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is this really sexist - someone has to be first

(36 Posts)
mollie65 Fri 01-May-15 10:05:48

was intrigued by this thread on mumsnet
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2367604-is-this-sexist-or-am-I-over-thinking-things?
why on earth are they all hot under the collar about whose name comes first.
it has always been Mr and Mrs if both have the same name (tradition)
perhaps it would be better if the Mr, Mrs. Ms. Lord etc were dropped and everyone had name/initials/surname only
I do know I am always irked by banks etc insisting on putting a Ms, Mrs in front of my name when name/initial, surname is quite adequate smile
what do you think? hmm

TerriBull Fri 01-May-15 10:19:05

I'm not too bothered about who comes first, I don't like it when I get mail addressed to me with my husband's initial before my name. I understand why some women want to hang on to their maiden name, mine was foreign and having had a lifetime of being mispronounced, these things matter when you are growing up, I was happy to off load it, although retaining a maiden name you are still opting for a man's name, father's over husband. I often sign just my name, I don't feel I should have to declare my marital status by putting a Mrs in brackets as well.

Mishap Fri 01-May-15 10:25:37

She should just tell them that she is "Buyer 1" and ask to have the paperwork altered. When I bought our car, the garage were slightly perplexed that we bought and insured it in my name. There was no particular reason for this - I just happened to be the one filling in the form.

nightowl Fri 01-May-15 10:40:46

It annoys me intensely. I am Ms. never Mrs. I would be incensed to be addressed as Mrs 'husband's initial' 'surname'. Maybe it's not important in the grand scheme of things but it is to me. It smacks of property and loss of identity on marriage - surely not relevant in the 21st century? If I was getting married today I wouldn't dream of giving up my name. Too late, alas.

mollie65 Fri 01-May-15 13:15:10

but surely it is not 'sexist' just old-fashioned. and I don't understand why they are so angry about it on mumsnet.
as I said in the original post
it should be Name (Christian), Initial and surname for everyone - male and female or whatever
so I am always (if someone asks my name) Mollie 'Lurch' - of course I then usually get asked Ms or Mrs which may be a valid question if relevant to what I am trying to do. - have been trying to use my name as name/surname only for the last 40 years but the old-fashioned idea persists.
maybe people feel that is too familiar but it is my name

vampirequeen Fri 01-May-15 13:48:42

Like Mollie says, it's just an old fashioned way of doing it. Doesn't bother me. I'm a Mrs because I'm married and I don't mind if they use my initial or my husband's. I do object if they get my name wrong. I have a very simple, easy to spell Christian name and surname but they're often spelt incorrectly.

Bellanonna Fri 01-May-15 14:20:05

Incorrect spelling of a name is maddening. Our school English mistress drove that point home time and again. I detest being Mrs followed by husbands initial. I always just call myself joe blogs ( not literally but you know what I mean). When booking something,where they just want a name for reference I,e, Sunday lunch I just say joe (again, ditto), I never address envelopes to friends or acquaintances of either sex except with a simple joe bloggs.
On a slughtly different tack, we bought out first house in1970. Housing was scarce and property got scooped up quickly. Having been pipped at the post by quite a few I walked into one estate agents and offered my deposit having viewed the house that morning. As I was female he could not accept it without my husband being present. Even though the money was my own!! He did me a special " favour" as I'd been disappointed a few times and while rejecting my deposit, said he would reserve it pending my husband,s visit the next day. He had to take time off work to do so. How insulting!! I suppose I should have said I was single.
I dont get annoyed with the appellation Mrs with husband initial if he's included but hate being Mrs - his initial - our surname when it's just me. But in the grand scheme of things this isnt a very important issue.

janerowena Fri 01-May-15 14:20:58

I miss out the Mrs bit on everything online. Virtually all post comes to me without a title now. I think it will die out eventually. My grandparents found it offensive if anyone not family used their first names, it was apparently a hangover from the days when only servants were addressed in that way. The next generation wished to be known by their Mrs., according to my mother, because they felt superior to their unmarried peers! I thought that was awful, so like many of my friends I became Ms. That is still my title on my bank accounts.

Then along came DBH, and he always put me down as Mrs. if I wasn't around, he said that he was proud to have a wife, when I got annoyed about it, so I let him get on with it.

