Monday, October 29, 2007


Upon reading a blog post over at The F-Word on the subject of last names, I was reminded of a small incident that occurred a few weeks ago concerning my title. I was at the job centre filling out forms when my advisor turned to me and said...

"You've missed your title. Is it Miss, Mrs, Ms...?"


"So you're divorced?"

*huh? WHAT?!*

"... No. I've never been married."

"Okay then."

I then watched, a little shocked, as she wrote down my title: MISS.
I didn't want to hang around, and was a little tired and couldn't be bothered arguing. But considering that the title 'Ms.' is supposed to be neutral and can be chosen by women regardless of their married, single or divorced status, AND HAS BEEN SO FOR QUITE A WHILE, this kind of ignorance is unforgivable.


  1. I don't really think it's that big of a deal tbh : / I mean, it's just a title.

    Plus, not everyone does understand the context within which it's supposed to be used because, as I said, it's not something particularly important that everyone needs to know.

    I think the title 'Ms' is actually kind of pointless. I think it may be good for people who are divorced or widowed and don't feel like they want to go back to 'Miss' or something for whatever reason, but generally it's just adding more confusion and thus, more situations where women get annoyed and what have you.

    I'd say it's a completely forgivable "ignorance", because everyone makes little mistakes and nobody can know everything.

  2. It means a bit more to me, because I don't really want to go through life being defined even partly by my marital status.
    And I think that, considering that the woman was a professional who has to deal with such information on a day-to-day business, and moreover appeared to be in her 30s and thus grew up during a time when the title 'Ms' was gaining more acceptance and was adopted by women of all statuses, she really should know better. During our lifetimes Ms has always been a chosen title and has always been for all women if they wish to adopt it. Considering all this, the fact that she went on to just decide what my title was was in the face of what I'd told her (and I should know what my fucking title is) was, if nothing else, rude.

  3. I think the title you use can be as important as the name you use, and you were quite right to be fed-up with this kind of ignorance. Regardless of marital status, or anything else, anyone can use any title they choose, just as you can use any name you choose. There are no laws to prevent it.

    When I got married, I carried on being a 'Miss', and kept my own surname, as I didn't see why my name and title (and hence my identity) should change because I had decided to marry someone. I was still me, not suddenly an appendage to my husband!

    But if an unmarried 18 year old decides she wants to be addressed as 'Mrs', she is perfectly within her rights to do that. As with a lot of other things, the important factor is that you have the choice, and everybody else should respect that choice.