Salutation options

Someone wrote…

When did I become uncomfortable picking Miss or Ms. from the list of salutation options in Internet forms? I wish I had a PhD so I could pick Dr. or had a military title like Major or Captain. Anything that does not box me in.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on March 1st, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Salutation options”

  1. Cat

    Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I contacted ThePetitionSite once to aks them to make the salutation optional when you sign a petition. I didn’t have to even put a salutation for any of the petitions I’ve signed recently. It looks like they’ve accomodated my request…


  2. Lucie

    Nearly all are insistent on choosing a title, on one I was permitted to enter a gender neutral salutation though thats the exception to the rule.

    I thought Dr was a good neutral alternative until I saw one site had Dr , male and Dr, female.


  3. epistemicmurk

    Unlike some — many — I most resolutely did *not* do a PhD so I could get a cool title. But a very, very cool by-product of having jumped through the necessary hoops, one which I hadn’t thought about at all, oddly, is that I now have a gender neutral name: my forename is fairly much equally male & female anyway. It makes me glow.


  4. Anonymous

    My parents told me they gave me a gender-neutral name and I am one of those who did do a PhD when I got the chance, partly to get a gender-neutral title.

    It’s not a proper solution though, partly because there are probably more contexts where people won’t use that title than where they will. So we still need titles anyone can claim (like Mx) and which don’t imply you studied medicine. (Or ideally no titles at all.)

    It did start an interesting conversation recently though. Someone was asking me about my education and I mentioned the PhD. They are a native German speaker and replied: so you’re ‘Frau Doktor’. I was so pleased that I got a natural chance to say that the ‘Frau’ (as in ‘Ms’ but also ‘woman’) was what I had been able to get rid of and that it was really important to me to get a gender-neutral name.


  5. Jesse

    Yes, when I find a form that requires a salutation, I’ll pick Dr. just because it is the only non-gendered one… There was one web site that I found that had almost a thousand salutations. It was quite amazing how few non-gendered salutations there were. I think I picked “Most Serene Highness” from that list, just because I liked the title. They had “Her Serene Highness”, too… but I felt more “most” than “her” that day.


  6. MxSer

    I’m three to four years from being allowed to use ‘Dr’, so I’ve gone full-force for using ‘Mx’ in the meantime. Not everywhere is that accommodating, though.


    Jesse replied:

    I would never use Dr. in a context in which it might be misconstrued or confer some kind of distinction or entitlement that I did not deserve. I am not a fan of deception. When I use the Dr honorific, it is only in situations where the honorific is irrelevant and immaterial.


  7. Tualha

    Sexist though their society may be, at least the Japanese have a nice genderless honorific (san).


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