April 18, 2018

Why male faculty should object to being called by their first names.





In my 30+ years of teaching law students, I think a student called me by my first name once or twice. It's not something I ever talked about, what to call me. I don't particularly know what the other professors did, but it was never an issue for me.

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
David said...

Well, Ann, I wonder why Shalom is less secure than you were.

rhhardin said...

Address women professors as Honey.

The Cracker Emcee Classic said...

What a douche. Women don’t understand how this sort of ‘tude is catnip for mockery. She may never actually hear it, but people were riffing on it fifteen minutes after she put it up. Including a heap of women.

David Begley said...

You are the flip side of someone like Cher or Michael; known to the world by their first names. You are Althouse. Or, knowing respectful law students, professor.

The brand is Althouse.

Spiros Pappas said...

"Mrs."?! Is getting married still collaborating with the oppressor (i.e., the patriarchy)? Oh my God, that is so funny.

Mike Sylwester said...

Susan Harlan's writing seems to be a poem.

Let me restate that.

Susan Harlan's
Writing
Seems to be
A Poem.


buwaya said...

In the schools I went to, even the boys addressed each other by their last names.

To each other we were Alegre and Chen and Reyes and Singson.

Rick said...

Why do so many feminists support sexism like this categorical assertion male respect is easily won?

Bizarre. I appreciate it though. If they were more disciplined it would be harder to prove their actual goals conflict with their stated goals.

Hunter said...

Did the person call you "Ann" or "Anne"?

Earnest Prole said...

If you must ask for respect, you’ve already lost it.

The Cracker Emcee Classic said...

They didn’t call you Anne because your authority was manifest. That’s the way it works in the real world. Dollars to doughnuts, I would bet that the students that were calling her by her first name were women.

tcrosse said...

We don't stand on ceremony around here. You can just call me "Your Magnificence".

Hunter said...

rhhardin said...
Address women professors as Honey.


Sugartits also works.

Kevin said...

I thought the left was focusing on pronouns, not titles.

Ze should know better.

Trumpit said...

Some professors with a PhD insist on being called "doctor + last name." One teacher said he deserved the alleged respect and prestige that the title conferred because of his many years of study. I study on my own all the time, and I'm lucky if people only call me a schmuck. i refer to author of this blog as Professor Althouse because if feels right to me to do so. It is a good thing to show people respect to people who (you think) deserve it, but you shouldn't be forced to kiss anyone's ass.

buwaya said...

The custom is established by usage, not by decree.
And not this sort of decree.

gspencer said...

I'll call an MD or a DDS "Doctor." I'll extend the same courtesy to holders of PhDs in the hard sciences. But I will not give that title to holders of "PhDs" so-called to those "education." And it's been my experience that these are one most insistent that they be addressed as "Doctor" (gag), probably because they too know of the worthlessness of it all.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

She could start by changing her Twitter handle.

buwaya said...

Teachers were addressed as "sir", "misis" (thats good Taglish) and "miss".

CJ said...

I called a male professor "Mr." one time and he corrected me by saying it's either "Dr. ___ or Todd. "Mr. ___ is my father."

Kind of a dickish response I thought at the time and it reinforced my belief (like Instapundit's) that only people that can write me prescriptions ought to be called "Doctor".

Kevin Williamson said something about the names university personnel, especially administrators confer upon themselves: Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Provosts. As KW says: "Ye gods, the titles!"

No offense to the hostess of the blog or others with advanced degrees - but spending a bunch of time reading books and, in effect, writing a long, esoteric *paper* about some trivial subject doesn't mean you ought to be referred to in a special way like you're some Knight of the Realm.

I have an MBA - should I be addressed as Master?

Most JD's don't put "Esquire" at the end of their email signatures anymore.

Titles are outdated. I wish Shannon McGregor, that old stick in the mud, would get with the modern times. I mean it's CURRENT YEAR!

readering said...

Felt like the election was Hillary v Sanders followed by Hillary v Trump.

David said...

