If, when talking to a certain radical feminist, I called her “pet”, no doubt I would get called all the names under the sun, would be called sexist, misogynist, and all the other words radfems like to use when describing people they don’t like. What she wouldn’t do, is look into the use of the word, and realise that as someone that originates from the north east of England, the term “pet” is unisex. Men call women it, women call men it, family call each other it, there’s no bad connotation to the word. I’m guessing she’d really blow a gasket if I called her “cock”, which has the same usage in the Manchester area. I think I might just confuse her if I called her “duck”, which is what’s used in the Stoke-on-Trent (don’t ask me what it’s supposed to mean, I’ve lived in the area 23 years and I’m still none the wiser).
The lesson here, words, or titles, matter. If someone calls you the wrong thing in your opinion, of course you’re going to be upset. If they’ve not meant any harm by it, that’s one thing. If they’ve deliberately tried to upset or offend you, that’s a different matter altogether.