Today's literary masterpiece (misspiece? missogynist crap?) is from one MISS Kelly Rose Bradford. Her point, in the face of the 6% rape conviction rate in the UK, is that she doesn't want to be called "Ms", she likes "Miss". Lets have a little line-by-line shall we, just for fun eh?
"This is quite straightforward: I am a Miss. I do not want to be addressed as Ms or have it as the only option (apart from Mrs or Mr) on forms."
Good for you - I have yet to see any forms that don't offer "Miss" as an option, though there are plenty without "Ms", and I have yet to hear anyone refuse to refer to someone as "Miss" when asked to. Should that become a problem though feel free to write "I'm not married" in big letters on your forehead.
"Miss sums me up wonderfully - it has connotations of youth and a footloose and fancy freeness. A Miss will have an impish smile and a head full of mischievous ideas,..."
Yes, that's actually half the problem - that impish smile and fancy freeness doesn't really say "C.E.O." to some people.
"...while the more staid Ms smacks of an arch-feminist devoid of fun and up for an argument."
Ewww icky no-fun feminists with their equal rights and their readyness to argue rather than put up with shit. Gosh I sure hope I'm not one of them.
"In any case, as an unmarried woman, I am a Miss."
Yes, you can look it up in any Victorian etiquette book. Also remember never to speak in public and never to refuse sex to your husband - after all - he's had a busy day. Why not dress in a fucking crinoline while you're at it!
"I have always been a Miss and, as far as I'm concerned, always will be. My stance causes outrage among my friends."
Really? It provokes mostly pity in me...
"One girlfriend - who tears up letters addressed to Miss and left her dental practice when its computer system refused to refer to her as Ms - thinks I should be addressing the issue of equality. She says I should be examining why women want to be called Ms rather than just dismissing it as a title used to cause provocation."
Good grief no. Examining women's reasons for making choices in their lives? Who does she think I am. I work for the Daily Male remember, my job is to keep it fluffy and submissive.
"Another claims it would be ridiculous for her to be a Miss at 48, especially as she's been married twice."
Yes because as you said "Miss" implies the impish smile and the footloose and fancy free air which she probably neither has nor wants.
"Yet I take untold pleasure in declaring myself a Miss at the age of almost 37. When 'Can I take your name, please?' is asked of me by receptionists and clerks, I proudly declare 'Miss Bradford', and immediately and firmly correct anyone who calls me otherwise."
No doubt when they ask "Would you like to vote in the election?" you proudly declare "Absolutely not!", "Would you like justice if you got raped?", "I would not!", "Would you like to be allowed to work as a journalist with a national paper?", "No way, Jose!"
"There's something endearing and fascinating about a Miss. Misses are characters, people you remember."
I hope that's not true - I'm already trying to blot you out.
"Age has nothing to do with it - could Miss Marple, Miss Havisham or Miss Ellie be retitled Ms? No, they would be entirely different."
Oh gosh Kelly, I hardly know how to tell you. They were all fictional characters. It's ok, you weren't to know. Have a biscuit.
"Misses run the gauntlet of femininity and female wiles: they are little girls in twirly frocks, beauty queens, the cunning and attractive Miss Scarlett in Cluedo and little old ladies with a mischievous glint in their eye and a longing for devilry."
Of course they're not Prime Ministers or Justices of the Peace or anything like that. But seriously - a "longing for devilry"?! I know your attitudes are medieval, why let that spread to your choice of language?
"Misses are the life and soul of the party, dancing and drinking champagne, while Ms stands dourly in the corner."
So Misses are binge-drinkers? I thought the Daily Male was against young women who drink too much. Next they will be mysteriously getting pregnant all on their own.
"I realise I am very much alone in my views. My friends declare the title outdated and sexist, a term designed to label and oppress women. Most are appalled that I choose to use it."
'How can you bear being called Miss?' asks my friend Sophie, her face screwed up with horror and incredulity.
