Thursday, August 21, 2008

Missing: One Husband

What is my alma mater doing employing the outdated title “Miss?”

Every single item of mail I get from my university is addressed to Miss Giselle Renarde. Miss? Miss! Seriously? There isn’t a single other institution –not a bank, not a charity, not even my cable provider- that sends mail addressed to Miss Renarde.

It disturbs me that the very institution where I learned how to be an effective feminist, where I studied issues in gender and linguistics, now sends mail to my house that slaps me in the face on a feminist linguistic level. I’ve even gone to the university’s website, where you can change your address, phone number, e-mail and essentially every item of contact information -- except title.

I guess the only way for me to get that changed is to get married, or get a doctorate. No, wait… how does Fr. Giselle Renarde sound? Or Giselle Renarde, Esq? Or Rev. Renarde?

I am not a Miss! I am not Miss-ing a husband. If I have to choose, I’ll take “Ms,” but I’d prefer to trash the titles altogether. Titles only serve to highlight differences and segregate along the well-worn lines of gender and class.

Want to know a secret? Every time I have to fill out a form with a drop down menu that only allows you to select from the titles of Mr, Mrs or Miss, I select “Mr” every time.

Is that petty? Well, it’s my choice.