are you the secretary?

Susan Moore slmoore at
Thu Feb 29 01:15:03 EST 1996

DAWN C. GORDON (I7BF at UNB.CA) wrote:
:      I wonder if there are any secretaries reading any of these posts,  ggy Barr) writes:
: and if they would be offended at all of us making people very certain
: that we are NOT secretaries.  I wonder if any male secretaries have
: been mistaken for professors, and what their reaction is?
:      Someone made a stupid remark to me about secretaries/women the
: other day.  I just said women are so very organized and that's why      ,
: they're good at the job.
:      Just as we must do away with stereotypes, we should be careful
: about offending women who do hold "traditional" jobs or stay at home    t
: doing unpaid but very important work.                                   on
:       Just my thoughts...                                               sion
:       DAWN GORDON                                                       r."

:                                                                         en

: >> woman as "Dr."  I am usually "Mrs. Galloway" and I am not a "Mrs." either.
: >>
: >> I guess I've gotten use to it but, every so often, I let it bug me.
: >>
: >
: >
: >This is one of my pet peeves, although I don't usually respond to it.  I
: >have not one but two degrees (DVM and PhD) which entitle me to "Dr." as
: >much as the next person, yet I am frequently called "Ms. Barr" or "Mrs.
: >Barr" (I am married, but my husband's last name is Stuart).  I usually
: >ignore it (or say please call me by my first name), unless the offense is
: >committed by someone I will continue to see - it sounds a little absurd to
: >say "excuse me but I'm DR. Barr...."  What do you think?  Should I
: >continue to ignore it or call attention to the error?
: >
: >Peggy Barr
: >.
: >.
Please forgive me for any odd editing in this post, as I'm very new to
this and haven't worked out all the details yet.... :)

I've been following this thread for a bit, and was struck by the comment
about secretaries who might possibly be offended.  I am currently employed
as a secretary, and personally I see nothing wrong with anyone insisting on
being treated with due respect.  

It's not the position; it's the inherent assumption that is made that is so
irritatingly offensive.  I don't mind my job (although, granted, it's also
not my permanent career plan; others may feel differently), but I do mind
very much when someone assumes that _because_ I am a secretary, I am by
nature inferior in some way.

The same goes for career positions in any field; in this case science, and 
more specifically biology.  Those degrees were not easy to come by; they 
were hard-earned, and confer a title that the holder has every right to
insist upon, in my opinion.

(This is not saying that anyone here is assuming secretaries are inferior,
 by the way.. different jobs, different situations, and different titles.)

--Susan L. Moore

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