More seriously, it fine for her to indicate that she would like to be addressed as "Professor" or "Doctor." It would be a matter of courtesy to comply with her wish.

But she loses credibility and dignity when she blames the problem on men.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

Back when I was in college I had a professor who was a lesbian who preferred to be called by her first name. I didn't think her being a lesbian was, like, a big deal or nothing, she just told us because she said it enabled her to provide a different context for how to view our subject and shit, and that that was a good thing.

And maybe it did provide a different context, and maybe I think of things like a lesbian now, sometimes, I don't know. So maybe college was good for that.

She was pretty good-looking, too, but it wasn't like I dreamed about her eating another chick's lunchbox or anything, I have a hard time picturing smart people, like, having sex and shit, I just have trouble imagining them fucking without thinking too hard about it.

Anyway, I figured she was a feminist, but maybe I was wrong, maybe she was just a lesbian who liked chicks, that's all. I mean, feminism is a lot different now, I think: I used to figure it was just about chicks being equal and shit, but now there's like, intersectionality, and I don't want to offend anyone, so I just keep my mouth shut about that shit, it's easier that way.

I post my shit here.

Lewis Wetzel said...

She wants everyone else to toe her line because THREE TIMES IN A SEMESTER A STUDENT DID NOT USE HER TITLE!?
Let's all be like this, shall we? Whenever something you don't like happens to you, insist that people of other sexes & ethnicities change their behavior.

Ann Althouse said...

"You are the flip side of someone like Cher or Michael; known to the world by their first names. You are Althouse. Or, knowing respectful law students, professor. The brand is Althouse."

Beginning in 2004 with the blog, but I began as a law professor in 1984, when I was 33 years old and nearly all the professors were male.

Michael K said...

Blogger buwaya said...
In the schools I went to, even the boys addressed each other by their last names.


I spent 30 years teaching medical students and office employees to NEVER call patients by their first names. It is disrespectful and implies a class superiority especially for poor patients in the County Hospital.

Now, since Obama , all patients are called by first names, allegedly because of HIPPA but I have never seen the rule in print.

It's just a cultural slippage thing.

Derek Kite said...

Someone needs to check their privilege.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, I called the students by their first names, and in law firms, a completely new associate would call the oldest partner by his first name.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I only ever had one student address me as Professor; maybe I should have insisted that more do so.

Of course, I was only a T.A. at the time, and had not completed my Masters, so maybe that would have been a bit much.

rhhardin said...

There's also the precautionary Professor in emails from the masses.

traditionalguy said...

In a law office full of attractive women, it was essential that they all call the boss Mr. Traditional. It stops thoughts about personal favoritism, and my wife likes things done that way too.

It still jars me when a comment address The Professor as Ann.

Mike Sylwester said...

... a certain genre
Of man
Is always dying
To performatively
Divest himself ...


This fragment of Susan Harlan's "poem" is rather odd.

I was not aware that men are classified into genres.

It turns out that one such man-genre is classified by its always dying to divest himself of something performatively.

I think this might be the only poem ever written that includes the word performatively.

I tried to figure out the meaning of the word performatively, but without real success. The Wikipedia article on Performativity reports that this concept has been advanced prominently by philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler. The Wikipedia article includes the following passages.

-----
Philosopher and feminist theorist Judith Butler offered a new, more Continental (specifically, Foucauldian) reading of the notion of performativity, which has its roots in linguistics and philosophy of language. She describes performativity as “that reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains.” She has largely used this concept in her analysis of gender development.

The concept places emphasis on the manners by which identity is passed or brought to life through discourse. Performative acts are types of authoritative speech. This can only happen and be enforced through the law or norms of the society. These statements, just by speaking them, carry out a certain action and exhibit a certain level of power. Examples of these types of statements are declarations of ownership, baptisms, inaugurations, and legal sentences. Something that is key to performativity is repetition. The statements are not singular in nature or use and must be used consistently in order to exert power. ...

For Butler, the distinction between the personal and the political or between private and public is itself a fiction designed to support an oppressive status quo: our most personal acts are, in fact, continually being scripted by hegemonic social conventions and ideologies ....

According to Butler’s theory, homosexuality and heterosexuality are not fixed categories. A person is merely in a condition of “doing straightness” or “doing queerness”.
-----

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performativity

rhhardin said...

Derrida has an essay on professor somewhere. What professing is.

tcrosse said...

By the way, I called the students by their first names, and in law firms, a completely new associate would call the oldest partner by his first name.

In my day at the University of Wisconsin, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, the practice was to address students by the appropriate title (Mr., Miss, or Mrs.) and surname. Ms had not yet been coined.

Mary Martha said...

The culture of my small, liberal arts University was to call all professors 'Mr., Ms., or Mrs.

Only my Italian professors bristled at that. They came from a culture which greatly valued titles and insisted on being called 'Professoressa' and 'Doctore'

The focus was more on their ego than on the actual task of educating.

LincolnTf said...

We had Mr., Mrs., Miss, Brother, Father, Sister at my college. It was easy to get mixed up and call a Priest "Mister", or a "Miss" Sister.

traditionalguy said...

Come to think of it, I could never addressed our football coach as Frank or my father as Fred.

JPS said...

Oh ye gods.

I'm sorry if students presume with her, but it's not my fault if, after getting to know students, I encourage them to call me by first name. Oh, and I'll stipulate that her respect is well-earned, but she forfeited it with me as soon as I read that line.

There are reasons we have titles. There are reasons I prefer to forgo mine after an induction period. I'm not trying to be chummy, and I'm not their friend until they graduate, but I know and they know who's in charge. I don't need them to acknowledge it every time they address me.

DanTheMan said...

Mrs. DtM worked for a state agency for a while. The chairman of the department required his subordinates to address him as "chairman".

It's not about respect. It's about insecure people trying to project power, as gsspencer notes above.

Some school crossing guards act like they are General Patton, too....

readering said...

I worked at a New York law firm where in late eighties a senior partner still allowed associates and even junior partners to address him as mr. Of course it was a source of great mirth.

buwaya said...

Where I come from lawyers were addressed as "Attorney", as one would say "Doctor" here. They still do that.

Left over from the 19th century Spanish customary address, of "Licenciado". Getting a bit obsolete in Spain itself.

Rick said...

By the way, I called the students by their first names, and in law firms, a completely new associate would call the oldest partner by his first name.

I was going to make the same point about business - and how people mark themselves as outsiders. Working in finance I have on occasion dealt with people who insist on Ms LastName - virtually always a taxing agent or other government employee. Nothing says small-minded quite as loudly as someone insisting on this as "respect" when I call the CEO by his first name. When I started at my current place of business my business unit was headed by a woman and we referred to her by her first name also.

I have heard of a handful of people in the business world who do demand as McGregor does, cough Dan Snyder cough. Such people are universally thought of as small minded a-holes.

This isn't a gender issue except to those with a mental tic causing them to believe all issues are gender issues.

chickelit said...

“SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): You know, do me a favor, could you say "senator" instead of "ma'am"?

WALSH: Yes.

BOXER: It's just the thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it. Yes, thank you.”

Rob said...

McGregor demands her “well-earned respect.” She’s an assistant professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Communications, received her B.A. at Flagler College, her M.A. at the University of Florida and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Those credentials earn you only so much respect. If she wants truly to be respected, she needs to grab her crotch and rap her motherfucking heart out.

Mike Sylwester said...

... a certain genre
Of man
Is always dying
To performatively
Divest himself
Of his easily won
Authority.


According to Susan Harlan's "poem", men win their authority easily.

Although her "poem" does not say so, it implies that women earn their own authority with difficulty.

Anyway, there is a genre of men who are always dying to divest himself of that easily won authority.

Why is this genre always doing so?

The reason seems to have something to do with performativity.

The "poem" is rather odd, but it is broken into short lines, so it does look like a real poem.

CWJ said...

When I was at the University of Chicago, all the faculty I encountered both within and outside my department refered to each other, and were refered to by students as Mr. or Ms. I suspect there was an element of reverse snobbery involved.

robother said...

I cannot remember anyone addressing a 1970-73 law school professor by his first name, but I also cannot recall any professor calling on anyone in class as anything but Mr. (or Mrs. or Miss)_____. My recollection of undergrad practice is blurred (it was after all the 60s) but I definitely recall that it was cool male professors (or instructors) who instituted the first name thing as they passed the joint.

DanTheMan said...

>>Whenever something you don't like happens to you, insist that people of other sexes & ethnicities change their behavior.

Unless you are... heck, you know the rest...

Gahrie said...

Once again a woman demands that men change their behavior to make her happy.

DanTheMan said...

>>Of his easily won Authority

Right. As a man, all I had to do was show up at the University, hang around a bit, and they gave me a degree. I could have got a masters and doctorate, too, but I missed the day they were handing those out to the guys...

Women had it rough. They had to go to class, complete assignments, study, and get good grades.

Don't be deceived, ladies. All the STEM stuff is a front. Engineers and physicists do nothing at all compared to your Womxn Studies majors...

Inga said...

Why is it so hard to just call her Professor? I’m pretty sure Althouse’s students gave her that respect. If enough of them had started calling her Ann she may have gotten annoyed. She prefers to be called by her last name here, so I think I’m not mistaken in this.

My name goes here. said...

I buy fish from a Korean lady on St. Andrew's street.

She calls me Professor. Everytime I am there. "How you do Professor!" "Ah Professor so good to see you!"

One day I went into her shop and a man slightly older than me of Indian descent was there. I walked in she said "Professor! So good to see you!"

When she went in the back to get ice for his order he turned to me and said "what do you teach?"

I said, "I don't teach anything. She just calls me that."

He thought that was pretty funny.

David Docetad said...

It's way too late, Shannon, to be complaining about this. For decades your and your kind have been destroying tradition, respect, the very meaning of words and institutions, and now you want your students to refer to you by your last name. There is no doubt that you have told your children's friends to call you by your first name. Where do think your students came from, another planet? Go to hell.

tcrosse said...

If she's such a feminist, where's the hyphen in her surname ?

Balfegor said...

This was a bit of an issue for me in college, because I had been raised to address all professors as "Dr." But I was attending college in California, where professors all wanted to be known by their first name, and in any event it seems "Dr" is not the standard form of address for professors outside the South. In any event, I attended a science/engineering school, and my subjective impression is that non of the female professors particularly cared about titles. The ones I dealt with were math professors; we all knew they were math professors; and we could all see how they got to be math professors, so they didn't need to assert their authority. Few consider Math a joke doctorate.

Professional lady said...

Does she call her students by their first names? Generally, if someone calls me by my first name, I feel free to call them by their first name.

readering said...

I seem to recall a certain reality show on NBC where everyone had to address the boss as mr.

Mark Nielsen said...


Like Althouse, I've never told students what they should call me. In recent years more and more (probably around half by now) just use first name without asking. I never would have presumed to call a faculty member by their first name to their face when I was in college, but it doesn't bother me that times have changed.

I've generally found that the faculty who insist on a title like "Dr." are those who have "pretend doctorates" anyway.

CWJ said...

"Felt like the election was Hillary v Sanders followed by Hillary v Trump."

I wouldn't give much, if any, significance to this. Wasn't "Hillary!" her own campaign title?

buwaya said...

Its interesting, the usage of formalities.
In traditional societies one finds them ubiquitous.
Even (sometimes especially) when the top is speaking to the bottom. This sort of custom is an evolved thing, that emerged out of that organic Burkean process.

In Filipino usage a traditional member of the upper crust will always address an unknown peasant or proletarian formally. First names are for the familiar, but in nearly all cases prefaced by "mang" (fairly informal mister), or generically "manong" or quite informally "mama", as Anglos would say "sir". First names straight are for family, friends, peers, or very familiar servants.

The disappearance of these little courtesies is indeed a loss.
I don't see any advantage in informality.

Gahrie said...

My high school students (and co-workers) regularly call me by my surname but with no "Mr.". I grew up in the military though, so this just seems normal to me.

Birkel said...

I call my personal attorney "Counselor".
We are friendly enough, as far as it goes but our relationship is formal.

I call my doctors "doctor," including my dentist.

When sales people call and try to use my first name, I inform them that we are not acquaintances and they will never have my business.

Formalities matter and people should ask whether informality is appropriate. Relationships are two-way streets and it is best to ask permission that to be observed acting rudely.

Birkel said...

ALSO:
People appreciate a question like "What name do you prefer?" The question gives them power; it puts them in a strong position. People like to feel empowered, even if they immediately surrender the formalities and ask you to call them by their given name.

Paddy O said...

I don't care how students address me. My formal title is Dr., with the usage just about as historical as the title can be. Most students use "Dr." or "Professor" but some use my first name. I neither encourage nor discourage any usage. I have some very esteemed colleagues (men adn women) who insist students use their first name. I see it reflecting familiarity, so I do encourage it among students I know better or who have a wealth of experience/training coming into their degree program.

I don't have students who call me "Mr. O" anymore, though I got that a bit more regularly when I taught undergraduate students who were closer to high school. That an increasing number of students are my age or older adds to my preference they call me whatever they feel comfortable calling me. The odd thing is that while I'm fairly informal in much of my life, I personally always felt more comfortable being formal when addressing faculty. I generally only use the title Dr for myself when I have to choose from one of those drop down boxes in online forms.

That the title "doctor" has become popularly associated with mere physicians is of course one of the tragedies of our modern era, bespeaking of the long-developing decline of university education.

bwebster said...

I teach a senior-level class in software engineering at BYU. I don't have a PhD (don't even have a master's), and I'm adjunct (contract) faculty. At the start of every semester, someone in the class usually asks what I'd like to be called. I always reply "Professor Webster or Bruce; either is fine." I really don't care about 'respect' or 'accomplishment'; I mostly care about teaching the students what they need to know to work in IT. ..bruce..

buwaya said...

Courtesy is important. This has been systematically destroyed in US culture, and cannot be restored without a great conflict to restore its necessity. There are costs that must be imposed in order to clarify the need. This imposition of costs is on its way.

In a traditional society these customs often loom larger than life.

One example of cultural blindness - the Japanese treated Filipinos as their own superiors treated their Japanese inferiors, freely slapping or punching them as their whims took them, thereby creating deadly enemies unnecessarily. You can kill a Filipino, but you can't insult him. They can be cowed by threats to life, but insults matter more than life and can create a need for revenge at all costs.

The Spanish, much more experienced colonialists, knew better than that.

Michael said...

Ah, and the male professors no longer wear ties but demand the respect of their students. Professors whine that the other genders get more. Most of the teaching is propaganda which the smarter students recognize for what it is. The conservative students hold their tongues and laughter but can speak the prog lingo which they consider childish and irrelevant to the world they will shortly join. The real world. Thus equipped to survive in the real and the prog world they will excel. The prog students on the other hand consider the academy to be the real world and thus will find real reasons for their fury when they pass into a life where SJWs are a tiny tiny cohort.

Marc Lowenstein said...

Graduate school can be a sort of awkward, power-imbalanced training ground in collegiality. I remember the tradition that happened with *some* grad students and *some* professors where 'Professor' gradually became 'Andrew' sometime in the 4th or 5th year. We debated whether it was an ABD thing, or whether the genders or ages of the students and professors matter, and whether it might be more possible with your thesis adviser vs. other faculty. It was quite slippery.

Now I am on faculty at a first-name institution in the performing arts, and I like it, mostly because we operate on a mentor/mentee basis and try to actively foster a collegial atmosphere. It does make some students uncomfortable at first, though, especially those from more traditional cultures.

