Monday, September 25, 2006

Miss

Not fifty years ago there were three ways to respectfully address women: Mrs. for married or widowed women, Miss for unmarried women, and Ms. for the feminists. I don't mind the existence of Ms. anymore than I mind the existence of feminists (and I wish they would all convert to a freeing, fulfilling, biblical view of women's roles). Nevermind the abbreviation is not short for any word. Never mind the other two titles cover everyone.

Not twenty years ago, there were three ways to respectfully address women. Ms. was more common as it became harder to tell whether a woman was married or not. The issue of divorce was becoming more and more sensitive. One didn't want to accidentally call a divorced woman "Mrs." How horrible! Besides, the marital status was a private matter, not for common knowledge to the strangers who deliver the mail.

Today, there are two ways to address women, and we can count respect out. Mrs. is for the old fashioned type, those who actually got married, especially those wives who are also mothers. Ms. is for everyone, especially everyone else. Except, excuse me, me, over here! I'm not a Ms. I am a Miss, and I don't see the benefit in keeping that fact a secret. Nor do I want to be associated with the undefined, confused class of women who go by Ms. However, in many cases, I don't have a choice.

When I recently contacted my senator via the Internet, the "title" section was mandatory, and "Miss" was not an option. Oh, they had Dr., Mr., Mrs. ... Not Miss. In my address to the senator I added my dissatisfaction with the lack of options. When I got a return note, it was addressed Ms. I gathered two conclusions: the letter was automatically generated and sent based on the selected category, and the senator did not read my letter. He probably didn't care.

That's understandable. Senators are secular, and they're the epitome of "politically correct." However, I am on Campus Crusade's mailing list, and they keep addressing me as Ms. Campus Crusade! What do I do? How do I object? Is there any hope for returning the feminine and unashamed title of Miss?

All my little girls in Awana, and most of my friends, get little notes addressed Miss. It isn't a statement of age. To call them Miss is a statement of expectation: I expect them to be ladies and proud of it! Little changes. Little protests.

To God be all glory.

3 comments:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Did you write that yourself? It was very good.

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Yes, of course I wrote it. I don't usually quote other people's works without crediting them. Thank you for the compliment. The topic is a passion of mine. Thus the links to Biblical Womanhood and Ladies Against Feminism.
To God be all glory.
Lisa

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

Biblical Womanhood...I'll have to check that one out!