Titles – please can we move on from the dark ages!!?!?!?

I was in the bank on Friday and I noticed that the title they have down for me is Mrs. I never changed my maiden name and always chose to be called Ms. I see no reason for it to be public knowledge of a woman’s marital status in a title. Men get to just be Mr all there lives no one makes a fuss about anything changing if they are married. It is not a case of being proud or not of ones status it has to do with the inequality if the change of status is only noted for one gender.

The overtones of a very patriarchal male dominated society is still so apparent in the differentiation still made for woman. I asked on twitter and a lot of woman agreed. The problem is not only the the title has the feeling of being a badge of ownership the other problem is that in our society of complex relationships the title which is supposed to give information is redundant.

I am not Miss, as in a never marriage available female and i am not Mrs either, I am separated and desperately wanting to be divorce, but be that as it may, why does what I am matter to anyone?? What if like a friend, I was married and then widowed, she is no longer her title. When they cease to be useful and have the glaring inequality that men’s marital status is not denoted then I think it is time to move on.

Miss and Mrs should just be replaced by the non specific Ms no confusion, no getting it wrong, no feeling like in some ways it denotes ownership and no one needing to feel hurt by their title when it is a reminder of loss and grief.

When Ms. magazine was born, the editors explained, “Ms. is being adopted as a standard form of address by women who want to be recognized as individuals, rather than being identified by their relationship with a man.”

Rant over, I am not a raging feminist and I do like to be treated well, I just think that these titles have lost all meaning and relevance.

21 thoughts on “Titles – please can we move on from the dark ages!!?!?!?

  1. If that works for you, then that’s fine. To a point.

    My wife (just as an example because I know here quite well) wanted to take my name and wanted to be called Mrs. I know a lot of others who feel the same way.

    As I said on twitter – the choice is there to use Ms, if you want to.

    I disagree wholeheartedly with the “badge of ownership” thing, though – that’s just making a storm in a molehill. Especially over a simple clerical error at a bank.

  2. I loved being a a Mrs…. with all my heart… I even loved the ‘badge of owenership”… I loved feeling like I belonged with/to/together with my husband… but since we got divorced, I do prefer using Ms as to me Mrs is something special… as I attach all the above to it and I no longer am anyone’s wife, so I don’t want to be confused with such.

    Nothing feminist about me clearly. LOL

  3. Ya I like being a Mrs – I would again take offence to being addressed as Ms it is a title that makes my skin crawl with the associations i have lol (I dont know if that would change were my marital staus ever change but I have never got the whole issue related to titles).

    I have also never equated being a Mrs or taking my husbands surname as an ownership thing, I felt no loss of identity becoming a Mrs (becoming a mother is another story lol). I think most women who change their surname on marriage see it more as them owning that surname/title rather than the surname/title owning them – it is your surname by choice remember not simply because you were born to it (now there is ownership!).

  4. i know there are people with no issue being Mrs and plenty of husbands that do not make it feel like an ownership thing, my question is why the difference between men and women and are they really useful anymore.
    And B i have never used Mrs so no I would not have given it to them as that. I was occasionally Mrs Z in the UK but I have never ever used Mrs C with my maiden name.
    And it has nothing to do with being separated, I always hate the feeling of inequality, if it is important to denote marital status then men should have to do it too.

  5. This is a bit of a thorn in my side at the moment, to the point that IF I ever get married again I am really not sure I will be willing to change my name again. Undoing the first round has proved to be a monumental PAIN IN THE ASS.

    Everything was in my married name – including my children. So when I got divorced I left my name as such, not feeling the need to change away from my married name. 2 years on I can not be associated with him in any way anymore and so I decided to revert to my maiden name and change my children’s name along with it. Home affairs was the EASY part.

