My boss calls me sweetie. He’s a man and I’m a woman. My last three male bosses have called me some variation: sweetie, honey, hon. Right after my new boss called me that, he immediately regretted it and began apologizing profusely. I shook my head and waved my hand. I’m a modern lady. I wear bras, but believe women should vote. And I have never, ever minded being called a feminine nickname by a male boss. There is a certain stigma placed on these names. People believe that they are diminishing or condescending. I do not. I have never minded the names because I take them for what they were intended. A short way to call me without using my name over and over again. Some women get up in arms about this. They hoot and holler about how everything should be equal and we should be treated with respect. I feel that these terms are both comforting and respectful. If they were accompanied by a slap on the ass, I may sing another tune, but they never have been.
I had one male boss who did not call me by any nicknames and he was a hard assed prick. These nicknames to me mean that while we may not be friends, we are certainly friendly. Which is nice in the workplace.