Aaaah feminism. Such a loaded term. I would identify as a feminist, but I'm always reluctant to openly admit this.
Because of the hand wringing militant feminists who will only be happy when every person in the world is referred to in a non-gender-specific manner. What is really to be achieved by kicking off at anyone who dares to refer to you as 'love', 'darling', etc? It's the manner in which it is intended which we should concern ourselves with, and the incident with David Cameron is a case in point.
Yes, it was patronising. That's how it goes in the Commons. The general discourse between politicians is ALWAYS condescending when they are in disagreement. It's a power battle. Anyone with any understanding of communication theory knows that the way to get the upper hand over an opponent is to undermine them (by whatever means necessary). As a child I would watch the telly with my (very politically-conscious) Grandad, and was really surprised to see these so-called grown-ups shouting and jeering and behaving generally in a way which would've had the dinner ladies telling us off in the playground.
Christ I'm amazed that Angela Eagle managed to get so far in her career with such a thin skin. And d'you know what, love? By getting so upset, you are playing into the hands of those who might have suspicions that women don't have the strength of personality for politics.
You have the right to be offended, sure. But I've found that a much better way is to respond in kind. He calls you 'dear'? Respond by calling him 'son'. Job done.
Grow the hell up, darling.