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WIBU? Asking school to not use Mr and Mrs. R Bonkers

(294 Posts)
bonkersLFDT20 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:10:53

Got a letter from DS1's secondary school.
It was addressed to Mr and Mrs R Bonkers
R is my husband's initial.

I've just written to them suggesting they use more a more modern way to address parents e.g Mr and Mrs Bonkers or Mr R. Bonkers & Mrs M Bonkers.


BlueStones Sat 12-Oct-13 18:29:03

Awful lot of minimisation of sexism here. "It's no biggie", and so on. Just what the old-school sexists want you to believe.

head-to-desk manoeuvre

And those who are "proud" to have taken on their husband's name ... given that it is an equal partnership, was he not equally "proud" of you, and hoping to take your name on? Did you deny him the honour of showing his pride in this way?

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 11-Oct-13 23:45:49

It's just outdated now. A one off random letter I could put up with but I wouldn't if it would be repeated year on year.

I do plan to take my dp's name when we marry next year. However that has a lot to do with me preferring his surname to mine (it is highly amusing to some). If I had a surname that didn't seem to invite both men and woman to make hilarious comments I probably wouldn't.

curlew Fri 11-Oct-13 23:32:46

"I'm amazed there are so many women on this thread stoutly defending the Mr and Mrs hisfirstname hissurname 1950s ettiquette."

There are always plenty of women ready to leap to the defence of misogyny in all it's manifestations large and small.

edam Fri 11-Oct-13 23:29:51

I'm amazed there are so many women on this thread stoutly defending the Mr and Mrs hisfirstname hissurname 1950s ettiquette. Every other thread there has been on MN about people writing to 'Mr & Mrs R Brown' has been very much the other way round, with loads of people objecting to being addressed by their husband's first name.

Good grief. Even my Godmother, in her 80s, had moved on enough that by the time she married again, after being widowed, she added her new husband's surname to her own, instead of changing it entirely. And she is very, very, very keen on and experienced in using all formal etiquette. Sort of person you could rely on to sort out all the placement at a formal dinner party for 60, with guests including bishops and professors and peers and so on.

FryOneFatManic Fri 11-Oct-13 22:42:04

DD's school does take the trouble to address letters about DD to Mr HisFirstName HisSurname and Ms HerFirstName HerSurname. They'd asked for these details from everyone at the start so that's what they use.

DS's primary send all letters addressed to Parent/Carer of DS Full Name.

grovel Fri 11-Oct-13 16:43:08

I think you were right to take on the name Bonkers.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Oct-13 16:41:29

Thanks bonkers. And yes, it was Flirty, sorry coming. blush

PepperGrinder Fri 11-Oct-13 16:37:01

Oh Juggling, no I didn't. Thanks smile

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:33:05

Sorry scone blush

Searching for the quote though, I think it was flirty not coming.

MrsD thanks

MrsDeVere Fri 11-Oct-13 16:31:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hi MrsDeV,
Did you get a good response from your DCs school on this ?
Are you going to the meet-up - I'd love to see you there this time - you escaped before I found you last year smile
Always remembering Billie flowers

Pepper - did you know you can be a Quaker "non-theist" or atheist these days ? Those early Friends (Quakers) were ahead of their times in a few ways!

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Oct-13 16:24:13

bonkers I was quoting coming in the bolded part of my post and then taking issue with her on that point. I was trying to make the point that I don't consider your issue with the school "petty shit."

ZingDollyChops Fri 11-Oct-13 16:21:46

MrsD as always thanks

MrsDeVere Fri 11-Oct-13 15:45:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PepperGrinder Fri 11-Oct-13 15:42:20

The Quaker form of address is my favourite, although I didn't know it was Quaker and as an atheist I feel a bit meh about that... grin

In my world there would be no titles, and if people wanted to express their unit-dom they would legally have to adopt a made-up surname. I suspect people would find a way to function with their original names when faced with two lots of name-changing paperwork. hmm After all it is a piece of piss really.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 11-Oct-13 15:36:32

coming my response to their reply was to simply thank them. I am glad I wrote to them.

bonkersLFDT20 Fri 11-Oct-13 15:35:29

scones do you honestly ONLY ever think about "real shit" in the "real world"? Really?

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Oct-13 15:31:16

some people need to wake up and start thinking about some real shit going on in the real world rather than petty shit like this

To which I quote once again LadyBigtoes:

Deep, ingrained acceptance of inequality like this underpins and props up all kinds of much worse, more dangerous manifestations of sexism.

FlirtyGurty Fri 11-Oct-13 15:25:16

Oooh took all of 30 seconds to type my post and did I rant???

