Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr. But … no Ms?

I was filling out an online application form.

First question, title.

Natch, the first option was Mr. Followed by Mrs, Miss and Dr.

Whoa! This is the 21st century.

And if you don’t see anything wrong with that list, then you can pat yourself on the back that you are truly sexist.

Alphabetically one would put Dr first. Or if starting without academic titles, then Miss would come first. Either way, why no Ms?

Even my nearly 80-year-old Jewish neighbour refers to me as Ms and the chair of our committee.

I move onto another option. The default? Mr.

I’m wondering if I should just scrap this form altogether.

Next up, am I married?

And what, pray, is the relevance of that?

To anyone?

And, as I’ve answered Miss, and given a different surname, will that confuse whatever dimwitted arsehole designed this crass form?

How will legally married same-sex couples be viewed? Imagine Mrs or Miss or Ms whatever surnames fill in this form as married. Or Mr X and Mr Y.

Next, any dependants? Why, two dogs of course. Do I get bonus or minus points for that? Who knows?

Surely you also want to know whether I own my own house(s), have a mortgage, outstanding loans of other types, and what sort of shower gel I use?

I’ve asked for a downloadable form because I can’t possibly give them a correct picture when the shower gel info is not an option.

But, why is marital status relevant to any form?

And why is Ms not an option on there?

Yes. I did ditch the online form and now have a headache.

For those of you interested in a little history, Ms was used back in the 1600s. Oh. Yes.

So it’s not a bra-burning 1960s women’s lib thing.

And it was revived at the start of the 20th century.

Bu of course, those who don’t know their history …

And give me one good reason why we identify women who are married or single by their title and we don’t do the same for men?

Poll time. Fun time.

And, if you want another poll, check out Ruth’s.


About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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49 Responses to Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr. But … no Ms?

  1. Ruth says:

    Was it mandatory you answer with a title. Usually, over here, title is optional. I usually opt not to answer. As to the question of whether one is married or no depends on the purpose of the form, I suppose. If it’s for a joint whatever(insurance, mortgage, etc.) then I might be able to see the relevance of the question. If not, then why does anybody care?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yup. That was my rant. I HAD to put a title of THEIR choice (shouting now).

      Well it was for a joint whatever. But so what? I argued about having a joint bank account in the early eighties and won out, so it’s just total garbage.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ruth says:

        After I wrote my comment I thought better of it. There are plenty of people who are partners but aren’t married. What difference does it make even if you are jointly responsible for the whatever.

        It’s hard for me not to think in American terms, though. Here unless you’ve been cohabitating for a certain amount of time you can’t be considered for insurance purposes as a dependent. Here we’re taxed at a different rate if we’re married or single. Here, in most cases, you can’t file a joint return and get that tax break unless you are married. It’s total nonsense but it’s so much a part of how everything is set up legally that it’s really hard to undo.

        Liked by 2 people

        • We never found marriage of being any value really. Still no idea why we did it. But in Gib show marriage certificate and get tax breaks! Yup. Up for that.,getting married was a good idea after all.

          But, it is all so very discriminatory. The form I was completing had no option for Ms, but had partner, civil union and goodness knows what else. It was bizarre. And wrong.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You should be called whatever you damn well want to be called. That’s about the size of it for me, though I often employ the words – sir, madam, ms, misses, guv, fish-face etc within humourous banter. If someone wants me to refrain, refrain I do. *nods* I also cannot abide being asked my sexual preferences on forms for Council Tax or the like. It is so outrageous I think I need not say more there.

    – s.u.t.C

    Liked by 3 people

  3. makagutu says:

    In my view the only person that should be concerned with your marital status should be tax man and only if they are giving you tax rebates for being married and maybe your employer for medical cover I suppose.
    For a job application, I think there really is no point in wanting to know how regularly I have sex.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A decade ago in my undergraduate research methods, we were told that Mr. and Ms. are the best selections for title (if we absolutely have to have it). Letting people fill in their own title was best. But, if we had to have it, there are some areas where including “Mrs.” and “Miss” would be necessary because some women would feel offended at not being able to use those.

    Really, no one should have to disclose demographic information (including marital status) unless he or she wants to. If I was taking that survey, I definitely would have given negative feedback about it.


  5. Hariod Brawn says:

    You do realise that you’re at odds with Debrett’s and The Queen’s English Society over your usage of ‘Ms’? 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cobbies69 says:

    I dont like titles, we are what we are. I never call a retired army or forces person by their title ie: Major Captain, they are no longer in the army etc. After all I was not called electrician Gerry…. On some forms,.. it makes me laugh mostly in anger when it asks for ones name, one answers Julie or Jenny or Gerald or Graham and then the next box is male/female.. some are just downright nosy and irrelevant…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very anti-title. I dislike doctors who don’t give their first name. If my nurses can say, hi, my name’s alex, I expect my surgeons to say I’m Francis or whatever. Actually they all did. But I dislike this differential respect syndrome with titles.

