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passport services - how insulting

(25 Posts)
ageez Mon 11-Mar-13 19:17:25

I applied for passports for my two children and asked my friend and neighbour to countersign for me. She is a respectable and educated woman, who has known us for five years. The passport service rejected the form and I called to ask why. Apparently, as a full time mother, she is unworthy of signing the form, because "if she is prosecuted for false information, she has nothing to lose".

If I could find a publican, a professional photographer, a civil servant, a doctor, these would all be fine. No matter if these people can't identify my children, they are all more trustworthy than a full time mother, who has no "position in the community".

I am hopping mad. What an insult.

PromQueenWithin Mon 11-Mar-13 19:21:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Mar-13 19:21:59

But surely the same would apply to a man who was a full time SAHD?

flatmum Mon 11-Mar-13 19:24:44

wouldnt she go to prison or get a big fine? Freedom and/or cash is a lot to lose. how stupid. Is she on the PTA? Helps out at Cubs etc - How is that not a position in the community. Very insulting but it does say the perosn witnessing has to be a professional person. And only certain professions will do. (I am a professional but cant do it.

RubberDuck Mon 11-Mar-13 19:25:15

Um, but it's clear in the passport instructions who is eligible to countersign?! Didn't you read the form before filling it in?

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Mar-13 19:26:43

I must be thick, but I don't see how it's a feminist issue? It's not about the gender of the person who signs the form, it's about their professional qualifications? I can sign the forms, DP can't. I'm female, he's male.

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 19:27:49

As irritating as their response was, countersignatories have to fulfil certain criteria

You knew I think you should give yourself a little telling off for deliberately flouting them

AnyFucker Mon 11-Mar-13 19:28:26

Same here...I can sign. DH cannot.

RubberDuck Mon 11-Mar-13 19:29:28

Neither of us can sign but fortunately DS2's best friend's mum is a solicitor grin

mysterymeg Mon 11-Mar-13 19:30:01

Me too. I'm on the list DH is not.

ThingummyBob Mon 11-Mar-13 19:31:21

Yup, no gender issue here that I can see. Lots of people do not have the 'standing' to countersign passport applications not just sahms confused

DomesticCEO Mon 11-Mar-13 19:31:21

Same here. I can sign, dh can't. It clearly states on the form who can sign - you're being daft!

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 19:33:29

It would equally apply to a SAHD.

And the retired of suitable standing can still sign, so those on a career break - whether male or female, SAP or any other reason, can still sign.

I can sign the forms on the basis of the occupation I am not currently doing, but remain in professional standing for. Once realised on the school run, I got treated to a good few trips to the coffee shop whilst I did the paperwork.

Trekkie Mon 11-Mar-13 22:03:00

The passport office would have better replying with a factual list of acceptable occupations.

Rather than saying baldly "this woman has no position in the community" which does come across terribly badly.

rosabud Mon 11-Mar-13 22:21:25

I don't think you can say it's not a feminist issue just because it would apply equally to a SAHD. The point is that the role of "looking after/bringing up children in a domestic sphere" is not considered, in this case, to be as important as other roles (such as being a solicitor). As the domestic carer role is traditionally seen as 'women's work' then that does make it a feminist issue.

The point is that those people who hold a professional position in society ( such as solicitors/ teachers/ police officers) will have been through a training period in which, to some extent, they will have had to consider what it means to hold a position of trust in society whereas people with other roles (such as shopworkers/ office admin staff/ stay at home parents) will not have had to consider, in any formal sense, what it means to hold a position of trust in society. Of course, t's not full-proof, but it's one way of ensuring a certain standard.

squeaver Mon 11-Mar-13 22:24:01

The list of those who can countersign is very clearly laid out on the passport form, if I remember correctly.

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Mar-13 22:26:09

But it ISN'T about the sex of the signee. It's about the position they hold. Whether they are male or female doesn't matter. I can sign. DP can't. Am I not a feminist then?

DomesticCEO Mon 11-Mar-13 22:27:47

I'm an SAHM and I can sign.

Sorry, total non issue.

TeiTetua Mon 11-Mar-13 23:41:45

True story. Back when I was a teenager I needed a passport for a school trip. The application had to be signed by a "solicitor, banker or clergyman" or suchlike probably male person, and my parents knew a bank official through the parents' association at my school, so he (of course he) signed it.

Well, a couple of years later, it turned out that Mr Banker had been stealing from his bank: one step ahead of the police, he committed suicide. Then, when his wife was cleaning out the house, she found his pornography collection. As a kid, I didn't hear the details, but apparently it was pretty extreme stuff.

So yes, get your passport application signed by a respectable and responsible person. Pillar of the community and so forth.

KatieMiddleton Mon 11-Mar-13 23:52:07

This is not a feminist issue. This is a reading issue. Did you not read the form?

annh Tue 12-Mar-13 00:05:37

"If I could find a publican, a professional photographer, a civil servant, a doctor, these would all be fine. No matter if these people can't identify my children, they are all more trustworthy than a full time mother," - this has got nothing to do with feminism - the publican, civl servant or doctor could equally well be female. But no, they could not sign if they didn't know your daughter either.

Did you not read the form or did you just decide to ignore the instructions on the type of person who could sign?

KobayashiMaru Tue 12-Mar-13 00:06:21

I'm a sahm and I can sign. My dh works full time and can't. I think you messed up your forms and are lashing out.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 12-Mar-13 00:29:26

grin at Katie

PrideOfChanur Tue 12-Mar-13 19:49:41

I can sign,because I have a profession I could be chucked out of for lying on a passport application form.
And whoever signs would have to know your children,thats part of what you are signing for...

LeeCoakley Tue 12-Mar-13 20:03:33

The website states for countersignatories '[A list of jobs] ... or a person of good standing in the community'.

Also 'Your countersignatory’s occupation won’t on its own mean your application will be successful. But you should always try to get a countersignatory who’s in ‘good standing’ in your community'.

So a bit ambiguous I think regarding who can and who can't.

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