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To object titles tagged to marital status;Miss, Mrs. Ms

(59 Posts)
chaoswoman Sun 10-Jul-11 21:45:32

MS Understood
You may be married but separated or widowed. You may be separated and living with the man you left your husband for. You may be long divorced but choose to use your married name and title. You may be waiting for a divorce, legally still married, choosing to drop the married name and title. You may be over 40 and never been married! You may have several children and be single, or happily married but use your single name for professional reasons, you may be in a civil partnership, you may be recently widowed or divorced. Do you know which title to use? Are you Miss, Mrs. or Ms?

Why, in the UK can a man be a simple Mr. or Sir which doesn’t require qualifying any further, whilst a woman is asked to be a Miss (single/young), Mrs.(married) Madam(mature) or Ms(??)?. I for one don’t have a clue which applies to me, I put ‘Ms, but don’t know what it means and have never heard it with my ears. It sounds a bit harsh when said out loud….

As I reached my early thirties and owned my own home, tradesmen and service providers were calling me Mrs. ...... and I realised at my age I aught to be married, this was their assumption. Did I correct them with a sorry or evocative, Dick Emery, ‘I’m a Miss’. Did they need to know?

When I fell pregnant and had a baby without marrying the father. All the midwives called me Mrs.W and I felt compelled to correct them, ’I’m not married, call me C’. (I’m an unwed mother, single parent to be, my child is illegitimate; too much information!). Quite frankly, in this day and age, I was surprised, they continued to assume, or felt the need for this formality. Amusing though it was to me, the father of my daughter was addressed as ‘Mr.CW’(right title, wrong name), which he politely ignored.

A multitude of application forms, I realise, require a title with your name. In this day and age, if marital status isn’t required information, why do I have to prefix my name with a title tagged to marital status?

I actually, don't like being called Mrs. I am not married and didn't like it even when I was, but feel dishonest if I don't correct the assumption and rude if I do. I like formality in certain situations, what is a polite stranger to call me?

In the name of equality, dignity, privacy and clarity, I would like there to be one title to fit all women in a formal situation, as there is for men.

worraliberty Sun 10-Jul-11 21:49:29

That's fair enough but some of us do actually enjoy being known as Mrs.

I believe 'Ms' is a title similar to Mr...that doesn't give anything away.

Well at least I hope it is because I just wrote a school note for my DS and started it "Dear Ms So and So"

echt Sun 10-Jul-11 22:00:00

Ms is what you call a woman who hasn't yet told you her choice of title. It's polite.

worraliberty Sun 10-Jul-11 22:01:10

Phew, that's ok then echt grin

You know what school teachers are like..all the women are called 'Miss' Lol

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Sun 10-Jul-11 22:15:09

There is - it's Ms. What do you think Ms is for? confused

YANBU to object to titles denoting marital status though - but that's kind of why we came up with Ms smile

StellaSays Sun 10-Jul-11 22:57:57

I am 21, unmarried, no DC and use Ms. if the opportunity arises. I do this because I object to having to give out personal information (my marital status) whenever I have to give my name. For me its a feminist thing and I attach no significance to it when I hear others use it.


2shoes Sun 10-Jul-11 22:59:21

I like being a MRS

eurochick Sun 10-Jul-11 23:02:56

I've always used Ms, since the age of 15 (both before and after marriage). I really don't see why your marital status should form a part of how people address you. Ms is the nearest we have to neutral (although some people believe it means you are divorced or whatever). I think it is pretty backward that we in the UK haven't moved on from Miss and Mrs, frankly.

effingwotnots Sun 10-Jul-11 23:03:59

YANBU to object to being called something you are not upon an ignorant assumption of others.

However, I Like my MRS and before that, I didn't mind my MISS. It made my Mrs more significant, the soppy git I am!

GwendolineMaryLacey Sun 10-Jul-11 23:06:35

I like Mrs. Up to to what you call yourself, use HRH if you want. I do like the way your op is written as if none of this ever occurred to anyone before.

gasman Sun 10-Jul-11 23:08:16

I too object to titles which declaim your marital status but don't understand why you are getting so hot and bothered. Women have a clear option in the form of Ms.

