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Is this the kind of crap that subtly undermines women?

(80 Posts)
duchesse Tue 13-Nov-12 09:21:25

Friend and his wife are both acknowledged authorities in their (similar) fields. Both have been separately invited to speak at something. Both have same honorary title. She always uses her own surname, has never used his.

Hotel booking when they arrived was for (for example) "Dr FirstName LastName & Mrs HisFirstName HisLastName".

OxyMoron Tue 13-Nov-12 09:32:38

I don't think it subtly undermines women. I think it blatantly undermines women. I would have asked the hotel to change the names.

duchesse Tue 13-Nov-12 09:34:02

She did! But still, it makes my blood boil that they would do it in the first place.

OxyMoron Tue 13-Nov-12 09:39:19

Yep, same here. 'mrs dhname' is not a name I recognise. It certainly isn't mine and I won't have it forced on me.

anklebitersmum Tue 13-Nov-12 09:52:00

I hate this kind of 1900's attitude. My favourite examples to date are;

the tv licensing lot who, when they'd visited me in my home (one day after I'd moved in) and wrote to a ficticious MR after seeing my license to say they'd spoken to a '3rd party' at the house and there'd be no further action.
cue angry phonecall
Phoned and eventually got a written apology-that included an apology for the customer service girl refusing to speak to me because it was in MR's name! angry


a well known power company who wouldn't speak to me "because bills had been put in hubbys name". not quite sure how he managed that from abroad using my details and bank account though hmm

HazleNutt Tue 13-Nov-12 09:54:28

I remember the amusing post here where the OP tried to book a hotel room for her and DH, both doctors. As I remember, the hotel offered them 2 rooms, as there must be 3 people, 2 doctors and her..

Poledra Tue 13-Nov-12 10:05:22

DH and I are both Drs. I have lost count of the number of times utility companies, credit card companies etc assume that Dr <EitherSurname> is DH. Though I did enjoy the company that phoned up and asked to speak to Mr. <Mysurname>, when I could cheerfully tell them they were looking for my dad or my brother, neither of whom live at this address grin

OxyMoron Tue 13-Nov-12 10:08:22

We have the opposite. People tend to ask 'miss or mrs' in my case, to which dh or I reply 'dr'. Whereas he is assumed to be mr, so they don't ask. Often things in both our names such as tax credits are addressed to Dr & Mr.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 13-Nov-12 10:26:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anklebitersmum Tue 13-Nov-12 10:28:05

shock hazelnutt really?

HazleNutt Tue 13-Nov-12 10:32:08

yes, don't remember the details, but the receptionist couldn't figure out where the poster in question would be sleeping, if there are Dr Smith and Dr Smith sharing a room.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 10:37:30

tell me about own mother went through a (short!) period of addressing xmas cards to us as Dr and Mrs HisInitials Nome.

Poledra Tue 13-Nov-12 10:39:16

Y'know, I've just reread the OP, and realised that not only did they downgrade her title, but they also used her husband's first and last names for her shock I am now sooo depressed and angry for her. I am not an appendage to my husband under any circumstances, and I have my own name! (This still holds true for those people who choose to use the same surname as their husband - removing their first name is an insult and control mechanism. 'I am not a number' anyone?).

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 11:16:51

Ohhhh, this drives me up the fucking wall. My parents do it all the time and my mother just smiles and says it 'doesn't matter'. Then she wonders why people are massively patronizing towards her.

A mate of mine has parents who're Dr and Mr and by all accounts, that is even more annoying.

I do find it actually very strange and a bit depressing - I'm doing a PhD so I know loads and loads of women who're also doing PhDs, or have just got them. And obviously loads of us are getting married because we're at that age.

I am the only one who hasn't changed her name.

The others include women who're quite feministy, but came up with all sorts of individually perfectly sensible reasons why changing was better (and god knows, I don't think it's some kind of feminist shibboleth), but when you see the numbers of women who're becoming 'Mrs Hisname' instead of 'Dr Myname' is is just plain depressing.

And it does give you a tingly spider-sense about their men, because more and more I'm noticing how many comments there are about 'DH really supports my PhD work but we're going to move for his job and so I won't actually finish it now' or 'DH thinks Dr Myname sounds great but if we have children it would be odd so I will be MrsHisname'.

