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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".

GrimmaTheNome Tue 13-Nov-12 19:43:00

> was under the impression that traditionally speaking ...
yes - a misogynist tradition which shouldn't persist into the 21st century

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 19:47:14

Yanbu. I had a rant at a taxi company recently for asking "Is that Miss or Mrs?"


WHY do you want my marital status????? Just send me a cab you arse.

I never said that of course...I said "Er...why? My Name is X Jones...that's enough."

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 13-Nov-12 19:50:50

I don't suppose I should be annoyed when friends change their's their choice after all...BUT IT'S A STUPID AND OUTDATED ALBATROSS OF A TRADITION>

[feels better]

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 13-Nov-12 20:00:58

I didn't change my own name on marriage, but my DF still addresses cards to Mr and Mrs <husband's surname>, despite me having told him repeatedly he's wrong.

In my first marriage I double-barrelled our surnames, and was surprised at how annoyed XMIL and other relatives were that I hadn't just changed mine to his.

ErikNorseman Tue 13-Nov-12 20:06:54

LRD can women not keep the Dr title if they change their surname? Or are they actually choosing not to use Dr???

LeeCoakley Tue 13-Nov-12 20:07:55

Imagine how Princess Michael of Kent feels....

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 20:09:52

They're choosing not to use Dr.

Someone on here said that, technically, you're only entitled to use 'Dr' in the name you got your degree in, and if you change names, you must notify someone offically. But I expect that only matters for medical doctors where it would be important to know you're a real doctor - I've never heard anyone querying it in real life.

So I think what's happening with my lot is almost that they feel they have to do something symbolic to show they're really feminine and care about their husbands, like changing their names, to make up for being 'Dr so-and-so'.

ErikNorseman Tue 13-Nov-12 20:16:31


You know, I also don't understand why women feel the need to have the same surname as their DCs. I don't, I decided to give him his dad's name for (IMO) very valid reasons, and it bothers me not one bit. He's still my son!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 20:35:24

I can understand people having all sorts of reasons for wanting to take their partner's name, in theory ... I think my issue is, when it's everyone you know, it suddenly becomes clear there's something going on, if that makes sense.

wherearemysocka Tue 13-Nov-12 20:36:05

Totally agree it's mysogynist crap - that's why I said it was sad that women weren't even given their own names on their graves - just wife of.... But it persists, hence Princess Michael of Kent.

I get around the Miss/Mrs thing by shrugging and saying 'whichever'. In my experience it's wrongfooted them a little bit, which I hope might make them think that it really isn't relevant!

wherearemysocka Tue 13-Nov-12 20:36:42

Sorry, should learn to spell misogynist on the feminism board of all places!

blueshoes Tue 13-Nov-12 20:41:16

I did not change my name on getting married. When I get formal invitations addressed to Mr and Mrs Dhlastname, it always gives me a little thrill.

How very quaint to be the leetle wifeypoo.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 20:48:03

But, I think whereare that even the poncey etiquette manuals have now decided it's out of date? I forget why I think this, not being one to consult Debrett's, but I think it's right.

Certainly I've seen more people warning against using 'Mrs Hisname' as rude, than people insisting it is 'good etiquette'. And after all, what is etiquette except a set of rules for making people comfortable?

wherearemysocka Tue 13-Nov-12 21:25:30

You're probably right. I just remembered threads around Christmas time last year when people complained that their cards were addressed Mr and Mrs HisFirst HisLast and others were adamant that it was correct.

Personally I think my friends should be grateful to get a Christmas card from me that doesn't arrive at some point in the new year.

Leithlurker Wed 14-Nov-12 00:35:12

I take it they booked independently of each other? Or that she booked but gave her husbands name first? I am pretty sure that any time I have booked a room it has been put under the name of the person making the booking. I doubt that any one of the single female travelers would be down as Mr and Mrs, so it seems that they will make a none sexist booking if they are possession of the name of the the person making the booking.

It is also the case that in order to secure a booking many hotels require a credit card, and the booking will be under the credit card holders name unless specifically told otherwise. Even then becouse the credit card is often requested at the check in phase, if the partner who makes the booking is not the partner in who's name the credit card is registered may just find it easier to go with the credit card holders name first.