    The banks have given me such a run around, and insist on seeing either a marriage certificate or divorce decree before they’ll consider it, even though I explain until I am blue in the face that the name change is separate to and not even really related to a a marriage or divorce. But the cherry on the top was today when I was told I can not change the billing name on all my council accounts unless I legally transfer my properties (via conveyancers and deeds office transfer) into my ‘new’ name. WTF!?

    I don’t like Mrs, Miss OR Miss. My name is Jane thanks!

  6. I never changed my name home affairs was kind enough to do it for me -WTF? I did use my ex’s name though mostly cause it just seemed expected! Now I regret it but have not changed back cause my daughter has his surname! Aarg it is annoying! Maybe I should change both our names? Would like to but what would I tell her I preferably that my family is so much nicer 😉 which is true but still … You make a good point I think

  7. A couple of thoughts: One is that sometimes when doing business with a bank, they need to know your marital status for legal reasons- in that sometime married couples need to be legally accountable for each other’s actions.
    No matter whether it comes down to titles, salaries, religions, sporting events or many other things, women are treated as honorary men, and dishonoured because of their femininity, rather than given equal opportunities. It isn’t a small issue- you can rightfully claim the Universal Declaration of Human R

  8. Scott: then surely the bank should just enquire about your marital status? Surely they would have to do this with men? I have never considered myself a feminist per se, but I do have an issue with having been a self-reliant, independent adult from the age of 16, but then by virtue of getting married you suddenly get relegated to dependent status. It is ludicrous and more than a little insulting. Suddenly you can’t do anything without ostensibly getting your husband’s ‘permission’.

    And don’t even try to tell me the same rules are applied to men. My ex and I had a joint bond account. i.e In both our names and transactions required BOTH our signatures. I was certainly never able to get even an account balance on the account without written consent from my (then) husband, and yet he was merrily allowed to skim cash out of the bond to the tune for about R50k to support his drug habits – no questions asked and without me being notified in ANY way. The same standards are not applied at all.

  9. Oops, I did not intend to come across as all man hating. I just hate double standards, bureaucracy and rules which make no logical sense. I actually love men. 😉

  10. I don’t mind being a Mrs per se, but I do see your point. Its not about whether you are married or unmarried or any one of the other complex relationship states, its the fact that any distinction is applied at all, and also that it is only applied to women. Men are also married, unmarried etc etc, but they don’t need to broadcast it to the world. Your marital status doesn’t define your role as an individual. I say down with distinctive titles for women!

  11. Hear hear!! I loathe the Miss and Mrs thing and always select Ms. If anyone needs to know my marital status they can just ask – both men and women.

  12. I always select Ms.

    There are a few companies that think I am MR Alice – wouldn’t that be an unfortunate name for a boy.

    In Portugal, woman do not change their name when they get married. I like this practise. The name you are born into is yours until the end.
    AND incidently children get both parents surname – first the moms and then the dads.

    They made a mistake with my surname on my birth certificate. It was a bitch to change in South Africa. I don’t think I will be taking my husband’s surname should I ever get married. I fought hard to get my name right!

  13. Ooh if you want to make me mad- call me Mrs! It has ALWAYS infuriated me that people make the assumption that as a mom or a woman over 30 you MUST be a Mrs!!
    Is that Ms pronounced “Mizz”?

  14. Thanks for all the replies
    Angel, ja the Ms is pronounced Mizz not great as it sounds like Miss so people tend to write that instead, we need a new one 😉

  15. I never changed my surname and will not change it if I ever get married again. I feel that there is no need for it. I also use Ms and get extremely p/off when called Mrs.

  16. I’ve been married for more than 10 years and still look around when somebody addresses me as “mevrou”. I married in my thirties and my maiden name was set into my whole being. I’m sorry that I’ve changed my surname. It took me more than a year to get used to the new surname. And after that just think of myself as Esther. That’s my identity. I like the idea of not having to change your surname at all.
    It seems that divorce can make everything very complicated.
    And Me and Ms is far beter than “Mevrou”. Dont like that at all.

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