The NZ Herald reported this morning that a “Miss” Helen Clark has been confirmed as the new head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Apparently the Herald didn’t read the EU protocols banning the use of “sexist” titles, apparently ‘Dame’ and ‘Lady’ remain non-sexist but ‘Miss’ most certainly is not.
The Herald refer to Helen as “Miss Clark” three times through the article.
[UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] has asked the UN General Assembly to confirm Miss Clark as the new UNDP administrator for a four-year term, …
Labour Leader Phil Goff said Miss Clark would do a great job in the role. …
The UNDP’s goals would fit perfectly with the values Miss Clark had promoted throughout her political career, Mr Goff said. … [Emphasis added]
I wonder what Mr Peter Davis (that’s Mr Helen Clark for our overseas visitors) has to say on the matter?
Personally I tend to use ‘Mrs’ or ‘Ms,’ if a media outlet referred to me as Miss I would take issue; not becuase I think that women potentially having 3 titles available to them versus men having 1 is necessarily sexist (I think it depends on who is using the title and how they mean it; forcing them to call all women ‘Ms’ isn’t going to stop someone’s sexist mindset) but because at age 35 [not 36 for 6 more days] I am kinda too old to be called “Miss” and of the three options available it is the least accurate.