I am NOT Mrs Cody, but Mx would be just fine

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

 Rebecca West

Hey, Lovelies.

I have needed to fill in a mountain of paperwork this past week; for medical tests, insurance claims and other legal kinds of things. I’m married, but I kept my maiden name. Cody – my family name – is who most people know me by. It’s the name I’ve built my career around. It’s who I feel comfortable to be. My husband, Ben, feels in no way diminished because I didn’t take his name. It’s a common practice, so paperwork should be straightforward, right?

But it’s not.

My name is Nicole Cody. But even though I’m married I’m not Mrs. Cody.

Ben has one choice when he fills in paperwork. He chooses Mr.

Of course, all of the forms I am filling in online or in paper start by me choosing an honorific from Miss, Ms, Mrs. and on some I could also choose Lady, Doctor or Professor.

Seeing I am not titled, I can choose Miss, Mrs. or Ms. Because this archaic practice of showing your marital status if you’re a woman is still a thing. Not ticking a box , especially with the online forms, was not an option.

And I’ve come to realise how much this one simple thing drives me nuts.

One secretary told me that Ms was for divorcees and lesbians and angry single feminists (she stared pointedly at me), so I would have to use Mrs. When I explained that Cody is my maiden name and that my sexuality and values are none of her business she rolled her eyes. It’s just a form, she said. Just tick one. What does it matter?

Why does it not matter for a male to reveal his relationship status, but it does for me?

What happens if you’re gender fluid, or gender neutral? How does that work?

I’m inclined to start filling in my forms as Mr. because why should a man be afforded the dignity and privacy of a one-size-fits-all name, but not me? From a business point of view it fits better than any of the other terms, and none of these forms will allow me to write Mx – which is the modern form of honorific where you do not wish to specify gender or relationship status. Why not Ms for me? It’s what I settle for, but I find it to be a derogatory term, and one which has often been used derisively.

When I have questioned the choices available to me, people have been uncomfortable or cross with me. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy with these choices?

Because, people, I am not. Nothing offered to me fits me. And if it doesn’t work for me I am certain there are other people who feel the same way. We need language that works better for our modern age and for ALL people.

How do you feel about this issue? I’d love to know!

Love, unticked boxes, and a great need for reformation, Nicole xx

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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15 thoughts on “I am NOT Mrs Cody, but Mx would be just fine

  1. I have been arguing against it since I was 12 yrs of age. I will be 58 in a few months and I have stopped. I should start again.

  2. High on my list of things not to like about societal norms. I tell people one of the things that kept me going through the ordeal of a phd was the fact that I could fill in forms with ‘doctor’. Shallow… but true. Even so, I encountered institutions which refused to use the honorific because it wasn’t relevant. Cancelled much? You bet. Once, even had the mail addressed to Dr and Mrs except the Mrs was my husband, because well… assumptions. My mother-in-law still addresses mail to Mr & Mrs Male-christian-name male-family-name, even though I never changed my name – except to put Doctor not Mrs in front of it. But bless her, she remembers my birthday, so all is forgiven. Maybe if those government departments sent me a birthday present I would forgive them too. No excuse, after all they do have my date of birth on the forms. 🙂

  3. Loved this post … it made me aware how complacent I have become in just trying to fit in & not make waves. Ms is all I have for now but I will now champion for not having to use a ‘title’ … and keep those recipes rolling please… XOXO

  4. Hi Nicole,

    I agree, being from the Xennial generation I can’t be bothered with tradition, especially when it bears no relevance to the 21st century. Just the way that that woman eyerolls you, I do the same thing uber-conservatives and traditionalists.
    Can we all just evolve and get on with it.

    Thanks you for the post and I much prefer Mx.

  5. Ah Nicole its only a form….like gawd…I can see the person rolling their eyes….Thank you so much for a great laugh it was a real tonic…I really needed that today and will read all the replies this evening when I figure out whic part of the house work I will tackle first….after a day with a poorly relative yesterday…before the family decend for the weekend and mutter…but its only housework…. I don’t know if I should murder them, move out, become a hermit, a nun or just run away with the circus…..I forgot to tell them that being the woman doesn’t mean I do all the work….much love and have a great weekend from Mr Maria….xxx

  6. thank got someone atleast addressed this and expressed this in a lucid way. I kept thinking the same too and kept on hearing I am too much. why cant I just keep being like everyone else and chose just about something.. Why are we made to feel we are wrong when we are right in questioning something that is going on without logic.

  7. I’ve been banging on for YEARS about us not needing honorifics. They’re just an other way to be misogynistic and bigoted. Equality. Is. All. We. Want. Who cares if your male, female, gender fluid…? This is another way to keep women in their place. I’m sure some would love to be able to tell what race someone was by their honorific. I know when I was living in the States – certain last names were not treated equally – the example I saw was in real estate. “Probably black – don’t want to rent to them?” Seriously!!!!
    Tired, exhausted, angry at how some people (and governments) feel the need to know our status, so they can discriminate. If you got married in the 60’s and had a government job and were female – you had to quit!!!!
    I got so annoyed with one theatre when I wanted to buy a ticket to a friend’s play – that I put down I was a REVEREND. I’m not – but I’d be happy to go online to become one! WHO’S BUSINESS IS IT OF ANYONE??? it’s just another box that some people (usually in some kind of power position) can wield their biases.
    SO DONE WITH IT ALL. I know, even as a white woman – I’m coming from a place of privilege (though I certainly understand the misogyny against white women) and I am so sick of it . Can’t even begin to imagine how our gender fluid humans are dealing with this crap every day.
    Rant… not really over… but I guess you get the gist 😉

  8. I have always used my family name, yet my sister insisted until a recent terse conversation, on calling me by my husbands name. It was her installing her preference over my choices. It really riled me ! It’s only been over 30 years I’ve been married and she was determined I should do as she did.
    We are still talking so I did my best not rile her…

  9. I encountered these reactions when I started using ‘Ms’ in 1980. How far we haven’t come! Great post, and thanks for ‘Mx’ will try this out.

  10. Made me smile😄😄 loved the way you clarified that truly out of the Dark Ages practice of Feminine exclusion. Ahhh well we’re getting there… Patriarchal Age getting to its end💚💚

  11. Agreed I dislike the term Ms and I have never married I am Rebecca Leonard and I’m not sure I would want to change that so yes I have secretly wished I can add my own title like “magnificent “ as I surely can’t be a “Miss” forever 💛 the change is coming The children of now are already working on that

  12. Hey Nic,
    Great blog – because it shows that you have a fire in your belly again….. and that is awesome!!!, no more recipes which shows that you are having another challenging moment…… I really do not care what people call themselves, in The Shire there are many with wild or strange names, and this blog is a grand blog…. much love, Paul

    1. Thanks Paul 🙏💕 although you are forewarned that there may be a few recipe blogs coming up, just from my sheer joy at having such a grand kitchen and people to cook for. Missing your cakes though xx

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