It seems to me that much of life should be evidence based. While there are guesses that occur, primarily we should think in terms of the actual evidence that we observe. Therefore, it is sometimes a source of frustration for me when I am addressed as “sir” before I speak (I have not gotten around to voice training yet). You would think that if someone’s presentation is:
- Wide brimmed feminine hat
- Feminine and colorful blouse
- Significant breasts
- Short skirt
that the goal is not to be dressed as male (at least that is how my logic works).
In the town where I live, the population is about 60% Latinx. The culture is heavily invested in the patriarchal model and the language is distinctly gendered. I suspect that religion also comes into play. While I understand the backstory, it is sometimes a source of frustration for me.
When I come upon people that I don’t know, usually my initial responses will be gender neutral. As the conversation progresses, sometimes it will become clear as to what the situation is. Also, observing the interactions with someone who knows the person may provide information. If it is still not clear to me, then I will ask. A little bit of restraint goes a long way…