Once, when I worked at a convenience store, I stopped in on my day off and was chatting with the clerk a bit. A cockroach appeared behind the counter. The clerk freaked out, wanted me to come kill the cockroach. I wouldn't, because it was a cockroach and I won't go near those things. So a male customer walked into the store and we got him to do the dirty deed. (I'm sure we made his day, killing cockroaches was probably the last thing on his mind when he entered the store.)
Does it rattle you if someone says "Ma'am"?
That one got me on the HR S*** List even after some one pointed out my mother's southern background (which catapulted me from Sexist to Red Neck)
I'm in the military, I expect to be called "Ma'am." People also call me by rank, or sometimes they call me "doctor."
I have no idea why calling someone "Ma'am" (or "Sir") would be an EO issue. I guess whoever found that offensive was not familiar with military discipline or basic politeness?