Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ms. Dr. / DRF

Shortly after I officially became Dr. Manduca, I whimsically used "Dr" as my title for an airplane reservation. I was immediately delighted by an unforeseen aspect of the choice: unlike men choices, a woman's choice of title connotes particular politics and identity (coarsely: Miss is conventional, Mrs is conventional and largely limited to heterosexuals, and Ms is feminist). I enjoy the freedoms of Dr, in spite of the implied self-importance. I've used it intermittently since.

Today I read something that dismayed me: Dr. Isis, the author of the wonderful blog "On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess" noticed that her travel itinerary referred to her as "DRF. ISIS," which a contact explained is how that particular airline refers to female doctors. If that practice spreads, it will slightly diminish the joy I find in choosing Dr. Not only does choosing Dr free me from the sticky Mrs/Ms/Miss, but I can pretend I don't even have any opinions about Mrs/Ms/Miss. DRF highlights the fact that there are Titles, and Titles for Women To Choose From. I'll choose from the whole list, thank you very much.

Your humble servant,
Magnificent Rector Manduca


Anonymous said...

interesting. i am dr. at continental and they dont call me drf.

i stopped reading ISIS last year sometime, i found her posts sort of ridiculous and annoying.

Jordan said...

That's appalling, if true. I selected Dr. as my prefix on United and it ended up mangling everything together on the ticket (I think it said SCHOOLER, JORDANBDR or something like that). I kind of regret that now.

Steve said...

Holly, that is hillarious! I've never given that much thought to my title, but from now on, I am going by DRM. Keeps people guessing.


DRM Smith

Manduca said...

Dear DRM Smith: Humph. Men get all the fun. You get to be "Doctor, Male" and "Digital rights management," and what could be funner than digital rights management? I'm off to think of a catchier alternative expansion of DRF. From this list my favorite so far is Dedicated Race Fan.

Manduca said...

ML: Yeah, I read Isis in the same way I read The Onion: I come and go. After I haven't read either in a while, I enjoy it a lot more.

Manduca said...

Jordan: More than appalled, I'm mystified. What business case or expediency could be served? Are male docs DRM (if not, I'm particularly appalled). I wonder what the rationale was. Homeland Authority now requires us to state our sex and birthday on each airline reservation, so it would be redundant for a domestic flight (which this wasn't).

I think JORDANBDR would make a funny license plate if you didn't already have a good one, and if it wasn't too long.