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by Abigail Van Buren

Snide Remarks to Woman Bodybuilder Make Her Husband See Red

DEAR ABBY: I'm married to a beautiful woman, "Suzonne." We are bodybuilders and into fitness, so we are both quite muscular.

Recently, my wife cut her hair short. It's a great look for her, and we both love the style. Unfortunately, some people have begun calling her "sir" at work and when she's out and about. Suzonne waits tables a couple of nights a week for extra income. Some of the customers have gone so far as to keep calling her "sir" after she has told them that she's female.

This infuriates me because it's so disrespectful. I know it hurts my wife's feelings, although she has been super strong about it. It's plain when you look at Suzonne that she is a beautiful woman.

How can she nip this in the bud before it starts to make her feel bad? I feel a strong need to defend her, and I don't want to get into a physical altercation with anyone over it. -- HURT FEELINGS IN FLORIDA

DEAR HURT FEELINGS: Because your wife has a muscular build and a short haircut, it's possible some of the individuals who call her "sir" are making an honest mistake. However, for someone to persist after being informed that she is a woman is extremely rude. (It makes me wonder if the offender has a warped sense of humor or is threatened by her muscular appearance.)

When it happens at work, Suzonne should ask her manager how the situation should be handled rather than allow it to continue. But under no circumstances should you get into a physical altercation because of it. Instead, on the home front, continue to reassure your wife that she's beautiful.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Sex & Gender