Ambika: calling a woman 'sir' is usually based on a type of reverse psychology. when people want to insult a man, he is called a 'sissy' or hen-pecked, or asked to wear bangles etc. Calling a man womanly is an insult.
So many people conclude that calling a woman a man is an honour.
Indira gandhi and kiran bedi were amused at being addressed as "Sir" but didn't try to correct such people.
My first boss used to tell me "I know you are man enough to get this done".... usually I took it as a compliment and worked extra hard (I was 20 years old lol).
Even in america, the general belief is that every woman wants to be "one of the boys" in order to break the glass ceiling and prove that her gender is not a detriment. She is on par with men and part of their club. etc etc....
Such women will also be required to laugh at chauvinistic jokes about female s*xuality. Another 'sh*t test' to prove she is one of the boys. The next step of course is that undue advances are made at her because the s*xual jokes are a test to her receptivity. (Hey, you laughed at my joke about s*x etc..) Pretty sad, but I think that's how it works.