Sorry to ruin your day, but I’m going to open a quick Pandora’s box of feminism on you because I need help figuring it out for myself: Is calling a lesbian with a short haircut sexist or the complete opposite?
Option #1: It’s definitely sexist.
The long and short of this argument is that he’s essentially calling her a dyke. If a man was hosting the show and one of the guests called him ‘ma’am,’ I’m sure it wouldn’t go over so smoothly. As a man, I can guarantee being called a woman’s pronoun would be perceived as disrespect. Have you ever been called ‘Mary’ and not been offended? I didn’t think so.
So, yeah, the old, ignorant, rich, white dude is definitely being sexist. Or at the very least, very rude.
Option #2: Nope. Not sexist.
The basic foundation of this argument is the whole ‘color blind’ scenario. People who say they ‘don’t see color’ are total douches, however, the principle remains the same. You see people for who they are, not the color of their skin or the style of their haircut.
So by this guy calling her ‘sir,’ it’s actually because he’s so NOT sexist that he can’t even keep up with what gender he’s talking to. You imagine this dude’s about 75-80 years old, so he grew up in a world where media has been dominated by straight white men, so by calling her ‘sir,’ he sees her as just another journalist.
Verdict: An honest mistake for an old man, but based on his face afterward, this dude is definitely sexist. He’s got guilt written all over him. Either way, if it doesn’t matter to Rachel, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else and she responded without a flinch: “I answer to both.”