Normally I would say that you should just say to them you don’t want to be called nicknames. I have absolutely told men to just call me by the name on my tag. One guy told me on Twitter that his grandmother told him, “When you don’t know a woman’s name, call her ‘beloved.’” That has to be the worst advice a grandmother could give her grandson — minus obvious illegal advice, etc. — but in his mind, this was OK. I recall telling a man, “My name is not baby.” He proceeded to yell all kinds of “bitches” and “motherfuckers” at me. I turned and went, “Is this what happens when you’re deprived of p — sy for too long.” It stopped him cold.

Maybe I have that “steel vagina” you speak of, but I’m just tired of people talking to me like I know them. Another guy in the parking lot saw the two of us and asked if I was OK. I shrugged and said, “That’s what deprivation looks like” and got in my car. Now could this have gone all wrong? Yes. But I was just over it. Call me by my name, especially when you know it already or can read it online.

On a separate note, I’m really baffled when women do it. A lady at the gas station said, “Thanks, mama” to me today simply for paying for gas. She smiled and was clearly nice, but still, just call me by my name. I went to Victoria’s Secret, and the girl called me “hon” after every single instruction. Finally I got tired of it by the 10th time and said, “Please stop calling me ‘hon.’” Her response, “OK, ma’am.” I just don’t understand why there has to be an extra name at all. Just say, “OK,” “thank you,” “sure,” etc. without the excess.

Written by

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit to read about her.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store