Miss, Mrs., Ms., or None of the Above: Gendered Address for Women in the Legislature

Miss, Mrs., Ms., or None of the Above: Gendered Address for Women in the Legislature

When it comes to titles used in the official setting of the legislative Chamber or the slightly less formal committee room, women are in the unique position of having several conventional options for identification purposes: Miss, Mrs., or Ms.1 Each term specifies a different though similarly gendered status, whether one is single, married, or, for lack of a better term, indeterminate and thus independent of the matrimonial framework. The following article explores ways of naming women in the Legislature and is underscored by the history of general usage for women’s titles since the turn of the 20th century. Furthermore, this discussion looks toward re-evaluating aspects of current parliamentary language, with the topic of gender-neutral address.