Thursday, January 22, 2009

This has always bothered me...

If the president of the United States is a male, then his spouse is called the "first lady" - excuse me? Why should she be called anything other than "Mrs. _____" ? Why should the spouse of the president have any standing at all - did they run for office? Were they elected? Why should they have duties, responsibilities, an agenda, or an office?

Oh yeah, y'all going to say how the spouse works on the campaign, and all that entails. How the president's spouse is an integral part of the political machine - yadda, yadda, yadda.

And my question is - why? If my husband wanted to run for public office, that would be his business. He's got his life and career and I have mine. I don't do his job, he doesn't do mine. If I want a political life then I'll run for office.

This has bothered me for years. I am annoyed and irked by the title "First Lady" and I didn't vote for her and she should mind her own business. If the president's wife wants to be involved the way any private citizen is involved, fine, we all have that right but I didn't elect her and I don't want to see or hear about her little programs or even that she might have an agenda. I don't want the president's wife involved in the business of the government UNLESS she had run for office and been elected.

Yes, I know back in the old days an executive's wife had social duties, and there were (and probably still are) companies who would interview the wife of the man they were considering for a top position. That is such bull shit.

Y'all want to go off on a feminist rant about about how women nowadays are educated and skilled and have big important jobs and therefore they shouldn't be pushed into the background if their spouse has some top executive job - that is my point exactly. Some guy runs for public office, his spouse has a top position in some industry or other, he wins and the spouse now gives up her job to play some part of HIS job. Why?

I'll tell you why - because the American public expects it. They have expectations of the president's spouse. Look at how we trashed Mrs. Obama's choice of clothing. This is important? No - it isn't. People said "harumph, it's not what she wears, it's her brains and abilities". Yeah sure, but she wasn't elected to any office. I don't particularly care if the president's spouse has the IQ of a dead termite, the president's spouse has no standing - or shouldn't have.

When are we going to stop assuming, thinking, expecting married people to be extensions of each other?

I don't like meaningless, made-up titles. I don't like the idea of someone's spouse being expected to perform in some prescribed manner nor do I like the idea of someone exerting influence based solely on a made-up title and their spouses job.

Okay, that's off my chest - you gotta know this has been bugging me for over 40 years.
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And you know what else bugs me in a major sort of way? Ms. What the hell is that? MS is the abbreviations for manuscript. I am not now, nor ever have been a manuscript. If we have to use social titles, and I think we should because I do NOT like people I don't know calling me by my first name, Miss is perfectly fine with me. You can call me Miss and my birth name, or Miss and my married name, or you can call me Mrs. but you cannot call me Ms. anything. I am not a MS.

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