When I was growing up "ma'am" was a term of politeness and respect. I couldn't address my grandmother as anything other than "ma'am". And Granny would not let me, my sister, or my brother say anything to other female adults without adding "ma'am". "Yes, ma'am", "No, ma'am", or "Excuse me, ma'am" was the rule. This taught us to respect our elders and the social superiorty they had over us. But those days are long gone. Today, "ma'am" is a term of derision, at least it is to Senator Barbara Boxer.
During a Senate hearing today, Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh had the audacity to call Boxer "ma'am" a few times. Offended, Boxer asked the general to call her Senator as she'd worked a long time to get that title. Uh huh. And Brigadier General Walsh didn't work a long time to get his title? I'm sure Walsh worked long and hard to get that "Brig. Gen." in front of his name, and I'm sure he endured far more rigorous trials for his title than Sen. Boxer ever did for hers. Besides, it's military etiquette to call your superior either "sir" or "ma'am". Uberliberal Boxer doesn't seem to know that. Surprise.
Sen. Boxer needs to drop that feminist chip she has on her shoulder. She should apologize to Brig. Gen. Walsh. He called her "ma'am" because it's the polite thing to do. She doesn't like "ma'am"? Perhaps she would've preferred slutty flight attendant. I'm just sayin'.