Obviously there must be loads of wonderful men out there, but there are obviously also lots of men who are uncomfortable with their wives having a title that indicates they're more highly educated than their husbands, and loads of women who're worried being 'Dr Myname' is somehow unfeminine or not a family-friendly thing.

TessOfTheBaublevilles Tue 13-Nov-12 12:22:15

My MIL always addresses married couples as Mr and Mrs <His First Name/Initials> <His Surname>, even if the woman in the couple hasn't taken the man's surname.

In fact, even if she sends something only addressed to the woman, it is Mrs <His First Name/Initials> <His Surname>.

I have taken my DH's surname, but I have asked her countless times not to address me as 'Mrs <DH's Name> <Our Surname>, and she still does it.

Only last week, she mailed me a magazine clipping she thought I'd find interesting, and it was addressed to Mrs Nathaniel Baublevilles. angry

I think I may resort to returning the next item unopened, with "not known at thsi address" on it.

summerflower Tue 13-Nov-12 12:43:29

When I petitioned XH for divorce, all he said about the document was that it said Dr Summerflower and Mr XH (an accurate reflection of our respective titles). About sums up the demise of our marriage really. His mother called out congratulations Mrs XH-name at our wedding, but I was never, ever known by that name.

I would complain if a booking was sent as in the OP, I agree that it blatantly undermines women.

summerflower Tue 13-Nov-12 12:45:34

Oh yes, my mother sent mail addressed to me as Mrs Current DH surname, even knowing that I was Dr Summerflower and had always kept my own name. She did it to be facetious though, as she totally disapproved of the marriage and she's toxic.

TheSmallClanger Tue 13-Nov-12 13:01:03

I've posted this before, but I think my then-5yo DD's reaction to finding a letter to "Mrs M Clanger" (I'm Ms K Clanger), sums up the ridiculousness of this custom: "Mummy! Mummy! Someone's sent Daddy a letter and they think he's a GIRL!"

TessOfTheBaublevilles Tue 13-Nov-12 13:07:00

Clanger - that is brilliant.

I must say, I'm rather proud of my 12-year old son's comments on this issue, when he heard me complaining about a previous letter MIL had sent me. He said, "in the rare cases where a man takes the woman's surname, I'm sure people don't address him as Mr <Wife's First Name> <Surname>, so why is it acceptable to address women as such?"

I think I might be something right!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 15:26:23

Tess - the hope for the future rests with attitudes like your son's. smile

TBF on my own mother, she always used Mrs HerInitials surname and cleaned up her act with us once I'd had a dig - I think we became Dr His &Dr Her Nome with no initial. Perhaps the fact it wasn't deliberate makes it worse in some ways though...(temporarily) hidebound by sexist convention.

(I took HisLastName for purely aesthetic reasons - its much nicer than my original. And I didn't have enough publications at that point for that to matter.)

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 15:28:15

>Dr His &Dr Her Nome with no initial
sorry, OR with no initial

Anniegetyourgun Tue 13-Nov-12 17:50:11

I changed my surname on marriage, because I wanted to, but I didn't change my forename, because that would be weird.

wherearemysocka Tue 13-Nov-12 18:34:26

I was under the impression that traditionally speaking if you did take your husband's name then that made you Mrs Hisfirst Hislast, and that Mrs Hername Hislast was used by divorced women.

Think it's been mentioned before about how sad it is to see gravestones with Mrs Hisfirst Hislast, all she'll be remembered as is a appendage to a man.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 18:39:37


Waaay out of date.

Rather like the way (sadly), I am no longer 'LRD, esquire'. sad

Primrose123 Tue 13-Nov-12 18:56:00

Interesting thread.

My mother does this, she addresses things to me as Mrs <DH'sfirst and last name>. Now, admittedly, I am Mrs <DH's last name>, but I don't want to be called by his first name! I am my own person, not part of him.

In fact, I don't like our surname, and neither does he much. We've been married 17 years, and back then it was quite unusual where we live for a woman to keep her own name. I did intend to keep my maiden name in work, but some prat, who had nothing to do with it, decided to 'help' me by letting all my customers know that my name had changed to Mrs <new name>.

We have even been considering changing our, and our children's names to my maiden name. It's more unusual, but simpler, and we like it. I think my in-laws probably wouldn't like it, and it just seems so much hassle, we'll probably never do it.

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