...to call myself "Mrs"?

(148 Posts)
LolloRosso Sat 16-Feb-13 20:03:20

Am in my thirties, gay, single, with two DCs. I've never been married (my children were born thanks to a sperm bank).

I used to be very keen to call myself "Ms" in my twenties, but now I think "Mrs" maybe sounds more respectable/authoritative...in reality, I don't know that many women who go by "Ms" now (and it's tricky enough to pronounce...)

I find that the GP, Health Visitor etc address me as "Mrs" anyway.

My only reservation, besides not being sure if I am legally "allowed" to call myself "Mrs" if unmarried/not in a civil partnership, is whether it might lead even more people to imagine that I must have been deserted by a partner. When I can be bothered, I often find myself having to explain already that I'm a single mum by choice.

perplexedpirate Sun 17-Feb-13 15:48:37

Uncomfortable with my status?! So I was uncomfortable single, and now I'm uncomfortable married? WTF?
I must try divorced and civil partnered, maybe that will make me 'comfortable' enough to stop using Ms.
hmm
Never heard such poppycock.

scottishmummy Sun 17-Feb-13 15:55:55

But your setting self up for lots of what? mrs the convention is you have male husband
I think it's purposefully obtuse of you, are you trying to make point?

JessieMcJessie Sun 17-Feb-13 16:14:17

Bue, why does "Miss" sound silly and trivial when used by a surgeon? Do tog think that unmarried schoolteachers who call themselves "Miss maidenname" ( because let's face it, school kids will never get used to Ms) are also "silly"? Or is it somehow OK for people in stereotypically female professions to call themselves "Miss"? Perhaps the female surgeon you worked with was proud of her single status, why should she be any less entitled to advertise her marital status than a married female surgeon calling herself "Mrs"? As I said in a previous post my great aunt was Miss all her life and was anything but silly. I am a lawyer and when the judge addresses me as "Miss McJessie" I certainly don't feel "silly".

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 17-Feb-13 16:14:59

OP, perhaps you could get ordained online and be a Reverend? Respectable, authoritative, and completely gender-neutral grin

I'm another one who thinks Ms signifies comfortable in your own identity whereas Mrs signifies that you are not and need everyone to know you are married. As for Miss used by adult women, to me that says comfortable with oneself but perhaps not as bothered about the sexism inherent in women's titles as a Ms.

Regarding school children never getting used to Ms? Why ever not? Increasing numbers of them probably have mothers who use that title.

wherearemysocka Sun 17-Feb-13 16:50:20

The children I teach have no problem referring to me as Ms Whereare (they have on occasions called me Mum) - although if they're screeching across the classroom at me I do get 'Miissss! Miiisss'. My married colleagues get that too, though, so i just put it down to a figure of speech.

None of my male colleagues have knighthoods but get referred to as 'Sir' - given some of the things I've been called in my time as a teacher I don't get too bothered by it.

I think the people who are least comfortable in their own identities are the ones who see fit to criticise and judge someone for their choice of title. I would love us to be like the Germans whereby it's on age rather than marital status, but I don't feel the need to be defined by my relationship with a man, so I choose the only neutral option available to me.

Arcticwaffle Sun 17-Feb-13 18:11:56

I like Ms. To me it signifies "It's really none of your business whether I'm in a relationship or whether I'm sexually active". Just like Mr.

I loathe Mrs. Whatever Edam says about it not being "Mr's", to me it feels like that. I won't answer to it.

I'm another who went through the slog of a doctorate so I could have a gender-neutral tag. but it's a bit of a faff, just being Ms is simpler really. Doesn't land you in so much debt.

HazleNutt Mon 18-Feb-13 11:15:57

I work for an US company and have never, ever been addressed by Americans as anything but Ms. Totally normal there, just like Mr for all men. Only in UK is the title seen as "ooh you must be a divorced lesbian feminist ashamed of their actual marital status".

JessieMcJessie Mon 18-Feb-13 12:54:33

Ah, mention of Americans reminds me, in the US, all lawyers are addressed in correspondence as "JessieMcJessie, Esq." The first time I received a letter from an American I presumed that they had mistaken me for a man but it turns out the term is officially unisex. Not much use in conversation, but I o rather like it.

Bue Mon 18-Feb-13 13:56:01

JessieMcJessie, yes I actually think that any grown woman using Miss sounds silly grin

But I am from Canada, where Ms is the totally standard business form of address. Mrs/Miss would never be used these days.

Hopefully we will follow the lead of the US and Canada then.

HollyMadison Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:00

I prefer Ms or Miss to Mrs (I'm married). There are no connotations to using Ms these days.

JessieMcJessie Mon 18-Feb-13 14:21:14

But Bue, you haven't explained why it sounds silly- what is it about using a title that reveals you are unmarried that is "silly"? Is being unmarrued "silly"?

minimeech Mon 18-Feb-13 14:47:21

I agree with simplesusan, why do women have miss, ms, mrs when men only have mr.? I think you should call yourself whatever makes you feel comfortable, anyone that has issue with your marital status - that is their issue & do not have a right to make you feel uncomfortable - be happy : )

willesden Mon 18-Feb-13 14:48:42

In service, the cook was always referred to as Mrs even if she had never been married. I think you should call yourself whatever you want. I have remained a 'Mrs' even though I have been divorced 11 years and with my partner for 4 years. Personally, I would hate people to know I am an unmarried mother. People are so quick to judge especially on MN.

I think using any title which indicates your marital status is outdated Jessie that is why Miss and Mrs sound silly to me but I realise that many women still choose to do so and that is their right. It is not the fact of being married or unmarried that is silly.

Bue Mon 18-Feb-13 16:41:25

Jessie, to me Miss is a title for a little girl, and as such I think it sounds silly and infantile on a woman. There is nothing silly about being married or unmarried, but it IS silly that women still have titles that are based on their marital status, while men do not! I certainly appreciate that others don't share my views however.

Bue Mon 18-Feb-13 16:42:14

So basically what WhoKnows said smile

FergusSingsTheBlues Mon 18-Feb-13 16:48:18

Och, I like being Mrs. Its like wearing a cloak of invisibility.

Crinkle77 Mon 18-Feb-13 18:39:55

What's wrong with Miss?

Dromedary Mon 18-Feb-13 20:14:39

Crinkle - see above.
Why are women expected to inform everyone they meet that they are married / single (maybe because no man would want them?) / a single mother (because no man would want them? Because they sleep around? Therefore their children are neglected?). These are not my assumptions, but others do have them. The bottom line is that your marital status is not the business of every person you meet / every phone centre worker you speak to.

BeCool Mon 18-Feb-13 23:29:11

They do this in Germany - use Frau regardless of marital status.
A German friend told me on the weekend that Frauline is now rarely used even by young women. It's very uncool to use it.

Joeast123 Thu 19-Jun-14 23:01:59

I am a teacher, never married with 1 child. I have made the decision to become mrs. I tried miss but felt like I wasn't a woman, ms no one can pronounce and still makes me feel less of a women. In 14th century all respectable women were mrs - that makes sense to me.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now