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02 January 2012

Women's Titles

I'm one hundred percent for women earning the same salaries for the same work as men perform, but there are some things about this equality thing that bug me.

Until I got bored with it, which didn't take many episodes, I was watching the latest version of "Battlestar Galactica."   (I truly much prefer the original.)

When I first heard one woman officer called "Sir," I assumed it was a writer's prerogative, his/her way of distinguishing between now and the way it might be hundreds of years in the future; much like inventing words or a language for a story.  It was startling, but I didn't concern myself with it.

Recently, on "Castle," I heard the new female police captain insisting that her underlings refer to her as "Sir" and it occurred to me that I heard it somewhere else, a time or two, whether on television or radio or in real life, I do not recall.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I cannot fathom women wishing to be referred to by men's titles.  What is wrong with Madam or Ma'am?  One would suppose that the people who began this trend could not come up with a unisex label for both men and women.    Combining "sir" and "madam" into "Siam" probably would not do.

I can understand why some women like the third form of title for women, "Ms," to confuse us men as to their relationship status.  I can think of a few good reasons for this:  Safety and not wanting to be harassed.  (As a man, I would prefer to know if a woman is single, but a woman being referred to as "Miss" still does not tell me if she is in a relationship.)

The way to refer to a chairwoman (or chairman) is now "chairperson."  Why?  Is it not obvious which sex is chairing?  I want to be referred to as "Chairman," thank you.

Much of this nonsense gives me the impression that some women are not proud to be women.  I won't go so far as to say they wish they were men, however, although I imagine that could be the case in some instances.

What is wrong with Stewardesses and Stewards?  Actresses and Actors?  I keep hearing female tv, movie or stage celebrities referred to as actors and it's fairly obvious to me that they are, in fact, women.

Postwoman is somehow a bit clumsy, as opposed to postman, but I prefer it to Postperson.  The female version of mailman would be, of course,  mailwoman, which could be a tad confusing, to say the least.

There are many other examples, of course.  Calling a woman "Dude" is particularly irksome to me, although using Dudette or Dudess is just plain weird.  You'll never catch me using any of them.

For thousands of years, women have taken great delight in keeping men confused, but our society, unfortunately much aided by the media, is taking things too far.  Men have traditionally (and sometimes mistakenly) been the top dogs, so to speak, and women are ostensively working on catching up.  In most areas, especially in the workplace, I agree with them and support them where I can, but I want women to be women and men to be men; a simple enough concept, don't you think?

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