Dear editor, Let me start by saying I enjoy and look forward to the weekend edition of The Independent & Free Press. I am always particularly interested in Ted Brown's viewpoint on what typically are trivial, yet important, topics; his comments are always timely, humourous and pithy. A few months ago on two previous occasions, Ted used the term "The Sidekick" when referencing his partner. I dismissed the comment, and mentioned to my spouse that if he used this term again then I would have to speak up. Well, in a recent column, it was Ted's third strike. Now we all use loving nicknames when referring to our spouses or partners, but don't even get me started on the juvenile references such as hubby or wifey. These are definitely two terms that do not belong in our vocabulary. Other very appropriate terms to refer to one's partner could be "my spouse" however, perhaps they are not married, so how about this crazy suggestion, refer to her by her first name or perhaps a pseudonym. The term "The Sidekick" could be interpreted, and has been by myself, as a derogatory reference to your partner. I, for one, take offense. While we live in the 21st century and you would think that the rights of all individuals are equal, we are far from that perfect world. We still live in a world where in India 10,000 baby girls a year are murdered by their parents for committing the highest offense of all ... being born a girl. Gender discrimination, along with many other forms, is alive and well. Ted, being a father of four daughters, I am positive you would never want any man to treat them as anything other than an equal. While it's unlikely that your reference to your partner as "The Sidekick" is intended as anything other than playful and cute. It's unfortunate labels such as these that can be the foundation of discrimination.