Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Exchange: New Frontiers in Comment Whoring

From a thread at Echidne's blog, edited to protect the innocent.

I had occasion to read several of the Homer Price stories to three girls today, ages 10 and 11. When I read the story about the ball of yarn when I came to Miss Terwilliger they all thought that the title "Miss" was a mistake until I showed them the book and explained that it used to be what people called women who weren't married. All three thought it was "weird".

I thought this could be of interest here.
olvlzl | Homepage | 08.21.06 - 9:51 pm | #

Re: the disappearance of "Miss", I think unfortunately it has simply been largely replaced by "Ms.", at least around these parts. That is, when I'm in a position to know what title women prefer (mostly as concerns teachers at school), it's almost always "Mrs." if they are married (even if they are politically liberal, which teachers tend to be).
Alan | Homepage | 08.21.06 - 10:31 pm | #

Alan, what's unfortunate about adult women being able to decide what they want to be called?

The only people I can imagine who would be inconvenienced by the universal use of Ms. are men who want to know if a woman would be available to him without taking the bother of getting to know her. Such men, it is almost certain, would find it inconvenient mostly because such men would be less likely to be successful if women got to know him.
olvlzl | Homepage | 08.22.06 - 7:37 am |

Alan if you are reading this, I await your answer.


Alan and Alberich point out that I misread the original. I plead exhaustion from watching bored, feisty kids who had spent too much time together this summer all day yesterday. I withdraw any aspersions I may have cast on Alan. But I don't withdraw the joke.

The only people I can imagine who would be inconvenienced by the universal use of Ms. are men who want to know if a woman would be available to him without taking the bother of getting to know her.

FWIW, it seems to me that Alan is actually arguing in favor of the universal use of Ms. ... his complaint is that, rather than serve as a universal title, Ms. has become merely a substitute for Miss and married women still go by Mrs.

Anyway, I would imagine women who would rather not be hit on by such men as you describe would also be inconvenienced by the universal use of Ms.

Actually -- am I the only one who has assumed the reason why it's "important" for women to advertise their relationship status (e.g. "Mrs." or the engagement ring -- why can't I get some bling upon engagement?) is that men traditionally do ask women out and not so much the other way around. Hetero relationships do seem to be the last bastion of sex roles, which I guess is not surprising given the nature of the beast, but, speaking as a hetero man (who now is happily in a long term relationship but who went for quite some time being un-happily single), it really is annoying being the one always having to face rejection, etc., having to be the pursuer, etc. But I guess I should really just keep my issues to my own blog as well as Niebelunging (not trolling ;) ) certain feminist blogs?
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