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Hello Amy,

I am an environmentalist and regularly send letters and sign petitions. When I sign my name, I have to choose a prefix such as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. This bothers me greatly since I am labeling myself such that I am giving away the fact that I am unmarried or divorced, etc. I think that all labels for women should be the same as it is for the Mr. Perhaps all women should go by Ms. instead of all the others.

We are in a new age, I think we should take the next step. Do you know if there is any activism concerning the prefix labeling of women? If so, could you please give me the information? Thank you very much.

I appreciate your time.



Dear Lynn,

I share your frustration and I usually just leave it blank. And in the instance of my addressing others, I usually just use first and last names, i.e. John and Jane Smith.

I think the labels are often unnecessary and formal perhaps, but in a forced way. Ms. was an attempt to remedy this, the Mr. for women, regardless of her marital status.But unfortunately, it immediately took on a more political connotation, which made people less likely to embrace it. I haven't heard of any recent movements, but I do think that many people are still pushing for Ms. to be the only choice for women, just like Mr. is the only choice for men.

I hope that helps,

-- Amy