Yesterday I found out that my boss doesn't consider me a lady, and I am actually rather glad about it. The term can be problematic and is starting to dance on the sexist side. Even according to its definition, it is sometimes offensive depending on its context:
noun, plural ladies.
a woman who is refined, polite, and well-spoken
a woman of high social position or economic class
any woman; female
(used in direct address: usually offensive in the singular)
(initial capital letter) (in Great Britain) the proper title of any woman whose husband is higher in rank than baronet or knight, or who is the daughter of a nobleman not lower than an earl (although the title is given by courtesy also to the wives of baronets and knights)
7. (sometimes offensive) being a female
of a lady; ladylike; feminine
Last night I was in a rush to leave work because I had a waxing appointment at 5:30. A delivery showed up for marketing right at 5. The building locks its loading dock at that time so the 25 or so boxes being delivered would need to be moved into our suite, off the truck, by hand.
The driver and our small marketing team used a couple of hand trolleys to wheel in the delivery. The driver kept insisting that he do the brunt of the work, even though there were three of us there to help. (Note: The boxes were maybe 5lbs a piece.) I ignored his protests and helped anyway.
Driver: No, no, no, I will do it. It is too heavy for a lady.
Marketing Director: Oh, she isn't a lady, she's ... Chris.
We got the boxes moved in and they were not too heavy! I also made my appointment in time.