I'll be more interesting next week, honest!
Anyway. Part of the whole process is that whoever is conducting the call needs to get the caller's name because, you know, common courtesy and all that. And when it comes to women callers, the assumption is almost ALWAYS that they're a Mrs. Even when they've given their first and last names, with no title, still it is assumed that they're a Mrs., or, if they sound young, then they're obviously a Miss.
I mean, seriously, why are we still living in a time where women are defined by their marital status? Such advances feminism has made, and we still have to put up with people assuming that we're married, or that we're not. And the thing about it is, none of this is malicious in any way, it's almost an unconscious assumption that if a woman is a certain age that she must be married, and therefore she's a Mrs., which really doesn't allow for the billions of differences between women that may be a reason that they reject that particular title.
The thing is this. If you look at basically any form, the title option goes like this: Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms. At least Ms. is basically always included, but if you ask me, that option should just be Mr/Ms (oh yeah, also Dr, and Rev, and whatever else. But for the ladies and the dudes). I mean, how simple is that? No one needs to worry themselves about whether anyone else is married, and no one needs to define themselves by being married, or not so much. I feel like there's a real stigma against 'Ms', like if you use it you're this crazy angry feminist, who no one likes, and to THAT I say firstly, shut up;
Plus, you know, it would stop me getting pissed off at work every 5 minutes.
As always, I'm not saying that people are wrong for calling themselves Mrs, or Miss, and if I'm honest, probably about 95% of the time, the women who don't title themselves probably are 'Mrs' someone and don't even notice what's being done to them. I'm not even going to touch the whole 'taking his name' when you get married thing, but I honestly think that the Ms/Mrs/Miss thing is a much more important thing to think about because, well, it's no one else's business what your marital status is, men don't have to have it hanging out there at all times on their names, and it should be no different for women.
*Relinquishes soapbox for next speaker of awesomeness*
But, I mean, I'm right though, right? Or am I making mountains out of molehills? I'm aware that there are some more important issues affecting women that should maybe take precedence over this one, but it's such a small thing that makes a really big symbolic difference. I'll always be a Ms, anyway.
Totally not a molehill, my dear. I read recently that the French have abolished "Mademoiselle" on their official forms, so now you're a Madame whatever your marital status. In Germany, "Fräulein" has been out of use for longer than I've been alive (i.e. almost 30 years). If you're addressed with your last name, you're a "Frau", hitched or not. I work a lot with Latin Americans, and every time someone just assumes I'm a "señorita" just because I'm young, it gives me the jeebies (I am a "señorita", but it's the assumption that gets me!). It's just so old and sexist to define women by their marital status at all. I mean, if we started doing it to the men, you can just imagine the outcry. But for women, it somehow seems to be fine. It's completely bizarre.ReplyDelete
Ooooh, yeah I remember reading that about the French, now that you mention it! It is TOTALLY old and sexist to refer to women by their marital status, and I don't understand why we can't just... Not.Delete
Also, it's REALLY the assuming thing that gets to me. I just... DON'T DO IT, people! Grrr.
I constantly get phone calls where after saying "Is Eleanor Potten there please?" I immediately get "Oh, hello Mrs Potten, this is..." And I'm all like I'M NOT MARRIED DON'T CALL ME THAT IT'S WEIRD. I have no problem with 'Ms' - it'd make life a lot easier if every woman could be a Ms in situations like phone calls and appointments, so you don't have to risk offending anyone and there's no room for confusion.ReplyDelete
P.S. Hope the illness that tried to kill you has now been firmly beaten out of your system and that you're recovering nicely. Though if you WANTED to lie around watching The Wire and looking slightly wan for a few more nights, that would be okay. :)
It would absolutely make life easier if everyone was Ms. It's just a common sense thing and I don't understand why it hasn't happened yet and ARGH. So annoying.Delete
P.S. I'm pretty much ok, but I'm just SO tired! It's really annoying and stupid and I want to just be like FULLY better but I'm not quite. I might just lay around and watch The Wire tonight... Or read Les Mis... Ah, the possibilities!
