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Miss/Mrs/Ms

(160 Posts)
MephistophelesSister Mon 13-May-13 20:26:54

I don't usually get to het up about Miss/Mrs/Ms (and apologies in advance, because I know the debate crops up on here fairly frequently) But I am trying to buy some insurance, and am starting to lose my temper.

I am married, but I sometimes use my maiden name. For this particular insurance I actually need to use my maiden name. However, if I try and select 'Miss', the helpful website blocks me from proceeding with the message 'marital status does not correspond with title'.

I am fully entitled to use the prefix Dr. Unfortunately loads of websites won't offer this as an option (which is a pity, as I find it a handy dodge). In this case they will, but I gained my doctorate under my married name, so that doesn't sit right.

I can't (or really, really, shouldn't) lie about my marital status - that would put me on shaky ground if I ever came to claim, and might influence the quote. But as far as I know there is no law against/reason why a married woman can't continue to use her maiden name and prefix it with 'Miss'?

Using 'Mrs' in front of my maiden name just seems wrong, and I have simply never liked 'Ms'.

[Wails] why can't they just let me have it my way!!!

1Catherine1 Thu 16-May-13 20:32:58

You can just produce the marriage certificate cheaspicks to change your name.

Scholes34 Thu 16-May-13 15:30:07

the computer only says no because someone has been overthinking things and has programmed it that way. Of course it's perfectly okay to use the title Miss when you're married. You can call yourself what you like.

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 15:01:20

Good for you bollockstoit grin

bollockstoit Thu 16-May-13 13:57:25

Was just on the phone to the bank and was asked to confirm my full name including title and middle name. I'm afraid I may have said "Ms" rather forcefully blush

cheaspicks Thu 16-May-13 13:26:27

Just checked, 3yo dd is Frau according to her savings account.

cheaspicks Thu 16-May-13 13:20:08

Yes, in Germany Fräulein is only used for children and even then not used much.

I find it slightly odd that so many on the thread see Miss as an al-purpose female title, but then I haven't lived in the UK for over 12 years. I was brought up to use Ms and I would suggest that if the US, Canada and New Zealand have all adopted Ms as the standard title that anyone campaigning for Miss or Mrs to be used instead is probably fighting a losing battle.

When people change their surname to their spouse's on marriage, do they change their name by deed poll, or can you apply for a passport in your partner's name just by producing a marriage certificate?

Jan49 Thu 16-May-13 13:17:41

I'm glad people here don't think Ms means divorced. I think it's just something I came across a lot years ago when I first called myself Ms and I think older generations think it means divorced. It didn't bother me at the time, but now that I'm divorced, I hate to think that anyone thinks I'm calling myself Ms for that reason. For me the whole point of calling myself Ms all my adult life is that it's a title that avoids showing marital status and is equal to Mr.

auldspinster Thu 16-May-13 12:41:05

I found in Germany that Fraulein was for girls and adult women Frau.

My mum is widowed and hates being addressed as Ms whereas i'm a civil servant and hate when callers ask for my title, like my marital status is any of their business - I like the idea of being addressed as madam but i'm probably alone on that one!

Squigglypig Thu 16-May-13 12:11:11

I like being married but I still feel a bit funny when I get called Mrs Squigglypig. At work I tend to use Ms for female clients etc (I'm a lawyer) and don't associate it with divorced women.

I really loved it in Battlestar Gallatica where every adult regardless of gender was called "Sir" in a kind of army way, it took a bit of getting used to watching it but I thought it was a kind of cool way of dealing with titles. (Watch BC if you haven't -it's brilliant and not the geek fest it looks like from cover).

catsrus Thu 16-May-13 11:38:30

In over 30 yrs of using Ms I had NEVER heard that it was supposed to mean divorced until I came on MN confused I probably just dont read the kind of media that feeds that assumption. Where possible I don't use a title, when a web site or form "forced" me into using one I would use Ms (never changed to his surname for any purpose whatsoever. Simpler to keep my own). Once I had a PhD I started to use Dr.

quail Thu 16-May-13 11:36:53

I'm a married Miss, because I like Miss and if people didn't change their names there wouldn't be anything to talk about. So the way I see it is Mrs means you changed your name to someone else's name, Miss means you didn't. No one needs to know whether you are married or not, because no one needs to know if men are. Miss is correct, as well - old film stars, writers who kept their names, etc, have always been referred to as Miss Crawford, Miss Blyton, Miss Davis, and so on, when they were married.

wherearemysocka Thu 16-May-13 11:29:49

I've always thought as Fraeulein as being similar to calling someone 'young lady' - could be seen as quite endearing, or could be very, very patronising. Always makes me think of the Captain and Maria in The Sound of Music!

