31 Jan Sexism at Toastmasters
Posted at 00:00h in Blog 0 Comments
|Happy… One of those rare occasions when I was not addressed MTM|
I’m a toastmaster for a good four years. Every time my name is called out, with the prefix ‘Madam Toastmaster’ I take a second to respond. And when I see my name written MTM Nisha, I think it’s landed in the wrong inbox.
Like when I graduated to ‘aunty’, I asked the husband, “Do I look like one?” It was only after I had my baby and her friends started addressing me ‘aunty’ that I felt comfortable with the title as a requirement of culture, tradition, respect, generation lapse…
But I still can’t fathom why MTM? Don’t I look a woman? If that’s so, why not Gentleman Toastmaster (GTM) for men? And what about transgenders? Imagine addressing them LTM, GTM, BTM…how regressive!
Similarly, MTM is plain sexist! Period. I am glad to see changes in the collective conditioning, sporadic though.
This is similar to how a married woman who is not employed is called a ‘housewife’. We have mortals who believe women who do not earn a living do no work. Changing their rusted mindset would be a herculean task. So how about a change in addressing women instead?
If a married woman who stays at home is called a housewife, then one who goes out to work should have the name of the organization prefixed to her name. Fair enough?
A married woman employee should be called AppleTech wife, Vidya Bhavan wife, Hotel Chin Chu wife…
It has more than one advantage. If you do not like your spouse’s name or are tired of your family name, voila! you get a new name. You can change it every time you switch your job. What more, you would come up on internet search engines more often. Easier way to virtual fame, too.
Now, if you aren’t comfortable with numerous others sharing your nomenclature, then you may zero it down to the unit of work in the organization and vet it down further for more specific names. For instance, if a married woman employee of, say, AppleTech finds it too general, she can opt for Software Development wife and if she finds that widely used as well, then settle for Boss wife! Mr. Stephan wife! Dr Shinde wife… or MS Robert wife, MS Meera wife…
How ludicrous! Hello, I am married to Sachin and am Mr. Stephan wife! Or Hello, I’m married to John and am MS Rachael wife!” I’d love this one the best… “Hello, She is my wife and Mr. D’Souza wife.”
Aww! Let me stop lest your imagination runs wild.
Least of all, revising a woman’s title will certainly cause cultural shocks, as we are used to boys being called Master and when they grow up addressed as Mr., while a female starts off being a Miss then a Mrs. followed by being a Ms.
If a man can be called Mr. irrespective of his marital status, why should a woman be Mrs.?
Now, think of this, a woman in a relationship with a married man is called his ‘mistress’, while that male will still be a Mr. The suggestion I got when I bounced the thought off was to call such men her ‘mattress’.
It simply gets murkier, if we analyse the nomenclature we are handed down. Suffice to say, it’s a hu-MAN’s world!