March 13, 2013

Miss, Ms., Mrs.

I had an interesting conversation at work today about women's titles- Miss, Ms. or Mrs. Of course Mrs. is only used for married women, but why is it that my 'title' is defined by marriage? 

I am relatively traditional when it comes to relationships. I plan to take my husband's name and I envision being the quintessential working mom and wife. But why does my title change when my last name does? Why is so much of who we are defined by whether or not a man is in our life? 

This even trickles down to high school students. I spend about 30% of my work time with teenagers and I always try to create an environment where they can be honest with me and trust me. Yesterday one of my teens came in and was visibly angry. I tried to talk to her, but at first she was not very receptive. After some time, she finally opened up to me. After a long story, I found out why she was mad (a girl at her school has been hitting on her boyfriend). While trying to explain the situation and her feelings, she showed me a tweet from the situation. I noticed her 'about me' on twitter only said one thing: "Taken by (her bf's twitter account) since ______. That's my baby." 

This situation got me thinking, why is so much of our life defined by our relationship status? Why does our life have (or not have merit) due to our title. Don't get me wrong, I will be happy when I get married and will be excited to change my name and be someone's wife, but I don't want my whole life to be based on the fact that I am single (or eventually will be married). I want our lives to be seen as a whole picture- work, friends, family & relationship- instead of just one piece of that picture. 

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