Only saying that if a conspiracy exists it is not located at hotel level but at a much deeper level, credit card and software developers to begin with.

sashh Wed 14-Nov-12 05:40:01

I think my in-laws probably wouldn't like it, and it just seems so much hassle, we'll probably never do it.

Not much hassle, just start using it, it will be fine.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 14-Nov-12 06:26:09

I don't follow leith - you mean women don't tend to use credit cards, or don't put their titles on them? confused

I grant you're probably right that the hotel isn't the only player in this and it's probably a combination of social factors.

where - yep, mine too! grin

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Nov-12 08:46:13

I think leith meant that if one of the pair had made the booking it would be Mr & Mrs <WhicheverCreditCard>. If the man had made the booking giving no other information than 'my wife' this would be entirely reasonable (or vv if the wife had made the booking) -

But the implication was that the hotel had the information that there were two names. There must be lots of differently-named couples checking into hotels nowadays - the era of Mr&Mrs Smithwinkwink are long gone. So it's hard to believe the hotel booking system wouldn't have had room for the data if they were provided.

Leithlurker Wed 14-Nov-12 08:53:43

Exactly Grimma, much better explained than my post. BTW I am not saying I think this is not an issue it fits with a pattern of treating women still as the lesser important person in a couple, it is disrespectful, and yes sexist.

My problem with the example we were given by the op was too short of information to then pile in with assumptions that this had been a deliberate act of sexism.

HazleNutt Wed 14-Nov-12 08:55:30

I've complained about this before - even if I make the booking, the hotels often don't care. I'm a very special-platinum-whatever member of a certain hotel's loyalty club, as I travel a lot. DH is not. I make the booking, through my club account. I pay, with my credit card. Put DH down as additional guest.
We get to the hotel, there's the usual fruit basket and letter from the manager: Dear DH, thank you for choosing to stay with us again..


LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 14-Nov-12 08:58:16

I don't think it would be entirely reasonable. I'll hold out hope they might not have assumed all married women are 'Mrs'!

I get what you're saying, though, if he just said 'for my wife and me' they might put it in the same name and they might have his title from his card.

It's still crap, IMO. If they need a name, they should ask for one.

I suspect from what the OP says that this isn't what happened, as she mentioned that both of the couple had been invited to speak under their own names at an event - surely that info is only relevant if we're to understand that the event organizers made the booking?

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Nov-12 09:04:44

I doubt it was deliberate sexism on the part of the person making the booking - just unthinking institutional sexism which is in many ways worse. It is unlikely to be that the software couldn't cope with two different names. I assume that a gay couple would be able to book as Mr A and Mr B or Ms A and Ms B so there is no reason why this shouldn't be booked as Dr A and Dr B.

<title> <booker> plus additional guest would (IMO) have been acceptable if there was one booker and the system didn't allow for two names.

Leithlurker Wed 14-Nov-12 09:05:33

Or even if it was the woman who made the booking LRD, she would most probably said Mr and Mrs as it is the "norm" which I realise is what this is all about. However we are all to some extent corrupted by the social norms of the society we are brought up in. I entirely accept that if being asked to speak as part of the programme the organisers had made the booking then they too should shoulder some of the conspiracy. Hotel though do not particularly give a stuff if you are speaking at an event and will probably not know that any way, so your only a "bum in bed" as it were to them.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 14-Nov-12 09:11:24

If I was this couple, just for the hell of it I'd make sure I always made bookings from now on as Dr <womansLastName> and Dr <mansLastName> and see how often this transmuted to Dr <womansName> and Mr <womansName> and see what reaction they got when they complained...I would imagine some grovelling...then point out that this is exactly what happens too often the other way round.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 14-Nov-12 09:14:36

But very little sexism is 'deliberate', is it? I think that is the point.

What else are we to say?

Does anyone honestly think this was 'deliberate' sexism in the sense of someone thinking 'ho, ho, I know, I'm going to humiliate this woman by demoting her title and using her husband's name'?

I don't see how you could get that impression.

I doubt, frankly, that the woman the OP describes 'probably said Mr and Mrs'. If she had, why would the OP write this? And why would she mention the OP uses a different title from Mrs?

I don't use 'Mrs' and I certainly don't decide to do so just in order to make hotel bookings.

I think you're reading a huge amount into this in order to deny there's an issue, frankly. You have to read against the OP to get your conclusions.

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