Women, titles, and clothes

Sun, 3 Mar 1996 09:52:50 -0500

>>So, in a situation where unmarried Dr. Barbara Smith is referred to not as
>Dr. but as miss, the de-titling may well also be a form of insult. Since
>detitling of female academics, at least in my experience, does not seem to

>My limited experience with this is that in professional settings, the
>manner in which power relations may *potentially* be observed in discourse
>occurs at more indirect levels than titles, although from studies I have
>seen of the professional socialization of the female professoriate, oral
>hisotry suggests that Ruby's comment about women being referred to as Mrs.
>was not uncomommon 20 years ago (may still happen I just don't know ).

There was the (fortunately now stopped) practice of the NY Times,
in their battle against their bugaboo "Ms.", the practice of
referring, in articles, to the person's full name and title the
first time the name was mentioned; the subsequent mentions of that
person were last name only for males, but "Miss" or "Mrs." for

Perhaps a more common situation in academia (and probably other
places) is more of an emphasis on clothing for women in student
evaluations. It apparently often gets mentioned as part of the
students' evaluations when a female teacher is the subject, but
less often (ever?) for males. Women are apparently supposed never
to be dressed as casually as males. ;-(

Jim Moore e-mail: am745@torfree.net