in anger and paranoia.

    I love to hear “Hello sweetheart.” Again, I find it a pleasant personal connection in a world devoid of personal connections.

  6. CrazyPerson says:

    I know! I hate it when people do that. I snap back with “do you call everyone sweetheart?”

  7. Lauren says:

    I completely understand what you’re saying. This actually happened the other day, and it wasn’t anything like what Lea is trying to say. This was a guy calling me “sweetheart” and even “girl”. He would also disregard and trample over anything I tried to say. It was clear that this is a man who is patronizing and objectifying. And I knew if I had tried to be honest with him he would have been condescending. Fuck that. Pleasant personal connection? Please. If you want to get personal, start by using my proper name.

  8. Confused says: what’s a guy to do? What if we wanna to be nice to a lady whose name we don’t know?

  9. @Confused you can call her “Ma’am” or “Miss.” Those indicate respect. You may find this useful:

  10. Confused says:

    ok.. thanks… I’ll keep that in mind… and an excellent effort…. Keep it up!

  11. Brownie says:

    My boyfriend calls everyone sweetheart…me, his daughters, the waitress, etc. I don’t like it. He also uses babe, darlin, hun. I think these terms of endearment should be used only for that special person in one’s life. Because a lot of women think it is offensive, a gentleman should be aware of this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: