Mr - Miss - Mrs - Ms

I was not one of 'those' little girls. I had never dreamed of getting married. I never looked with longing at a wedding dress, nor did I ever think that my wedding day would be the 'best day of my life'. What an absurd thought that one day of your life could be defind in such a dramatic way. We all know that wedding days are full of stress and expectations. I believe that very rarely a wedding day is 'the best day' of someones life... and what a shame if it is.

I have been married for 8 years now. I have been with my partner for nearly 15 years. We got married because it was 'the right thing to do', I wanted to have the same last name as my children and we were best friends. 
I like the idea of 'soul mates' and 'true love', but to be perfectly honest I believe more in the passion of lust than in fairy tale romances.

Recently when I filled out my papers for a new job I had to define my preference for title, Miss - Mrs -Ms. Titles all defined by my marital status. A man has but one option on that form..... Mr.
After all my education, my self improvement, my station as a mother I am still defined by my marital status.

In the past my wanting to be an equal has been considered by some as 'man hating' . The truth is I am not enraged by the titles but the very fact that I am still defined by it completely irritates me.

I have had this conversation with others and they are very much proud of their 'Mrs' title. It was something that they had wanted. For me, it was not something I had ever thought of as being an enviable thing. I would like nothing more than to be defined apart from something so crazy as a marital status.

The same goes for different races, for how much money someone has, for a job title, for what sex they are born with, for what sexual preference someone has and for what religion they believe in. Why can we not just be human, a person, someone that defines themselves rather than the classifications handed down from others? To be judged by our character, on our ability to make the most out of our lives and our ability to live in harmony with others and nature. Surly these things are far more 'person defining' than a marital status.

The fact that in this day an age we are still discussing things such as race, religion and sexuality proves how far we have to go as a race before we can become a noble creature that inhabits this planet. 

I shake my head at the issues that politics and religion are entwined with. These are human issues. Not issues to be handed down to us from higher powers or tradition.

We do not live in a free world. We are surrounded by power hungry, money grabbing, empathy lacking individuals who are so low that they have no right to call themselves human. We need to become self aware so that we can question the media and tradition enough to grow and learn how to be the best human we can. We need to support those in their learning, in their own personal growth instead of thumping views and tradition down upon them. We should never stop seeking out the truth and striving to be better, not striving to be richer or more powerful.... but a better human.

I want my title to be defined by who I am as a person. I am strong but I am nice. From now on will you please call me ST+NCE Michelle Walker. However even my last name causes concern, once defined from my father but is now defined by my husband. All institutions decreed long ago by another man claiming dominance and possession over those inflicted with the female genitalia.

We should not receive a title until we have grown enough to be defined by who we are, therefore we must know who we are. In the same way we can regret a tattoo we received before we knew who we were as a person we should not have to define our title until we find out if it fits our character. A 'mark' gained through experience and not through fashion or inexperienced bravado.

Please consider if you would like to create your own title or should it be something that is formed with consultation with others that truly know you. Just as a child should be raised by a village for complete roundness of character, shouldn't we also be defined and accepted by a well rounded society?

I would like to know how you would like to be titled had you been given the option. Please consider this an invitation to add your own abbreviations to my list. I am very eager to hear your thoughts.

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Michelle Walker is a Tasmanian born creative. An Artist for life, Visual Arts Teacher, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Hairdresser by trade and mother to two beautiful children.