I also have the option, which I use, of Dr.

I have been known to refuse to order online from companies that don't have either title in the options list. Comet springs to mind.

thursday Sun 10-Jul-11 23:12:32

YANBU it is silly that women are classified by being married or not. i was Miss til i was married, and now i'm Mrs Husbandsname. i understand some peoples objections but it doesnt bother me, i didnt bother correcting people who called me Mrs before either. All the Ms's i know are married but kept their maiden name.

worraliberty Sun 10-Jul-11 23:16:05

gasman tell me you're joking pleeease!! shock grin

DragonsEx Sun 10-Jul-11 23:16:20

I love being Mrs, waited 34 yrs to be called that smile

globalmouse Sun 10-Jul-11 23:17:01

I like to use 'Miss', as I think am technically a Ms (I was taught it was for divorced women for some reason - again denoting marital status), and because of my age (not young), lone parent-ness and being a professional, it amuses me to be a Miss (I was taught 'Miss' is like 'Master' for someone young and unmarried) Sometimes I am a Ms, sometimes for the hell of it I am a Mrs. Have yet to use Mr, but you have now given me the idea, and next time I get the opportunity, I'll use it grin

bubblesincoffee Sun 10-Jul-11 23:19:57

You have the option of Ms if you don't want to give away your marital status so I can't really understand what you are complaining about.

I liked being a Miss when I was one, and I loved changing to a Mrs when I got married. I'd be quite dissapointed if they disappeared.

gasman Sun 10-Jul-11 23:21:28


No. Not joking.

I ordered the item from someone else and then e.mailed comet to explain why I hadn't ordered from them.

I refuse to support retailers whose policies I don't agree with or who have provided poor customer service in the past. Interestingly Comet have changed their website (I've just checked - Ms is now an option.....)

VelveteenRabbit Sun 10-Jul-11 23:22:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gasman Sun 10-Jul-11 23:26:07

Title for use by all women regardless of their marital status.

You do not need to be divorced.

It is why the magazine Mizz was so called.
Does it still exist?

catwoman2011 Sun 10-Jul-11 23:38:07

I look very very young for my age and it surprises people to know I am a Mrs. Pre-marriage, Miss was used to belittle me by certain people and my change of title and name have been a subtle weapon to use when those people try to put me down.

I met someone who I hadn't seen for ages, he came up all "Miss G....." I turned round, sporting a 7 month bump and said "not anymore I'm not!" cue flushed cheeks and running away lol

I don't like being called Ms, I feel a bit of hostility to the title for a reason (not disclosed).

troisgarcons Sun 10-Jul-11 23:38:52


Ms screams lesbian or cant hang onto a bloke who will commit.

gasman Sun 10-Jul-11 23:41:01

Aren't we so kind to ourselves.......

Miss at > 40 screams 'can't find a decent man'?

Personally i pity those of you who need to use your relationship to define you!

wink biscuit

iggagog Sun 10-Jul-11 23:43:52

Troisgarcons you are very strange.

jenniec79 Sun 10-Jul-11 23:46:40

Or Dr, Prof, any number of military ranks/titles, Rev.

I'm pretty happy with Miss most of the time though. Not fond of Ms. I like my vowels.

I was on a website recently that only had Mr/Ms/Dr as the options (medical agency hence included Dr) It actually put me off the company that I had to ignore a qualification or put Ms. I want to choose for myself.

jenniec79 Sun 10-Jul-11 23:50:50

Oh and a few years ago I signed on jobseekers for a month or so.

I was only given the choice to be Miss, Ms or Mrs.

No field for "other" and the professional titles only became available if "gender" was set to "male".

The letter of apology from DWP was interesting reading in the end. And adressed correctly to Dr C, too. (I got a job pretty quickly but with a bit of a lead time, so had the time and inclination to be awquard)

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