"Mister Misterus?" It's a Mystery to Me. (Honorifics for Married Men?)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 1:41 PM GMT


    ^Nothing to do with the thread topic. I just wanted some traveling music.

    To keep it simple (and a little stupid), our Anglified social norms differentiate a single woman from a married one, by the use of "Miss" and "Missus", respectively. Shouldn't we have a titular differentiation for male homo sapiens as well?

    (TL/DR version) What title would you give the married man, to acknowledge social distinction in marriage status? Or, would you even bother with it at all?

    Up until now, straight men who apparently created this structure didn't have to deal with the question. Straight women do, but many pretend they can tell simply by checking for hardware on the man's hand. Unmarried couples are acknowledged as "Mr. X" and "Ms. Y", while wedded ones are "Mr. and Mrs. X".

    Now with gays and lesbians able to marry in larger volumes, lesbian couples can go by "Mrs. X and Mrs. Y" to make it clear to anyone they're hitched, ditching the "Ms." labels. But gay men don't have anything to go by, formally, to differentiate the married dude couples from the Oscar/Felix & Bert/Ernie roomates and the "shacking up" crowd.

    As a logical extension from "Mister", "Misterus", for example, would need an abbreviation to be distinctive from "Mrs." Best I can come up with is "Mru." Assuming one doesn't take the name of the other, you'd have a "Mru. X and Mru. Y"

    We have that chauvinist formality of referring to hetero wife Y as "Mrs. X" ("Mrs. Bill Clinton"), to make clear exactly who she's tethered to when there's no "Mr. Hillary Rodham" used in comparison. For gay and lesbian couples, I guess that wouldn't work, since the wedded participants would be using the same titles: Mru. X and Mru. Y can't be called Mru. Y and Mru. X, respectively, as it can easily cause confusion. Since it's based in sexist, possessive thinking, I'd rather leave that issue alone, but if you've got a workaround, that's fine.

    I was at a WNBA game recently when a pageant contestant winner, "Mrs. Georgia" or somesuch, was tabbed to sing the national anthem. I presume the prerequisite for contest entry was a marriage certificate or something. A lesbian couple sitting nearby brought up a concept of a male married pageant winner being paraded around the state (the irony of why one probably doesn't exist), which jogged this question.

    I'm sure plenty of people have thought this through before me, so if you know of a link to a similar discussion, inside or outside of RJ, lemme know. Thanks!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 2:33 PM GMT


    **shameless thread BUMP #1** icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    C'mon people! I'm up there with the first-posters and the "Alaska Cruise in July" guy with the fewest thread replies today. This is sad! Let's go, chop chop! icon_lol.gif



    **shameless thread BUMP #2*
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 4:21 PM GMT
    tumblr_m41j01U2yX1qlfwzk.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 4:28 PM GMT
    dayumm said our Anglified social norms differentiate a single woman from a married one, by the use of "Miss" and "Missus", respectively.


    I think no one is responding because the female equivalent is falling out of favor. I can't remember the last time I've addressed a woman by anything other than "Ms."

    I think that's the solution rather than inventing yet another new honorific.

    To the extent that the distinction between "Miss" and "Mrs." survived, it is probably among social conservatives who have no desire to reinvent the male equivalent.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 4:54 PM GMT
    showme said
    dayumm said our Anglified social norms differentiate a single woman from a married one, by the use of "Miss" and "Missus", respectively.


    I think no one is responding because the female equivalent is falling out of favor. I can't remember the last time I've addressed a woman by anything other than "Ms."

    I think that's the solution rather than inventing yet another new honorific.

    To the extent that the distinction between "Miss" and "Mrs." survived, it is probably among social conservatives who have no desire to reinvent the male equivalent.


    First, THANK YOU FOR RESPONDING! icon_biggrin.gif

    You're probably right, at the very least, in terms of oral discourse with people you know. If you know the persons' names, it's much simpler to just reduce the formalities and go with "Good morning, Joan. Hello, Bob," rather than "Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson." (another chauvinist ploy... "Mr." always precedes "Mrs.")

    Plus, when was the last time someone took umbrage with "Ms."? Almost never, not in the last 25 years. Unless it's one of those possessive social conservatives you mentioned.

    When doing mass mailings to a bunch of random people, we usually use "Ms." as the default for the women, unless we specifically know otherwise... or, better yet, ditch the honorific altogether.

    The letters will then have some sort of typed gymnastics like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam" to get around the whole Mr./Miss/Mrs. labeling, which is especially problematic when you can't tell by the first name alone -- is Leslie Mann male/female? How about Leslie Nielsen?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 21, 2013 6:26 PM GMT
    Broseph said
    dayumm saidtumblr_m41j01U2yX1qlfwzk.gif


    COOOOOOOOOOO-KIE!


    Yeah, I have nothing constructive to add.


    icon_lol.gif that's cool!