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 15:15:57

and yet flirty, you've just wasted the head space ranting against worrying about something. So you have time to get annoyed that others get annoyed about different things. It's an odd stance to take I'd say.

FlirtyGurty Fri 11-Oct-13 14:54:25

This one seems to have passed me by at the grand old age of 40. My life must be so full of shit its never even entered my head to take offence at an envelope (which ends up in the shredder moments after being ripped open)before. Seriously concerned that I dont take 5 minutes out of my life to find the time to think about shit like this.

I assume those offended to not include Alison and Andrew Boggs who also would be addressed as Mr and Mrs A Bloggs - or would it?

Really do think some people look for offence sometimes. Do you all clutch your pearls when these evelopes land on your door mat??

The whole point of etiquette is that when you dont know what to do (IE: unsure of how to address someone) you follow etiquette.

Honestly - some people need to wake up and start thinking about some real shit going on in the real world rather than petty shit like this.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Oct-13 14:31:59

Well, perhaps, as an educational institution, their "real work" could include knowing the difference between grammar and social conventions and not perpetuating sexist practices.

comingalongnicely Fri 11-Oct-13 14:25:04

FFS you've got what you wanted - they've acknowledged your request & are going to change how they address the letters.

Anything else will make you sound like a smartarse with nothing else to do with their time except pestering people that have real work to do.

You'd be better off spending the time looking for a frame to put your first "correctly" addressed envelope in when it arrives....

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 11-Oct-13 14:09:29

I lived for a while in Philadelphia where many people use Quaker forms of address, which are based on equality. (There is story of a Quaker in the court of Charles II who addressed him simply as Charles Stuart.) As a feminist, I find ithe Quaker practice very appealing, and it solves many problems.

Anyway, the Quaker form would be for the envelope to say Marigold and Reginald Bonkers (or both names written out in full) and the salutation would be "Dear Marigold and Reginald Bonkers" (or both names written out in full).

OP, I provided first names for purposes of illustration. Hope that's ok. smile

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 14:05:55

I apologise, I halloween NC in the middle of convo, I was the one who asked you (aggressively apparently) about what makes a feminist because you very clearly stated someone wasnt a feminist on this count.

And I think that's a great sweeping statement to make. I disagree whole heartedly regarding shaving as men are not required to shave at all and dh can happily go to work with out shaving without anyone batting an eye, where as if I am seen to be rocking fur trim on my swim suit I get looks/comments. The more women shave the more women are expected to shave (as in the amount of body hair). I think women separating their ass cheeks to a stranger to have their crack waxed and the idea that is becoming standard if you don't want be seem as "gross" is far more of a concern than my surname. But I won't say that someone who submits to this because of social conventions but still believes in equality is not a feminist.

However my point was and this is to curlew as well, I realise I made one unfemnisit choice as an adult (out of many I am sure) with other concerns.. feminism is there to improve the lives of women.

I am still a feminist. I am also a democrat but might consider voting for a particular candidate one day who is not a democrat because they happen to represents certain ideals I have.

Interestingly my "maiden" name is actually a slave name and has nothing to do with my family. There's a quandary for you. Is a slave name more equal than a husband's name? And does every woman who changes her name need to explain to you why she changed it to prove she is feminist enough?

I'm going to leave this here, because you have a very blinkered view where you believe you own feminism. And I am sorry but you really don't.

I was asked, quite aggressively:
*What constitutes a real feminist? Not shaving our bits? Not shaving your pits.? Never wearing lipstick? Boycotting all shops who use sexist advertising? Moving out of society and having a feminist commune.? Noit sleeping withthe enemy and embracing political lesbianism?
Who gets to decide who is feminist enough?*

So I answered that explaining feminism as I see it, in a way that deals with the very problems that para expresses so neatly. IMO, the idea tat "feminism means you can't shave your legs" and similar is a myth put about by people who hate and fear women and feminism. It makes it seem like it's about belonging to a weird enclave and having to follow restrictive rules. It's actually very anti-feminist. Think about it logically and you realise men are allowed to care about their appearance/shave/whatever so women should be too.

There's a debate on this thread about feminism so I've been saying what I think. What I think is my opinion, however I am also pointing out that some ideas of feminism seem to fall down logically and go around in circles, and that some of those ideas actually run counter to the idea of gender equality.

What feminism is is of course up for debate. For me equality in all things is the key. Here's the first dictionary definition that comes up on the web.

The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

I can't see anything about not shaving, and indeed that wouldn't make sense, as men shave.

Also please note that nowhere have I said that I don't think women should be allowed to change their surname to their husband's when they get married. And I said that I respect friends' rights to be known however they want to be.

What I said is that doing so is not a feminist thing to do and I can't reconcile feminism with doing this thing which runs directly counter to the pursuit of equality.

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