Who can be approached, sir

Are female officers addressed as "sir" out of ignorance of the writer or for some deliberate reason?

Many of the movies and TV shows you see this on are futuristic and science fiction films. Part of the purpose is to simply get your attention, but the other purpose is to show how they differ from our modern day military.

In essence, they are saying that they have gone beyond gender alignment to the point that any officer is just referred to as a "sir".

Probably the best current example is the remake of the Battlestar Galactica- Series.

Some fictitious attitudes assume that such distinctions will be dropped in the future in favor of a consistent honor. I doubt this will ever be the case. But there are always changes. Perhaps in a few decades this young Ranger LT will be called "Sir" by their troops.

Refer to this question by English Stack Exchange : Can be used sir to address female officers . In the American military, you would never address an officer as "sir".

In the United States, you would address the officer as "ma'am" rather than "sir". It is considered disrespectful to use the term "sir" for a woman both in the Army / Navy and outside of it.

The only place I've ever heard of female officers named "Sir" is in a futuristic fiction; B. Star Trek . But even there it is not universal. Apparently, even some fictional female officers don't like being called "sir". According to this Trekkie site, she was mainly called "Captain", but according to protocol, she was supposed to be called "Sir".

In the American television series Castle all detectives (both men and women) address Captain Victoria Gates as "Sir".

Anthony Grist

If I remember correctly, Captain Gates urged in Castle explicitly told people to call her "Sir" when the character was introduced.

Johnny Bones

The correct answer is on that one line: "They say they have gone beyond the gender bias to the point where every officer is just referred to as 'Sir'."


@AnthonyGrist: As an extension of your counterexample, I recall several instances where die-hard female officers were called "sir". I think this is characteristic of them as they generally have a very masculine demeanor that they equally respect. Even in stories where gender stereotypes exist, die-hard military women are often accepted as equals (which makes a statement about how tough they invariably have to be). The only example I can think of right now is Olivier Mira Armstrong, but there should be a lot more.

Kevin Milner

Strangely, when I was in the army 25 years ago we were told to address ALL officers as sir regardless of gender.