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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Councillor Mrs

47 replies

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:01

I have recently become a councillor, and am struggling with a couple of things. I had a thread a few weeks ago about prayers at the start of meetings...

Well, on any correspondence, minutes etc., male councillors are referred to as Cllr. (1st name) (surname), eg. Councillor Joe Bloggs, but women are Cllr. Miss/Mrs/Ms Bloggs (no 1st name). Why might this be, and is it standard, or just in our council? I don't like it at all.

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AliceTwirled · 08/07/2011 16:05

Why might it be? To draw attention to the fact that you are a pretty little laydee who needs treating delicately less you get all hysterical.

Is it standard? I've never seen it in my involvement with my local council.

And I don't like it at all either. Too bloody right!

Not seen the prayers thing, but that sounds ridiculous too.

Can you change this stuff?

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:08

I hope it can be changed. The consensus from the last thread was to bide my time and get a feeling for how others think before acting.

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doggiesayswoof · 08/07/2011 16:13

I don't think it's standard. My mum is a councillor - she is Cllr. I've never heard of "Cllr Mrs"

(they don't have prayers either)

Can you gradually befriend people and find allies - other women who have good connections and might know how/whether you can change it? Is there a decent balance of women/men?

AliceTwirled · 08/07/2011 16:14

Depends if you want to be labeled as 'one of those' or not really. I quite relish being labeled 'one of those' these days, but I wouldn't have always.

Congrats on being elected btw.

And I've just noticed that the women don't even get their own first names! Just spotted the title before. Doubly bad.

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:16

I relish don't mind being 'one of those'. Unfortunately as a Green I'm in the minority, and doubt I'll be getting much support from the Tories, where most of the women are. Not a great balance to be honest.

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doggiesayswoof · 08/07/2011 16:25

Ah, might be tricky. On the plus side, the others will expect you to be awkward squad if you're Green.

(congrats btw. I'm sure you will find it rewarding. My mum feels that she can make a big difference to people's lives)

AliceTwirled · 08/07/2011 16:29

Well in that case tackle them on the equalities dimension of it. I don't think you need to get political support from other councillors for stuff like this, it's procedural rather than part of the democratic process. Raise you concerns re their equality policy in relation to sex and religion. Then you'll definitely be one of those. Grin

TheMitfordsMaid · 08/07/2011 16:31

Just tell them how you prefer to be addressed. I did and I get called Councillor Surname like the men.

karmakameleon · 08/07/2011 16:38

Do you need support from the other women on this? Can't you just politely say to one of the administrators that this is how you prefer to be addressed in correspondence. HOw everyone else is addresed is up to them.

parkingpermit · 08/07/2011 16:40

we would say councillorloopyloopsbettyboops

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:44

Yes, I could (and will) ask to be treated the same as the men, but I'm questioning why it is like this in the first place.

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karmakameleon · 08/07/2011 16:50

Same as PC and WPC I spose, got to have a way of differentiating the upstart women who think they can do man's jobs. My mum's a doctor and she used to get post addressed to Dr (Mrs) Kameleon, just in case she forgot she was woman because her head was to tied up with all that medical stuff. People would say it was to differentiate from my dad who is also a doctor but obviously he is never addressed as Dr (Mr).

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:51

What if there was just your dad and another male Dr Kameleon? Would one be Dr (Mr) or Dr (Jimbob)?

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MrsKwazii · 08/07/2011 16:52

I've worked in Councils and also hate the 'Cllr Mrs' tag. I used to produce a Cllr guide and dropped all other titles than 'Cllr' and none of the elected Members batted an eyelid. Perhaps they've just never been asked if they want to do it differently and are just used to the status quo.

Would be worth you having a chat with Democratic Services officers and asking why it's still done. It's terribly old hat and sends out the wrong message for your council - which should be presenting a modern face as well as putting into practice equality guidelines that I bet it's espousing.

If you don't find Dem Services helpful, have a word with the communications team, equality officer and see if you can have a quick word with the CEX. Get the idea swirling around a few minds and see what happens.

Congrats on being elected by the way Grin

karmakameleon · 08/07/2011 16:54

Ooh, gosh that could be complicated. Funnily enough for a while my dad shared a practise with another Dr Kameleon. Imagine the choas, until a clever receptionist came up with the idea of using their initials. What a clever woman. Grin

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:57

Thanks. I am the Equalities champion, so I guess I ought to say something!

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MissBeehiving · 08/07/2011 16:58

We don't use the "Mrs" suffix either. It is old hat.

What do all you local government people call your Chairman of meetings when you address them? Chairman? Chair? Or Madam Chairman?

LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:58

A clever woman, that P.A. Mrs Receptionist, no?

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 16:59

Madame Chairman. Wondered about that too.

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AliceTwirled · 08/07/2011 17:00

Well if you're the equalities champion you are duty bound! Grin

AliceTwirled · 08/07/2011 17:01

Lordy, where are you? 1950s land! Madame Chairman FFS. Can I come and heckle from the public gallery.

karmakameleon · 08/07/2011 17:01

Ah no, all receptionists are women, so she didn't need to differentiate! You need to be constantly reminded you are a woman if you have the temerity to try and do a man's job! Wink


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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 17:01

Please do!

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LoopyLoopsBettyBoops · 08/07/2011 17:02

Oh of course.
Have you ever actually met a male receptionist or PA? (not including front of house in hotels)

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NearlyHeadlessnickelbabe · 08/07/2011 17:03

If I were you, I would raise it in this kind of way "I prefer to be addressed as Cllr LoopyLoops BettyBoops"
and if anyone challenges it, say "that is what I prefer. please respect my request"
don't enter into discussion.

others will follow.

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