Saturday, 1 October 2011

Ms/Miss/Mrs - Madame/Mademoiselle

A load of trivial bullshit, or something more?

Have you ever been in the position of being asked 'Miss or Mrs' and feeling annoyed, embarrassed, put on the spot? Perhaps it applies more to my generation (60+) than to younger women, but it always struck me as acutely unfair that personal questions start from something so simple as a child wishing to write a teacher's name on an exercise book.
For a man, it's just 'Mr'. No problem, no wondering. Simple.

And even now, in England, Ms is seen as the title mainly used by stroppy feminists, though it is useful in business situations, when a single title avoids the embarrassment of using the 'wrong' one.

In France feminists are demanding that all adult women should use the title 'Madame'. Now, would it be more practical, more equal, more feminist for all female English speakers over 18 to use 'Mrs'?

The fact that people think about this doesn't mean they cannot also think about social injustice, violence, people-trafficking.

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