There’s a travesty of justice in today’s modern societies that Germaine Greer needs to get on stat. Titles.
Women’s option for titles harkens back to the day when we were considered the property of men and needed a title to explain quickly our availability status:
Miss: On the Market, pristine condition, new. Available if at the correct age, or sometimes even if not. Ask the dominant male in the family if you can have her instead of him.
Mrs: Taken. Owned by someone else so technically off the market, but we all know how these things go.
Ms: Used. Second hand, a widow or divorcee.
Just looking at those definitions makes me want to take off my bra and burn it in Federation Square… and I’m not the bra burning type. They’re expensive. Burnt some undies once but that was privately and they were a boys’. He wasn’t wearing them at the time. Unfortunately. And that’s not technically true, I AM the bra burning type, at least in the manga “Sailor Moon” comic image I have of myself in my head (“…descends from the sky, hair whirling, high boots, balls of light hovering around her hands to dispel the evil subjugation of women in modern society by throwing her special powers after a loud “HAH!”) *sigh*. The actual reality of protest just doesn’t live up.
It’s none of anybody’s business my marriage status and of course I would say that because I fall into the latter category of Ms even if I didn’t want to. But I wear it with pride and want to point out that I wore it with pride even when I was technically a Miss. Although not when I was a Mrs and this is, in my humble opinion, where the problem lies. Women want to be Mrs. We love saying our new name after we get married.. ‘Mrs Smith’ because its completely different from “Miss Jones” and that means that we now ‘belong’ to someone in the nice sense… in the same way that they belong to us.
Except they don’t change their title to reflect it. Only women do. And that’s wrong.
We should all be Ms. Just as all males are Mr, married or not. Use your wedding ring as a symbol of your commitment to each other, at least he’s required to do the same.
Or perhaps men could switch? What a slew of posturing and humphing we would have if equal rights demanded men changed their title according to marriage status! Master, Mister and Mester???