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Mr Mrs Miss Ms ---Asking for your support

(225 Posts)
PleaseCallMeMs Thu 12-Jun-14 23:05:00

"Ms" is a title that means "Miss or Mrs". It is the equivalent of "Mr", a title that can be used by any girl or lady that does not reveal anything about marital status. As some people put it, its short for "Mind your own businesS".

I have been trying for some time to get my bank to change my title from "Miss" to "Ms". When managing my account online, I cannot change my title directly. It defaults to "Miss" when I input my marital status as "with partner and children". I have emailed customer services a few times but got no reply. When I telephoned, the customer rep had to bring in "a specialist" to help out. They decided that I needed to take proof of my status to a branch to get my title changed!!!? When I asked what would be suitable proof that I'm a "Ms", they didn't know.

You may not think its a big deal, I'm not married and I should be happy with "Miss", but I really do find it offensive. I don't want to get married, but I'm in a committed relationship and I'm an older lady. I think its well within my rights to use the title of my preference and that our society should respect that. That's all I'm asking for. I agree it is only a little thing, but there is a deep issue here about the way we define women by their marital status. For example, a child will automatically know whether their female teachers are married or not, but won't have the same personal information to judge their male teachers. I believe that to create a truly equal society, it is important that we change the little things as well as the big things. Wouldn't it be better if, by default, when no information is known, a lady would be referred to as "Ms", instead of a guess being made about whether she is married or not? Those who wish to can, of course, use "Miss" or "Mrs". I'm not arguing that everyone should be forced to use "Ms". But those who want their marital status kept as their own business, should be able to do so.

There's been a few threads about "Ms" on Mumsnet in recent years. On one of them it was mentioned that someone should campaign about this. I thought I'd give it a go. So I've set up a twitter account in order to post about my experiences with the bank. I'd be glad if you would follow me, PleaseCallMeMs. I need a little momentum before I start to tweet to the bank's customer department. I'm hoping that if I get enough retweets, the bank will take notice! I'm new to twitter, so any advice will be gratefully received!!!

divingoffthebalcony Thu 12-Jun-14 23:07:17

Totally agree with you - I hate that there's such a stigma around using "Ms" (people usually think it's pretentious / sounds ugly, etc).

ballsballsballs Thu 12-Jun-14 23:08:10

I use 'Ms', and am always pissed off when I'm forced to use 'Miss' or 'Mrs'. I shouldn't have to announce my marital status via my title.

I've only got about 10 Twitter followers so can't offer help, but wish you luck with your campaign. flowers and [solidarity fist bump]

LadySybilVimes Thu 12-Jun-14 23:11:07

Personally I would like us to use Miss until 18 and then Mrs afterwards. I hate the term Ms. I just think it sounds awful. Not enough vowels for me.

However I completely agree with the principle.

I am also not good with twitter so can't give any advice on that front.

Elledouble Thu 12-Jun-14 23:12:30

I use Ms too - I'm divorced and never got round to changing my name back from my married surname. Miss MarriedName would be silly, as would continuing to use Mrs MarriedName. And I'm buggered if I can be bothered to go back to Miss MaidenName after all this time.

My bank has been fine with my change of title, although they have as yet failed to issue me with a bank card with Ms on. Likewise the DVLA with my driving license.

rinabean Thu 12-Jun-14 23:13:17

Banks are really weird about it. Lots of people think I'm Miss or Mrs and I correct them and they're fine with it - all kinds of officials. But banks won't budge. Why??

stickygotstuck Thu 12-Jun-14 23:14:47

I couldn't agree more.
I had the exact same issue about 7 years ago. My bank told me they needed to see my marriage certificate (!) To change my title from Miss to Ms. I told them that didn't make sense and was met with balnk stares and patronising disbelief.

I must admit, I just gave up.

Personally, I think Miss and Mrs should quietely fall into disuse. As far as I'm concernes, everybody should be a Ms or a Mr. Children included!

Janethegirl Thu 12-Jun-14 23:15:19

I'd prefer to use none of these terms. My first name followed by my family name (being v politically correct here) is sufficient. As long as you are required to tick male/female/other what does it matter. Actually I don't think the male/female etc bit is relevant either. Your name should be sufficient.

