Apparently, the European Parliament has produced some guidelines about how its staff should be gender neutral, included in which is the advice to steer clear of Mrs and Miss (and corresponding titles in other languages, such as Señora and Señorita and Madame and Mademoiselle).
There has been some fuss in some of the press about this, of course – it’s the European Parliament, after all, we can’t let them get away dictating anything to us (not that they are in this case, but details, schmetails). The BBC, the Telegraph and (what a surprise) the Daily Mail, have all pitched in, with the BBC being the only one to offer up an opinion from someone who actually uses the title ‘Ms’.
I am Ms Tasha Goddard. I was born Tasha Goddard (well, technically Natasha, but we’ll forget about that) and I will always be Ms Tasha Goddard. I have used Ms since I was a teenager, though you wouldn’t know it from some of the titles I have been assigned by various companies and authorities (M-S, Mrs, Miss, M, Mr and only the occasional Ms). I did not take Chris’ name when I got married and did not really consider it (not that you would know this from the letters and cards I get from relatives, both mine and Chris’). I am Tasha Goddard, I have always been Tasha Goddard and I will always be Tasha Goddard.
I honestly do not see why a woman should take her husband’s name when she gets married. I really do not understand it. I also do not understand why women’s titles define their marital status, while men’s do not. Because of my determination to stick to these principles, Chris often gets called ‘Mr Goddard’, though why this should be any more annoying than my getting called ‘Mrs Clark’, I don’t know.
Of course, these principles hit a stumbling block when it comes to deciding what surname your children will have. We did consider changing both our surnames completely by deed poll, so that it would be fair, but as I said above, I am Tasha Goddard, I will always… We settled on giving her the surname Clark and the second middle name Goddard. So she is Rosemary Alice Goddard Clark. Poor thing! We both dislike double-barrelling, though in hindsight perhaps we should have gone with it.
So far, no-one has yet questioned my status as Rosemary’s mother, despite having a different name. Hopefully it is the day and age where people realise that not everyone has the same surname as their children, for various reasons. But I have given up explaining when someone phones and says ‘Is that Mrs Clark?’. I just say ‘Yes’, now and grit my teeth. Perhaps Baby No. 2 can be Clark Goddard and Chris can have another turn at being Mr Goddard, while Rosemary and Baby No. 2 can have the fun of people assuming that they’re half siblings instead of full ones, or something like that.
What about you? Are you a Mrs a Ms, or something else? Did you/will you take your husband’s name? Do you get as hot under the collar about it as i do, or does it not bother you?