Prof. McGregor reminds me that there are certain fields where having a doctorate mean you insist on being called "Dr.". It seems prevalent in secondary education and makes me giggle.

Paddy O said...

I have some people in my life outside of academia who think they're being honoring by calling me "Dr. O." Church people tend to like titles, after all.

I find that actually irritating. Because I don't set myself up as separate from the crowd in those settings, indeed just the opposite, so I feel like their good intentions undermine my goals. But I don't correct them, because then I'd be an ass.

Speaking of church and titles, I don't like the use of Rev. or Pastor either, and don't tend to use those when addressing clergy, probably irritating some of them.

What's it say about me that I feel more comfortable addressing academics with their titles but uncomfortable addressing clergy with their titles? I suspect a lot.

buwaya said...

The usages of custom do translate to attitudes.
Consider the matter of the US class war. The attitude of the elite to the US volk is blatantly disrespectful and dismissive, even contemptuous. This comes, I think, much of it, from a lifetime of informality. Informality does not improve relations between social classes, it just creates toxicity.

Birkel said...

"Oh, please let's not be so formal. Call me Paddy."

Everybody wins.

Nonapod said...

Referring to someone by their last name and using a proper honorific is a courtesy. Courtesy requires respect, whether we're talking about respect for ones elders and/or teachers or respect for an difficult achievement like acquiring an advanced degree. Respect can either be be earned or culturally imputed through tradition. But it can not be asked for.

And respect isn't real if it is forced at the barrel of a gun, that's fear.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

“It's way too late, Shannon, to be complaining about this. For decades your and your kind have been destroying tradition, respect, the very meaning of words and institutions, and now you want your students to refer to you by your last name. There is no doubt that you have told your children's friends to call you by your first name. Where do think your students came from, another planet? Go to hell.”

Oh what whiny bullshit/ propaganda.

Lucien said...

But it was so much better when Professor Kingsfield said:”Mr. Hart: Here is a dime. Go call your mother. .” Using Hart’s first name would have been . . meh.

tcrosse said...

Familiarity breeds contempt, and vice versa.

Yancey Ward said...

"Felt like the election was Hillary v Sanders followed by Hillary v Trump."

Two things- (1)"Hillary!" was the candidate's own campaign moniker- I saw them every single day on official campaign material; (2) it really was Shelob v Sanders and Trump.

RNB said...

"...a certain genre of man..." As always: somehow, somewhere, some way it's some damn man's fault.

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

Paddy O said...

I always want to call you "Paddy O'Furniture". It's not disrespectful, probably.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We see a lot of this nowadays: treating other people's positions on impersonal political or social questions as if they were things they'd done to you personally.

buwaya said...

Its not "whiny bullshit".

This is wisdom.
Thats why you need proper education.
This has been systematically destroyed.

DrSquid said...

I once operated on a retired marine fighter pilot (F-4U's, WWII) who gave me his card which bore the inscription "To those who defend it, freedom provides a thrill that the protected will never know."

On being informed that my title is "easily won," I'm inclined to initiate Dr. Squid's corollary to that motto: TO those who have never completed a 6 year surgical subspecialty training program (but most especially to adjunct professors of communications), you have no earthly idea just how ungodly difficult and painful it can be to earn a title, performatively or not.

And plenty of people just call me Squid.

Inga said...

“Its not "whiny bullshit".

This is wisdom.
Thats why you need proper education.
This has been systematically destroyed.”

Says the guy who can’t say a good word about the country he’s lived in for 30+ years and hasn’t seen fit to become a citizen. Your comment does not impress as wisdom. Sounds more like you expressing your disdain for the US...again.

Ken B said...

“Well-earned”? What Department? Physics, microbiology, robotics? Then it’s well earned. Feminist Theory? English? Sociology? Then it’s not.

Does she refer to President Trump? To Dr Charles Murray?

Defenseman Emeritus said...

Inga said: "Oh what whiny bullshit/ propaganda."

Then surely you can write a cogent paragraph or two explaining how David got it wrong. Otherwise your lashing out in anger just looks like the result of a frustrating bout of cognitive dissonance.

