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Q&A: “I was wondering if you’re ok with people calling you “doll”, “darling” or “sweetheart”?”

anonymous said:

Hii, I really love your videos(: I’m so glad I found your channel, it really helped me come to terms with my romantic orientation(aromantic) & I was wondering if you’re ok with people calling you “doll”, “darling” or “sweetheart”? Some people think it’s gender specific, like for females. I personally don’t think so, but I wanna know what you think(:

hi, anon. thanks for watching my videos and for the kind message. i really appreciate it. 🙂

generally speaking, i think that there’s a lot that goes into how any person feels about being referred to by any given “pet name” (term of endearment). as you’ve noted, a term can feel gender neutral to you while at the same time feeling gendered to someone else. neither person is necessarily right or wrong, of course. as i said, a lot– everything from culture to dialect, past experiences to historical usage– goes into how any given person feels about any given term. this is why it’s so important to check in with someone and ask if they’re comfortable with being referred to by a certain term / in a certain way.

i’m not sure whether this ask was meant to ask for my general opinion on the above words or if it was meant to personally ask for my permission to refer to me using the above words, but either way, thanks for asking anon!

……………..having said all that, i personally can’t think of a single “pet name” or term of endearment that i don’t hate. hate hate HATE. including “doll”, “darling” and “sweetheart,” i’m afraid.

while gender isn’t even the only factor at play as to why i hate “pet names”, for me personally i do feel like “doll” is especially female-specific. not only that, for me there’s also a distinct feeling of misogyny……….. again, just my personal impression of the word. “darling,” in my eyes, can be used gender neutrally, but i still hate it. last but not least, “sweetheart” and i have a long history since my dad has always and does always refer to me as that…. and i’ve been gritting my teeth every time he does since what feels like forever.

i’ve always had a sort of quiet feeling of annoyance regarding “pet names” in reference to me which has all but grown into a near rage in recent years, overshadowed by instant guilt because i know that people generally mean well when they use these terms and for some it’s literally just how they naturally talk but fucking hell….

….i’m sorry, anon. i have pent up feelings that got leaked onto your lovely ask. ;(

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.