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No Miss, no Ms... just Mrs

(148 Posts)
guinnessgirl Wed 17-Dec-14 09:15:24

Hi all. First op on this board so please be gentle!

I was reading this blog post recently, and it really got me thinking.

I disagree with the idea at the end about us all being Mr, but the idea of all adult women being Mrs really appeals to me. As the writer says, for good or bad it's the highest status title of the three that we currently use, and it's got a direct parallel in Mr.

What do you think? And do you think there's any real hope of change if enough women adopted it?

SqueezyCheeseWeasel Wed 17-Dec-14 09:25:55

Sorry, not read the www, but surely the aim is to change the status of Ms to equalise that of Mrs & Mr not erase it because it doesn't?! The reason Mrs rankles so much is the idea that historically it signified "property of Mr" and was/is a symbol of oppression, so surely all women taking it (because it is easier?) is a ludicrous backwards step?

Or am I missing a really obvious point?

Kundry Wed 17-Dec-14 09:30:22

I found it liberating in Germany that everyone was just Frau rather than Frau and Fraulein.

Every woman over 18 being Mrs would be sooooo much easier.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 09:32:31

the problem with 'Ms' is that people always think you are making some kind of point and so it gets comments, even today. I fucking hate being on the phone and someone saying 'is that Miss Mrs or MZZZZZZZ' - my honest reply would be 'mind your own fucking business'. It makes me so cross!!
Men are not asked if they are married or not nor indeed about their personal politics.
So yes MRS could be reclaimed as a generic female title, when we need one.
I used to hate it as a junior school mother , once a certain type of teacher cops on that you are a single mother they start shouting out 'MISS Baudelaire' as though they are making some kind of point. Call me paranoid if you like!! On the other hand, my twins' reception teacher was such a sweetie, he just called us all Mrs without using it to make a point.
So yes, we should reclaim it.

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Wed 17-Dec-14 09:32:56

No, to me Ms is the highest status, as it's the only one that doesn't indicate marital status. Mrs has too much baggage for me to ever want to adopt it. I'm married, I use Ms, no way am I changing to Mrs. Yes to all adult women using one title, no to it being Mrs.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 09:34:24

Perhaps we should all be M. men and women.
Realistically most days and times I am Sunny Baudelaire.
The only people who really use titles on an everyday basis are teachers.

MrsCosmopifairylight Wed 17-Dec-14 09:36:44

I thought that 'Mrs' equating to 'property of Mr' was a misconception.
Is it not the case that 'Mr' is an abbreviation/derivation of 'Master' and 'Mrs' a derivation of 'Mistress'? Both terms relative to relations between staff and workers.
I thought that the 'Mrs' to signify a married woman came later, C19 or thereabouts. I was not aware that 'Mrs' had any indication of possession.

I usually prefer Ms but nobody seems to use it anymore!

WhoKnowsWhereTheMistletoes Wed 17-Dec-14 09:37:11

If we all adopt Mrs it just reinforces the implication that being married is a superior state to being single, it would take a long time for that association to die out.

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Dec-14 09:37:30

I don't like the idea of 'Mr' - I've always signed my name initials & surname, and get quite pissed off when people assume that means I must be male, simply because I haven't told them otherwise (in letters of course, if you met me you wouldn't be in any doubt!)

I'm happy for women in France and Germany that their titles have shifted meaning, but I don't think they've ever had an equivalent of 'Ms', so the change was from married/single to adult/child without any other words to cause confusion. Here, we do have 'Ms', even though it's a bit of an invented term. So, will women who chose to be Ms want to switch to Mrs? It seems like a backward step.

Better if everyone just used Ms and 'Mrs' got phased out.

AnnieLobeseder Wed 17-Dec-14 09:37:32

I would happily drop Ms if all adult women were addressed as Mrs in the same way that all adult men are Mr. It's the idea that women need to change title on marriage and only get an adult title when they are owned by a man that drives me nuts. So I don't care what the title actually is, as long as changing title on marriage becomes a thing of the past.

Guyropes Wed 17-Dec-14 09:40:16

I object to being called mrs guyropes as flippin heck! I'm not married to my dad!!!!!

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 09:40:31

exactly Annie

DHandhisJollyCarolingfoot Wed 17-Dec-14 09:47:47

I go by Ms these days and would much rather Mrs and Miss were discarded as they're the ones used to denote marital status.

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Wed 17-Dec-14 09:50:52

I don't like that Mrs is the highest as to me it says the highest point any woman could wish to achieve us marriage. Also it would require our whole society to implement the change and understand that it puts Mrs on an equal footing to Mr. I just don't see that happening somehow. I'd rather stick with Ms and if that has connotations of me being a bitter, feminist spinster so be it.

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Wed 17-Dec-14 09:53:39

Sorry to clarify my above post... I don't like that Mrs is currently the highest status. Were it equal to Mr, than fine, but I don't see that happening.

Also I am a bitter feminist. Not sure if I'd qualify as a spinster.. I'm not married but do live in sin.

ItIsSmallerOnTheOutside Wed 17-Dec-14 09:55:35

*then fine

I'll stop now.

guinnessgirl Wed 17-Dec-14 14:30:24

I agree with all the pp who say that it is wrong that Mrs is deemed as the highest status title, because marriage is seen as the state to aspire to. Totally. However (and ignoring historical patriarchal baggage for the time being), as it is currently such, it might be easier to effect change that way then trying to popularise Ms...

personally I don't like the sound of Ms so would be quite happy to plump for Mrs as standard. I rather like the idea of taking a title with all that patriarchy latent in it and turning it into an egalitarian standard grin

divingoffthebalcony Wed 17-Dec-14 14:41:53

'is that Miss Mrs or MZZZZZZZ'

I pretty much never get asked that question, it's always "Miss or Mrs?" and so I reply, apologetic and a bit embarrassed "Actually it's Ms".

No idea why I feel so awkward about it, but there you go.

Lottapianos Wed 17-Dec-14 14:49:13

'I'd rather stick with Ms and if that has connotations of me being a bitter, feminist spinster so be it'

Same here

I think you're right OP that Mrs is the highest status of all three titles. And what a load of crap that state of affairs is. My choice would be for all men to be Mr and all women to be Ms. Sadly I think quite a few women would have to have their Mrs title prised from their cold dead hands sad

Hakluyt Wed 17-Dec-14 14:51:32

It always amuses me that people have no trouble saying Mr or Mrs but go on about how difficult it is to pronounce Ms........

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 17-Dec-14 14:52:20

It would be a step backward in the US because Ms is the default title here, especially in a professional and business context.

museumum Wed 17-Dec-14 14:57:18

I'm a married user of Ms and would prefer to keep Ms than use Mrs. Mrs bloggs definitely means the wife of Mr bloggs. I cannot imagine it not meaning that.
Madam in French is different as it isn't always used with a surname. I think Frau is also used that way isn't it?

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 17-Dec-14 15:01:14

I tell you what really throws people who are asking for your 'title', it is when you tell them you dont have one, and you are just eg Sunny Baudelaire.
radical eh?

ErrolTheDragon Wed 17-Dec-14 15:03:59

Is Mrs considered 'higher status' than Ms? Although I don't use it myself, I feel like it's the other way round because it's something a woman has chosen for herself as an independent person.

Viviennemary Wed 17-Dec-14 15:07:08

I totally agree. All adult men are Mr and young boys Master. Should be the same for women. I think it should be Mrs for every adult woman.

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