I just had a full on fight with Rhys about this :-p he reckons Ms is only for women whose husbands have died...?! I ALWAYS went by Ms before I was married, and I think making an assumption either way is just so rude! Plus, lots of people treat you better if you're a Mrs than a Miss. They're clearly idiots, but there we go. Well done on making a stand for feminism!:-)ReplyDelete
Oh for reals?! I used to think that Ms. was just for divorced women, because my headteacher at school was a Ms. and I somehow thought she was divorced, even though I found out recently that she wasn't... Turns out she was just awesome. So widows lose their husbands AND their 'r's, huh?! HeheheDelete
I think there's definitely a respect level that goes with a Mrs as opposed to a Miss, which IS terrible, and probably a whole other ageism thing altogether! But Ms's (Ms'? ARGH!) I think probably get the least respect, in that NO ONE EVER SAYS MS. Or at least not in the calls I listen to lol.
I used to hate having to ask women 'is that Miss/Mrs or Ms' a million times a day on the box office. I mean really, who cares whether you're married? I hate that the female title makes it all so obvious. I'm a Ms all the way, Miss makes me feel young and like I'm in some 19thC novel...Miss Ellie. It really does get my goat. Don't even get me started on the bachelor/spinster condundrum! Hope you're feeling much better :)ReplyDelete
Oh man, at least you asked though! Cause, I mean, fair enough everyone choosing their own titles (even if I wish more people would choose Ms...) but if nobody's even going to ASK what you call yourself and is just going to assume things then what is even the point?!Delete
Hahaha, Miss is definitely Austen-y, but then it's also a really young thing- it's not like people are just really young until they get married, especially not nowadays, so it's just not really even appropriate anymore. IMHO ;)
I've been married for 18 months and I am a Mrs. It was a big decision because as a teacher, it's all I'm known as (Mrs + surname) between 8-4 every day! I like my new surname (it's nicer than my maiden name) and don't see it as belonging to my husband, we always knew we wanted to share a surname after getting married, so we just picked the nicer of the two. I could have been Mrs + maiden name if my maiden name was nicer. I sound much younger than I am so on the phone people assume I am a Miss. I wish we would scrap the whole thing in phone calls and just go by first names.ReplyDelete
Yeah, going by first names is definitely a good alternative, cause then nobody assumes things and nobody PISSES ME OFF. Ahem. But I like your surname choosing-ness! I'm definitely waaay less decided on the issue of the surname (even though it's really a more important part of someone's name, I guess!) because I really think that families should have the same surname, but that it definitely shouldn't be the dude's BY DEFAULT, but at the same time, my surname pisses me off because no one can pronounce it so I kind of wouldn't be against getting rid of it. Although I think I'd always choose to be a Ms.Delete
I AGREE. Why are titles even necessary?! Who really cares? Why can't it just be first name last name? I mean, I guess in cases like mine, people aren't sure whether you're a man or woman, but why does that even matter in most situations, anyway?ReplyDelete
This is such a good point! The thing that really bugs me is, in SO many of these calls I listen to, women (waaay more than men, by the way) give their name as first name last name, and then the person they're talking to just goes 'So, Mrs. blah blah' and I'm like WHY ARE YOU MAKING THAT ASSUMPTION YOU PRICK! I mean, I sort of get not going straight in and calling them Jane or whatever, but... IT'S SO ANNOYING!Delete
You'd think people would just go with Ms. as the default because THEN YOU'RE NOT WRONG. If the lady on the phone wants a different title, she can tell you. I agree it should just be Ms./Mr. as the options cos it's just simpler.ReplyDelete
Exactly! Just, you know, streamline the whole process, y'know? But yeah, if you go with Ms, then you can't be wrong! THAT APPLIES TO ALL WOMEN (Or, you know, should).Delete
Oh God. I get the feeling I'm going to have to cry in a corner after you all shout at me for this, but I really don't like being called Ms. I'm happy to call other people that and I'm happy for people to call me that until I correct them, but it's not for me.ReplyDelete
I don't think it's anti-feminist or demeaning to women. I don't define myself by my marital status, nor does my partner and I'm sure 95% of society doesn't either. It's a sound and I just genuinely don't like the 'Ms' sound.