Coolgran65 Fri 01-May-15 14:21:01

My dil retained her maiden name. I at first assumed that this was because she attained her professional qualifications in her maiden name and so she would continue to be known as Dr. xxxxxx. However I have come to think that she simply retained her own name. I am happy to say that my dgs has taken the surname of my ds, with his mother's surname as a middle name.

jo1book Fri 01-May-15 14:34:00

What's in a name, an old girl by any name would be as sweet.
Many years ago my husband an I were guests at a Dinner and he was introduced (because we lived in a high immigrant area) as Mr. X and his memsahib. I thought it was funny.

janeainsworth Fri 01-May-15 14:36:42

I like having and using a courtesy title, but I don't care whether people call me Mrs or Ms.
It's all very well being addressed on envelopes by your first name and surname, but what happens in speech or in newspaper reports if you don't use a courtesy title?
In speech, you get addressed by your first name by people who don't know you. I think it's actually quite useful to have alternative forms of address for people to differentiate and indicate different levels of intimacy - title and surname for people who you don't know well, first names for people you know better, and shortened forms for people who you know really well or for who you feel particular affection.
It always grates with me when I read articles in the press when people are referred to by their surname only - I think it's inappropriate unless it's referring to someone committed of a crime.
#callmeoldfashioned

loopylou Fri 01-May-15 14:38:08

DDIL retained her maiden name for professional purposes Dr xxxx too and DGS has taken DS's surname.

It really doesn't bother me how I'm addressed.

I was flipping mad when nearly 30 years ago DH had to give his permission for me to have a hysterectomy angry and he was quizzed about the why and what, in front of me, as if I wasn't there!

I hope that no longer happens!

thatbags Fri 01-May-15 15:29:47

Authors, painters and other artists, also scientists who have published papers, are usually referred to by their surnames only when their work is being critiqued.

My brothers were called by surname only when at school. My sister and I weren't. I wonder why that was.

petra Fri 01-May-15 15:51:17

In 1979 I wanted to be sterilised. When I saw the Doctor he of course asked me my marital status. I told him I was separated. He said " I need your Husbands signature " I asked why. He said "you may not get divorced, and he might be against this"
So I just signed his signature.

ginny Fri 01-May-15 18:25:46

Happy to be addressed as Mrs as I am married and I'm not bothered about people knowing. Do not like being addressed with DHs initial or name first though. I much preferred my maiden name . What's in a name though I am still me whatever I am called.

janeainsworth Fri 01-May-15 19:07:03

I take your point about scientists and artists, Bags, and I think that's acceptable and a bit different, though I have never heard Marie Curie referred to simply by her surname.
As for school, at my secondary school the boys were called by surname and the girls their first name, except by the senior mistress who taught us English. She addressed us as Mr This, or Miss That.
When I was an undergraduate, we were taught in pairs. The professor of Oral Surgery didn't bother with the niceties of names.
He addressed everyone as Miss or Mr Dresser.

rosesarered Fri 01-May-15 19:22:56

I am quite happy to be a Mrs. And have had a lot of years to get used to it, my changed surname I mean.A lot of people who get married now, or just live together and have a child together, link their names to be double barrelled. I wonder what they do in the future if they decide to marry other double barrelled people?It could all get out of hand!

Katek Fri 01-May-15 22:52:42

I don't mind either way, but if we didn't have an appellation would we be subject to even more people - whom we don't actually know - calling us by our first names? That really gets my goat-especially if accompanied by the patronising over familiar tone.

FarNorth Fri 01-May-15 23:01:42

The OP on Mumsnet seemingly has no problem with being Mrs Whatever. her gripe is that the forms all say Mr Joe Whatever and Mrs Jane Whatever in that order, which annoys her as she is the one providing most of the money and doing all of the admin of setting up the loan.
It is old-fashioned and is also sexist, as a lot of old-fashioned things are. I'd ask them to change the wording round, so I hope she does that.

When Ms was introduced, lots of people thought there was no need for it and it would only be of interest to bra-burners, but it's still on the go.

Ana Fri 01-May-15 23:07:52

When DH and I took out a second mortgage on our home several years ago it was in our joint names, but as my first name comes before his alphabetically, statements came addressed to us in that order. No Mr or Mrs involved.

(I think DH was a bit put out, actually! wink)

thatbags Sat 02-May-15 07:32:13

I wouldn't call it sexist. It's a hangover from a patriarchal society is all. Time will change that. "Patriarchality" is not necessarily sexist. The two things are not the same even though often closely related.

thatbags Sat 02-May-15 07:33:54

When we used to receive bank statements of our joint account (we go paperless nowadays), my name came first in spite of MrB having an initial that comes before mine in the alphabet because they know fine that I'm the one who runs the account.

ginny Sat 02-May-15 08:50:07

Dr1 uses Me.

ginny Sat 02-May-15 08:50:36

Please ignore !

Stansgran Sat 02-May-15 09:02:44

We have the same initials so if the banks are being lazy and don't put the Mr or Mrs in we have a guessing game. My grandmother bought a house with a mortgage at the end of the 19th century as my grandfather was away at sea. I have kept the documentation because there is a handwritten footnote asking for her husband to confirm this at a later date. I think as she had run away to sea at 16 they knew she was a competent woman. The correspondence is all addressed to her. I think we've gone downhill since those days. They were much more pragmatic.