Sunday, July 02, 2006

Straits Times gripe #789 | feelin' fluffy

Just noticed that the ST Forum page requires women who write in to select the title of "Ms" "Miss" "Mrs" "Madam".


I mean, I'm sure that it's just convention at work, and very little thought was given to it. (Of course, that's what the whole power discourse is about: the extant hierarchy inherently privileges the dominant group, and determines the terms of engagement.)

But really, why? What does the inclusion of that title do for me? What does it tell me about the person? And more importantly, what does it tell me about the person, that will somehow be of interest when I read the letter?

The quick answer is that it tells me if the person's married/single (Mrs/Miss or Ms), prefers it not to be known (Ms), kept her maiden name though probably married (Mdm). It still doesn't suffice as a reason though - why do I care if a person's married? Not to mention that with the use of "Mdm" and "Ms", the marital status is uncertain.

If marital status is that important, why don't the men who write in include it too? After all, considering the scintillating and mind-blowing intellect of peoples such as Lionel de Souza, I'm sure the female populace would love to know if they were on the market, or MBA.

But yeah, I'm sure that the reason why the ST asks women to include the title is because it's just convention, and because you want to know what they'd prefer to be called. In which case, my next letter to the ST is going to be signed off with Lord of the Universe.


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