'It's a horrid, sexist invasion of privacy. You can't tell if a man is married or single from his title, so why should you be able to intrude into a woman's privacy this way?'"
Go Sophie! Get out of that one Kelly...
"While I see her point, I don't entirely get it."
"I want people to know I am unmarried. I am single and proud of it."
Then tell them. Try using the words "I'm", "not" and "married".
"'But it's a gender issue,' says another friend, Jo. 'I am always Ms. It's not that I mind people knowing whether I'm married or not. I just resent the fact that women are defined by it, but men aren't.'"
So you like being defined as unmarried do you Kelly? If not explain yourself!
"Dislike of the title Miss can lead to extreme reactions. 'I filled in an online form as Mr the other day because it was closest to the missing Ms option,' my colleague Eve tells me. 'But I am much happier not using a title at all.'"
And that's an extreme reaction? No extreme would be finding the guy who created the form and head-butting him. Ticking "Mr" is a pretty minor reaction in my world.
"I asked my friends if they judged me on my preferred prefix - if they thought my use of it immediately held me open to exploitation, sexist behaviour or inequality. It seemed not.
'You are the exception,' my pal Lindsay told me, a resolute user of Ms despite officially being a Mrs. 'You are the person for whom the word Miss was invented and you will be Miss Kelly until you're 92 and on your sixth husband.'"
First up - the whole point of "Ms" is that it replaces both "Miss" and "Mrs". There is no point at all in your friend Lindsay using "Ms" if she then changes it to "Mrs" when she gets married. She's not "officially" a "Mrs" - she's a "Ms", always has been, always will be, get over it. And part of the problem with "Miss" is that you can't keep using it when you're on your sixth husband - you can only use it between husbands or you will get corrected by everyone in sight.
"Excellent. Exactly what I'm striving for. Like I said, Misses are characters, from Miss Brahms to Miss Moneypenny, Miss Potter to (Driving) Miss Daisy. And me: Kelly Rose Bradford (Miss)."
Again, again Kelly, I have to tell you - those other Misses are FICTIONAL. Where as you're not. I wish you were though.
And really sadly what hasn't been addressed in this piece - but ironically applies directly to Miss Bradford - is the issue of unmarried women with children. The judgement passed on those who openly call themselves "Miss" and have a child in tow is enormous. "Ms" offers huge advantages for mothers who wish to protect themselves and their children from stigma surrounding single parenthood. But no, if it makes you feel like "Driving Miss Daisy" then you stick with it. In fact why not change your name to Daisy and hire a Nicolas Cage lookalike to drive you round all day? Or you could live in the real world.
Footnote: When I wrote this I wanted to include a picture of Miss Bradford. And I found one which showed her with her son in the Express. Which seemed relevant since the fact that she has a son massively impacts her choice of "Miss" over "Ms" - by instantly (thought in my view totally unjustly) stigmatising said child with the negative prejudices of single motherhood. The picture didn't have any watermark on it or copyright written near it, and I know lots of other bloggers have used Express photos and as along as a link is provided back from the photo then nobody ever seems to have had a problem. Well I heard from Kelly and the photographer. She was furious that I should have published a photo of her son. Of course a photo she has already published in a national paper (which probably has a slightly higher readership than Cru-blog!). Anyway I have great sympathy with people who are wary of privacy issues around small children. Certainly if Miss Bradford were my mother I would want to play it down a bit! So I removed the picture (though you can go see it on the Express website here). But then I read a little further down and get this... Apparently I can use the photo if I want provided I pay a £500 fee. Mmm. Is that protecting your kid or pimping him out? I just can't tell.
Apparently she doesn't like the rest of my article either (colour me surprised). Apparently I'm quoting too much of her article. Honestly Kelly I wouldn't have if it weren't that ever single line is so deserving of my twisted sarcasm. I just had to... [Or to put it another way - no-one is reading my blog rather than buying the Daily Male]. Next time though rather than trying to charge me for photos of your kid or bully me in to retracting my article, why not just write some decent quality journalism in the first place?