I recently received a solicitation phone call asking to speak to the man of the house. I kid you not. I had all kinds of appropriate responses including, "do you speak dog?" because he is the only man in the house right now. My ultimate response was, " No. You can't." He didn't really know what to say so next and sensing my annoyance, he hung up. Really what did he think he would get from that call? And hello, we all have caller ID.
I liken this too to resume cover letters that are addressed to Dear Sir(s). Awareness (or lack thereof) of gender differences is shocking. How are people unaware of how this comes across?
I have a colleague (and good friend) who taught me the best lesson ever; she gave me great language to use. She was in a meeting (all men and one woman) and a male team member referred to the group as guys- as in, 'come on guys, let's get this done.' She bristled and explained that inferring a male perspective was offensive. He told her to lighten up. For the duration of the meeting, she then referred to the group as 'gals.' Her actions helped drive home a terrific point. They got it. I hope the guy who called me gets it too.