Monday, 25 November 2013

Miss, Mrs, Ms, ...

I tend to buy strongly into the philosophy of 'common sense' rather than holding someone that society has deemed ‘an expert’ in high esteem.  I suppose it is possible that this might be a direct result of my obsession with the ‘why’s’ of life.  Or a conclusion based on multiple experiences over the years which resulted in my wondering just how it was possible that this person is an 'expert' in their field regardless of the position he / she may have held at the time.  Try and sit through a random conversation about having your cervix stitched close and see if you view doctors the same way.    

I think the level at which knowledge is available and added to in modern society, almost negates the idea that someone can maintain expertise without a constant quest and focus in a specific area of learning.  And so I have a high level of scepticism when it comes to ‘expertise’. 

Perhaps it is a reflection of my own quest for knowledge which has led me to question regularly what is generally considered to be accepted knowledge.  I’m pretty okay with concepts like 'gravity;' we used to play 'circus' as kids and believe me when I say we always came down, but struggle a little bit more with ideas like 'identity' for example.  I prefer to define myself.     
    
But despite my general scepticism of ‘experts’, I am still considering attaining a PhD.  I know..., but I did tell you that I reserve the right to change my mind. 

Actually my consideration has more to do with the title than the actual papers ‘ascertaining my expertise’. 
“But what about your comment about position and it not being held in high esteem”...blah, blah, blah or something like that, you’re thinking... 

No, I am afraid it is a much more trivial reason than attaining a title linked to professionalism.  I am simply seeking a title that is not linked to my marital status. 
You see, growing up, I was a ‘Miss’.  Got married and became a ‘Mrs.’ Now after the divorce I am forced to go by ‘Ms’. 

If I were a man, I would have simply been ‘Mr,’ despite the changing circumstances in my personal life.  So as far as I can tell, the only title as a woman that you actually keep and it belongs to you, is ‘Dr.’  Because now if I marry again, the cycle starts all over... back to ‘Mrs.’ ‘take two’.   I am simply a little tired of the double standard and so I think becoming a ‘Dr,’ just might need to be looked at  more seriously.

Has anyone ever asked besides me, “Why is that”?  Why are there different titles for women that communicate clearly her marital status?  Seriously, just who was that intended to benefit?  Definitely not women.  
Men, out of curiosity, how many of you are guilty of checking out a woman and referring to the title section of the form she has just filled out for her marital status?  Yeah, I thought so.              

If nothing else, the title ‘Dr.’ can survive marriage, divorce and the death of a spouse.  Society gives that to men for free, am I the only one who finds this double standard a little hard to swallow?  Incidentally, if I ever suffer from Alzheimer’s disease someday, I wonder to which title I will regress. 
But at least it’s good to know that at least there is something that men will remember.