Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Gendered "Courtesy Titles "

The New York Times still uses courtesy titles in articles, as do most of us when in polite or official company. Mr. X, Mrs. Y. Miss Z, Ms. U. The "Mr." does not denote marital status...in fact, while most of do not use the term "master" for yioung boys, boys move from being Master X, to being Mr. X at age 13. Young girls remain "Miss" passed the age of 13 when most have entered womanhood, by starting their menses. Women do not move from Miss until they marry or chose to adopt Ms. (of course, honorifics "Dr." "Prof" "Rev." Justice
Secretary, etc. denote titles and stature that have been attained--the NYT btw does not use these titles in most cases).
So what is the purpose of these courtesy titles ? They denote availability to (other) men--whether or not they own a husband.
I tell my students that they may address me as Dr. JAM or Dr. Myers, or Professor. Whether or not I own a husband :) is totally irrelevant to my professional ability to facilitate learning about political science.
Thus, the recent piece in the NYT Week in Review (7/02/06)[http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/weekinreview/02kornblut.html]
regarding whether female senators and such use courtesy titles to identify themselves galls me. These elected women should use their honorific--they earned them.

And they also earned their courtesty titles...now...to all the Mrs.'s.....get back in the kitchen and cook papa something good for dinner.
oh, anon...you missed both the dig and the point...
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