Social Media Debate
If you have a social media account such as Facebook or Twitter, you have probably found yourself involved in at least a debate or two about an issue that appeared on your feed. Sometimes these issues revolve around national, local, or community politics. Others may be centered on questions posed about child rearing. Still others may involve your favorite sports team or a celebrity scandal.
Social Media Debate: Is It Still Okay to Call Someone Ma’am?
This past week, a personal friend posted an article from the Huffington Post entitled “Dude, Don’t Call Me Ma’am.” Needless to say, a heated discussion in the comments of the post ensured. The people who commented were from all over the country. The comments ranged from insisting that the use of the term “ma’am” is outdated and inappropriate in this day and age to those who firmly believed it was a sign of respect.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
I understand that when people use “Ma’am,” they probably intend for it to be a sign of respect, and also that the term is more commonly used in other parts of our country. In fact, a friend from South Carolina once told me that his child got in trouble for saying, “Yes Ma’am,” to his teacher at his new Los Angeles area school. My friend had to convince the principal that his son was not being smart-mouthed and was just using the Southern manners they had taught him.
But out west, people only use “Ma’am” for women of a certain age. I’d feel genuinely silly calling a 20-year-old “Ma’am.”
At work, we’ve eliminated the distinction between married and unmarried women by using the title Ms. on emails and letters. I wish we could somehow eliminate the distinction between young and old women when we speak.
There needs to be another option, a term that could be used when speaking to women of all ages — the young, the old and the in-between — regardless of marital status.
Personally, having lived the better part of my life south of the Mason-Dixon line, I see the use of the term “ma’am” as a sign of respect.
What do you think, is it Okay to Call Someone Ma’am?
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