      What’s wrong with first names?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. violetwisp says:

    Yes! I get furious about this too, and have been known to slip into a rant to friends about their use of Miss or Mrs. Everyone should indeed have the right to choose, but women need to carefully consider the shocking inequality of the current English title convention. Most just don’t think it through. Anyway, first names all the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Golly Violet, that’s very strong for you. Whatever happened to Ms Moderate? Although never moderated.

      I used my old Jewish neighbour as an example. I respect his views, he respects mine. Why the hell can’t everyone else?


      • violetwisp says:

        I don’t think I’m usually moderate about sexism. This is a niggling little thing that goes right to the heart of the sexism in our society – millions of forms every day – one rule for men, another for women.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I vote other, a fill in the blank box. This way gender fluid individuals and those using non-binary pronouns can be addressed appropriately. Most forms don’t even really need to know gender If you think about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I usually do multi-polls so you can vote for any and everything. But seriously, if we can’t even get Ms on a form what hope have we have anything else? Sooooo depressing. I started on this eight hours ago. My headache is finally clearing. It really pissed me right off. Not just the title issue, the whole form was so badly and restrictedly designed. Aaaagh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the perfect representation of the problems with our society. You choose from restrictive boxes and you better not pick the wrong one. We are screwed from day one. Hell, before day one, at a few months in utero when they decide if we get to wear pink or blue.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. davidprosser says:

    I went for ‘Other’ and put Prof as I didn’t want them to feel,discriminated against next. Most forms I see now are much more politically correct than the one you had but I totally agree, there are a lot of unnecessary questions attached to these forms. For instance I’m either married or I’m not, so why ask whether widowed, living together or whatever. If I remain married because my wife died do I commit bigamy by marrying again?
    Hugs Galore xxx


    • I just can’t see any sense in asking for marital status or titles unless it is last will and testament and even then it’s not necessary. Maybe for an insurance policy? Still don’t need to be married or give a title. Just name a beneficiary. But this is the woman who refused to accept approval for an HIV test for insurance purposes. Not my particular worry but I thought it was discriminatory back in 1990 ish?


  10. EllaDee says:

    I’ve never noticed a missing Ms before… extraordinary. Form compilers seem to want know everything down to shoe size relevant or not. The worst I encountered was a rental application which required more detail than a home loan application. I was so pleased when my sister’s tenant gave notice so we could take the simple option.
    Having asked all those questions I’m curious what their criteria for selection, approval, disapproval of whatever it is. Do they ask for a specific reason, because they can or is it something along the lines of being required by an insurer or principal? Do they compile it and on sell as data?
    Because my first name can be used for either gender I often define it voluntarily with a Ms… Have been Ms since I finished high school and never used Mrs. Regardless of that or tick box selection, often I am incorrectly addressed as Mr.
    I recently received a thank you email for feedback I was asked to provide after a stay at a hotel during a weekend away… the waterfall from the air-conditioning unit being a consideration. Despite having membership with the hotel group, the sender ignored the information on hand and addressed me as Mr. I couldn’t help myself and responded “If you feel you should address me by a title please check it is the correct title. Surely, it’s not that uncommon.”


    • The last time we bought a house and filled in the mortgage app we nearly died. Still makes no difference whether you fill out one page or ten. Either you can pay or you can’t.

      It was a gib form and there is a certain mindset in gib and outside of that does not fit.

      I took Miss originally because I wanted to point out that I could retain my birthname, not have to take Mrs on marriage, and show that people shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Ms was too ambivalent for me back then. I was rebelling big time. I wanted to say yes I’m Miss and yes I’m married. Yes, I can do that.

      Try opening a bank account in the late 80s in both Sydney and the UK in separate names? I won though.

      One of our laughs was that partner often ended up getting mail addressed to him as Mr Mylastname. Such is the stupidity.


  11. Sonel says:

    I think they should pay you for including your furries as your dependants Kate. The best dependants ever as well. 😀

    I hate filling in forms … any kind of form and I had an interesting read on Wikipedia about Ms. Sheila Michaels was looking for a title for a woman who did not ‘belong’ to a man. Very interesting concept. I feel they should include it on forms. 😀

    Great post and very interesting. Thanks Kate. ♥
    ♥ Big Hugs ♥ to you and your gorgeous furries. ♥


  12. disperser says:

    So, I put in “other” . . . “How else would the boss know who to hit on?”


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