Raeray Thu 12-Jun-14 23:18:28

I must admit I always thought you were Miss until you married and became a Mrs and if then if you got divorced you became a Ms? Maybe I made that up! grin

ScarlettDragon Thu 12-Jun-14 23:20:15

I completely agree with you! I've just followed you on Twitter and retweeted a few of your tweets.

IneedAwittierNickname Thu 12-Jun-14 23:20:41

I always seem to have the opposite problem in that people assume I'm Ms because I'm unmarried and have dc.
When I say I am Miss, and want to be referred to as such I have been told I am wrong confused

Yanbu. We should be able to use the prefix we prefer!

flappityfanjos Thu 12-Jun-14 23:20:56

I'm a married Ms. Mylastname. This has fried a few people's brain circuits in the five years I've been married. It's 20fucking14. This isn't a new concept any more.

I've actually just checked - I'm Ms. on my Halifax credit card and Miss on my Halifax debit card... <sigh>

MrsCosmopilite Thu 12-Jun-14 23:21:17

Another one rubbish with twitter BUT I feel very strongly about this. In fact, if the bank that held my accounts couldn't get my name right (yes, I would be that pedantic) then I would move my money to a bank that could.

I fail to understand why there are still so many options. I like Ms but made the error of going with Mrs when I first got married. Rather stuck with it now.

EBearhug Thu 12-Jun-14 23:21:36

I prefer not to use any title at all, but that's almost never an option. I do prefer Ms to Miss. I can't actually remember what the bank currently has.

I did object to my director calling me Mr Pedantic the other day. (I had already admitted to pedantry, but I'm not changing my sex. He did apologise. I think I made him feel worse than I should have, given I knew it was a typo.)

PhaedraIsMyName Thu 12-Jun-14 23:21:52

I have 4 accounts with 2 (use to be) Scottish banks. All 4 accounts and associated cards have "Ms" Never had a problem.

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 12-Jun-14 23:23:01

Raeray I thought that too.

Ms what a divorced women's title.

PhaedraIsMyName Thu 12-Jun-14 23:26:45

I must admit I always thought you were Miss until you married and became a Mrs and if then if you got divorced you became a Ms?

I find it depressing that anyone could think that. Is a woman's status in the marriage market really so important ?

Helpys Thu 12-Jun-14 23:27:21

I say 'why do you need to know?' when companies ask me to specify any title.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Thu 12-Jun-14 23:33:41

YANBU, at all. I hate receiving post addressed to Miss 'Shadows Collide'. I always refer to myself as Ms Shadows Collide. Just looked at my ATM card, and yup, I'm Miss Shadows Collide on that. Really must change it. On my Boots and health insurance cards I'm Ms, on my Tesco card I'm Mr confused, and on my loyalty card for an off-licence chain blush I'm just Shadows Collide, no prefix.

In the secondary school that I went to, female teachers were only to be referred to as Mrs or Miss, never Ms. Unbelievably outdated, but then this was a school that only started allowing female teachers to wear trousers in 1997 shock.

I'm getting married soon-ish, and plan on staying Ms MyName. Which I would have thought would be of no consequence to anyone, yet I was amazed at the number of people, when we got engaged, asked right away 'so Shadows, are you changing your name?'. Not just older relatives either, friends my age. Then they were all shocked when I told them that I wasn't. It's 20 fucking 14.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Thu 12-Jun-14 23:35:05

Oh, flappityfanjos, seemingly we both think that its 20 fucking 14 grin.

coalscuttle Thu 12-Jun-14 23:36:03

I have just followed you too ��

coalscuttle Thu 12-Jun-14 23:37:46

I am almost divorced. Don't want to go back to my maiden name as that would seem weird to me after all this time - also I want to have the same surname as DS. It's not the surname i object to, it's the Mrs.

Onesleeptillwembley Thu 12-Jun-14 23:38:36

My bank details have always been 'one s tillwembley.
First name, initial, surname.
I had to ask them to change it originally, but still have it. Guess it's obvious I'm female but that's not a problem - I am female, and that's my name.

stickygotstuck Thu 12-Jun-14 23:39:59

Helpys 'Why do you need to know?'

I have used that reply in more than one occasion! Half of the time it's 'computer says no though...

Luggagecarousel Thu 12-Jun-14 23:40:44

I have the opposite problem. Everything I'm on seems to default to Ms, and I am very proud of being a MISS!

I agree everyone should have a choice.

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