Sunday, November 04, 2007


I've noticed lately that my kids call their teachers "Miss" not "Miss Lastname" but just "Miss". It vaguely bothered me but I couldn't quite put my finger on why it bothered me.

Then one day I was with them and they greeted their music teacher with "Mr. Lastname" and it finally hit me. Women, you see, are generic and can be referred to by a generica name. Men, on the other hand, are deserving of the courtesy of their identification and name. Even their coaches are not called "coach" but called "Coach Lastname".

I finally told my kids that if I was their teachers I'd call them "kid" every time they called me "Miss". They didn't quite get it so I explained that everyone deserved the courtesy of being given their proper identification. I asked them how they'd feel if they were called "kid" all the time. Of course they responded that they wouldn't mind, but I've noticed they do it a lot less lately.

Amazing how the patriarchy has infected every part of our world, even elementary school.

1 comment:

Tanya Brown said...

Patriarchy is pervasive, just like racism. IMHO, those two things account for a good many of the ills of this country.