Ok, BUT theoretically would you agree that there should be one universal title for women just as there is for men? If it wasn't Ms? (NOT that you shouldn't call yourself Miss if that's your jam. But if we're just talking word sounds here, then...)Delete
Also, I definitely don't think that, when they call the ladies Mrs, that the people I listen to are defining women by their marital status so much as just trying to be polite, BUT I think that the whole kind of basis behind the having two (well, three) different terms for women IS totally sexist and should maybe be changed, even if the people using them aren't trying to be sexist. It's more of a symbolic thing than anything else, I think. But an important symbol, at least to me!
Well... no, not really. I mean, I understand your point and I see where you're coming from. And if both titles (Mr and Miss/Mrs) were scrapped and a whole new set of titles were created from the beginning, then yes, they should be the same. I know that Miss/Mrs originally dates from the days when women were property etc etc, but it doesn't mean that anymore. I think it's a tiny minority define women by their married, and I'm certainly not going to change my title just to scorn a few misogynistic morons!Delete
I'm as pro-women as they come, completely and totally. But I just don't think Miss/Mrs is demeaning to me. I'm all for calling a women 'Ms' until you KNOW 100% what she'd prefer, but for me that will always be Miss or Mrs :)
Oooh. Yes! I hate when someone assumed that I'm married and calls me Mrs. then when I tell them I'm not I get that pitying "oh.." HATE THAT! I think we should call all women Ms. similar to how all men are Mr. regardless of marital status. I also hate Ma'am so much too.ReplyDelete
I don't know why this bothers me so but perhaps it is that women are labeled and sometimes judged by marital status and that's just sexist and weird.
Ohhhh man, I've never ever gotten a pitying 'oh' at having to go 'actually it's Ms' and OH GOD, I hope I never do. I might actually LOSE it in some poor person's face. And Ma'am?! That's basically what I would call the Queen, and... that's about it.Delete
It is sexist and weird, and it just seems like this really weird relic that people don't mind holding onto for some reason... And it's not like calling every woman Ms would actually change anything, but... It feels like it would, like, symbolically, you know? I don't know, I guess all we can do is Ms ourselves up anyway!
Aww man, I love it when I get Ma'am-ed. Lol it happens a lot at work, we get a lot of Southern drivers and it makes me happy cause they're being so polite! WAAYYYYY better than the drivers who call me "babe" or "girl". Those guys are jerks and overly familiar.Delete
You know what's interesting is I've met married women who get offended when people automatically call them "Mrs" without knowing their marital status because it makes them feel old... which is a kind of crazy I don't even understand. Also, when I was in school they taught us that we should only use "Ms" when referring to a woman who was engaged, because then she's kind of in between Miss and Mrs.ReplyDelete
Honestly, looking at it it IS silly that women and society still make this distinction... but I just kind of shrug it off. And I'm not gonna lie, I kind of look forward to people calling me Mrs. Honeyman when me and the boyfriend eventually get married (obviously his name isn't Honeyman, but you know... not gonna spew last names all over the internet, lol.) I know it's silly and unnecessary and all that, but it's that traditional side of me that I just can't help.
Anyways, hope you're having a good week! And that you're not all sick anymore!
Yup, no titles or a universal Mr/Ms would be way better. It is no-one (including the state)'s business whether I am in a relationship and how that relationship is going. And it is clearly outdated and sexist that it is only women who are labelled in this way. Good on the French and Germans for being a step ahead.ReplyDelete