I was raised in a very religious home. My siblings and I, all were required to say “Sir” and “Ma’am” when speaking to adults. From then on it has been a habit, so even now I continue to use those words when referring to people, even when the individuals are younger than myself. More often than not, most women, usually older then me and I’m 38, usually get offended when I refer to them as ma’am. It’s not more common with white, black, or any specific race of women. It happens with all types. Once I explain to them how I was raised and that the word is a word of respect, they always tell me that they know and understand but using the word in reference to them still makes them feel old. Even after a brief conversation, some women still say to just call them by their name, while others say it’s okay only because it is a habit of mine, but they can’t help but to feel uncomfortable. I don’t get it, when did “ma’am” become so bad?
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