I was recently working a position that required me to speak to people over the phone. At one point I addressed someone as “ma’am,” only to realize they were biologically male. After stumbling over myself apologizing, it hit me that it was kind of ludicrous and hypocritical for me to be using “sir” and “ma’am,” with how much I try not to make any assumptions (especially binary) about people’s gender.
That being the context, does anyone in this lovely community have any ideas or experiences relating to circumventing this issue, either with alternatives to these binary/presumptuous terms, or simply a way around having to use terms like that at all?
Please post your response in the comments below.
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