Don't Call Me Sweetheart.

In one sentence, one phrase, a word normally used in an endearing and loving way, becomes demeaning and degrading. “I’m doing homework, sweetheart”, he said... that one sentence, literally ruining my night, though I shouldn’t give it that much power. I wish I didn’t have to, but here we are, 2 days later, and it hurts. It almost doesn’t matter that it was he who said it. He didn’t really matter at all. He made me feel happy for a short time and then all of a sudden, he didn’t. “Sweetheart” took away all the feeling.

My Dad used to call me sweetheart, in that way, and it used to make me so angry. “That’s the way it is, sweetheart”, “Too bad, sweetheart”, he would say, and I couldn’t say anything back to stop it. How are you supposed to respond when someone says that to you? When someone “puts you in your place”? To my Dad, it was always silence, because deep down I know that he isn’t really trying to hurt me.

He was trying to hurt me. He was using the word in a way that showcased just how much of a misogynistic frat boy he is, and it made me mad. I knew he was like that too, from the beginning. But I chose not to see it. “Sweetheart” snapped me out of it. He’s just an asshole. That’s all he’ll ever be. For him to feel the need to call me that just shows that he feels weak and that he thinks he needs to assert himself in some way. Why he needs to put me down to make himself feel better is beyond me, but I’m done with guys like him and letting them make me feel this way. 

Talking to my friends about it, I’m seeing that a lot of other girls feel the same way about “sweetheart”. So, to the guy who used the word to degrade me, I’m not your Sweetheart. I will never be your Sweetheart. This isn’t the 1950s where you can win me over with your nice hair and letterman jacket, making me fall at your feet. I’m done with your bad attitude and your disrespect. I deserve better than you, sweetheart.