I'm a Ms, and will remain a Ms when I get married.

badguider Thu 16-May-13 11:24:44

I'd prefer just Ms in the same way that Master has been dropped and males are just Mr (though titles not often used for children).

In france it's very variable when Madamoiselle changes to Madame (excuse bad spelling)... some see being called the former a complement, I was certainly called the former in Paris when I was around 18-20 which was ok in the situations I was in but in a workplace I wouldn't have wanted my youth drawn attention to.
Fair enough if it changes at 14 in Switzerland or Germany... but in france it certainly doesn't.. and in Germany I'm sure i've heard frauline used for women in the 18-25 age group...

TheSecondComing Thu 16-May-13 11:22:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

luxemburgerli Thu 16-May-13 11:16:29

I'm in Switzerland, and here it does exactly that. Miss for girls up to about 14, then Mrs for 14+. Works well.

Spottyegg Thu 16-May-13 09:58:04

just use Ms much simpler!

Decoy Thu 16-May-13 09:55:15

> This is why girls should be Miss, and women should be Mrs, and it just changes automatically on age, just like it does for men.

Agree with it changing on age, but I'd say it should be Miss, then Ms.

As someone newly divorced this is on my mind a bit. I cba to change any cards from Mrs as it doesn't interest me and I don't use a title anyway unless forced to.

I am buying a property atm and it comes up with agents. The other day an agent asked me my title when registering me and it was so obvious that she we sizing me up as 'divorcee' or 'family wife who is not the sole decision maker'. Made me feel really awkward. I couldn't really avoid the question. I said Miss in the end (as I didn't know what to say tbh) and in the end as the convo progressed I admitted I was selling the family home and getting divorced. She looked at me 'hard' and said 'yes I thought so'. Labelled or what honestly! All because of a title...

MsJupiterJones Thu 16-May-13 06:25:13

Olgaga I can't see where she said the bank worker was male - have I missed something?

This is why girls should be Miss, and women should be Mrs, and it just changes automatically on age, just like it does for men.

Alligatorpie Thu 16-May-13 05:25:12

In Canada women are assumed to be Ms, unless they specify as Mrs. Miss is something used for children - the way the British use Master. I find it strange that adult women chose to be called Miss. It just seems wrong.

I agree that titles should be abolished. Love the swedish way of first name, last name.

Morloth Thu 16-May-13 02:32:02

I have always used Ms.

It is now policy at my work that all men are referred to as Mr and all women as Ms in all correspondence. Unless they have an 'earned' title like Dr or Rev, but even then if it isn't immediately obvious Mr/Ms it is.

Makes things much easier.

olgaga Thu 16-May-13 01:19:23

Well Scone I've never heard of that here in the UK either!

I also use the "Dear Jane Smith" or even "Dear J Smith" if that's all I have to go on.

If someone couldn't be arsed to tell me their initial I'd use "Dear Smith"!

I just think people get way too het up about titles. The truth is that nowadays you have to have a title of some sort for any identification data which is held on a computer.

I'm still amused by Slug's post, assuming the poor bank worker was enquiring about her "sexual availability". Hilarious!

Poor bloke.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 15-May-13 13:59:47

Ms. has never had the "divorced" connotation in the US and is now essentially the default title for women, especially in business settings.

Also more and more businesses in the US (banks included) are using no titles at all in correspondence, addressing envelopes as simply "John Smith" and letter salutations as "Dear John Smith." This is the traditional Quaker practice (although of course not the reason so many are doing it), based on notions of equality.

olgaga Wed 15-May-13 11:42:05

This is the first time I've ever hear of Ms being "reserved" for divorced women!

As far as I knew, it gained prominence when Gloria Steinem and other feminists established Ms. magazine in 1971.

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