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Who Am I, Part 1: Miss, Mrs., Ms.,

Recently, this post came out on the Ms. Magazine blog, and I figured it was as good a way as any to start off my blog, as this is a question of identity.

Ms. as a title for women was one I learned young - in my early educational years, I was in a type of alternative teaching block at my school, and regardless of marital status, every female teacher was "Ms." - no matter what their marital status actually was. Many of the teachers were married, but we still called them all Ms.

This is a habit that stuck with me through other and later schools - even if their titles said "Miss" or "Mrs.", I called them all "Ms." For years, not a single teacher ever called me out on it.

It got to the point that when one, much older, substitute teacher did actually ask me to use "Mrs.", I kept getting mixed up and accidentally calling her "Ms." When she asked me if I was trying to make a statement of some kind, I explained that no, I wasn't - it's just that it's been almost five years since I've actually had to use "Mrs.", as every woman I've met didn't seem to mind "Ms." And believe me, between soccer moms, day care centers, and various neighborhood friends, I've met a lot of women, and not one has ever taken offense.

Some people do - apparently. That one teacher, for the rest of the class after my explanation, didn't even bother calling me out on my occasional slip-ups.

My mother has identified as "Ms." all her life, even when she was married, and now that she's not. Whatever happens to me in my life, my title will always be "Ms." - married or not, single or not, old or young, I'm keeping "Ms.", and the only way I'm changing that is if we ever move onto a completely gender neutral term to replace both "Mr." and "Ms." (but, honestly, do any of you see that happening any time soon?).

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