Birkel said...

buwaya comes to bury America, not to praise it.
And then the conspirators who killed America realize, just a bit too late, that buwaya is a bit too clever for them and the crowd has turned. So the conspirators flee.

MayBee said...

You note her little poem still does not clearly tell students what they should call her.

Most students aren't trying to be assholes. It can be very uncomfortable not to know how to address someone. She should, on the first day, very clearly state how they should address her. I'm certain they would welcome the clarity.

Ken B said...

Inga
There's nothing wrong with her insisting on her title, though it seems a little bit priggish TBH. That's not what the tweet is about. The tweet is about demanding male professors do it too, so that she can feel less priggish. Rather than going her own way, independent and secure, and who cares what others do, she wants the men to change — so that she be a conformist.

wwww said...



Law students are older. More aware of professional etiquette.

Many 18 year olds grow up in homes where the parents allow children to call adults by their first names. They aren't prepared for professional situations or aware of standard professional behaviour.

My parents insisted we call adults by Mr., Mrs., Dr. or Professor. One of our friends was a PhD who worked in corporate jobs. Our parents addressed him by his title in front of us kids. He was Dr. last name. I called him Mr. once to my father, who gently explained that his title was Dr.

Jack Wayne said...

Every company I worked for, everyone used first names, even the CEO and President.

MayBee said...

I said, "You note" but I was really noting it myself and inviting you all to notice it.

Is it really so hard to just tell people what you want, or ask for what you want? I know if I had been a student who mistakenly called her by her first name, I would be mortified to see that poem on her door. But I still wouldn't know what to call her.

Comanche Voter said...

There are parts of Europe where addressing people by their titles is very important. I lived in Switzerland for a while and if a person had a doctorate, you'd better address them as Herr Doktor Schmidt for example.

In the K-12 education world (where I spend some time sitting on a Civil Service Commission) the landscape is littered with people who have gone on to get a Doctorate in Education. Those Doctorates and Masters degrees are how one advances in administration in that world--which is also 75% or more female. As a matter of simple politeness and courtesy I always ask how she or he would like to be addressed. Some, but not all, of the people have "hybrid" last names where their maiden and married names are combined. You avoid a lot of minefields by simply asking, "How would you like to be addressed?"

If Mary Smith-Jones wants to be addressed as "Dr. Smith" you go with the flow.

wwww said...

What's it say about me that I feel more comfortable addressing academics with their titles but uncomfortable addressing clergy with their titles? I suspect a lot.


That's interesting. I do the same thing. Thinking about it, clergy introduced themselves to me with their first name and no title, so I followed that custom. Not too long ago we were in a study group together, and all used first names. Perhaps talking about religious issues in a small group promotes informality?

Caldwell Titcomb IV said...

Dick, John, Peter, Randy, Rod, Willy, Woody. And Ralph.

wwww said...

But I still wouldn't know what to call her.


Students usually receive a syllabus w/ name and title of instructor listed with the course number.

18 year olds often do not pay close attention to this sort of thing, so I'd suggest introductions on the first day.

That said -- Really these kids do not know how to e-mail professionally. They treat it like texting.

walter said...

"an important note to male profs: allowing students to address you by your first name makes ME the "other"
--
True. But then calling it a feminist issue makes you an "idiot".

Michael K said...

the Japanese treated Filipinos as their own superiors treated their Japanese inferiors, freely slapping or punching them as their whims took them, thereby creating deadly enemies unnecessarily.

James Clavell did such a good job with "Shogun" and the TV series was just as good. A friend's wife is Japanese-American and her mother, who spoke Japanese, loved the series. The dialogue of the Japanese characters was in Japanese and she loved it.

Clavell wrote it as part of his attempt to understand his experience in the war as a Japanese POW in Changi.

His China books are also interesting although I have no way of interpreting how accurate they are. I understand that Taiwan is taking the place of Hong Kong as China obliterates Hong Kong's role as commercial entrepot,

Singapore is alos benefiting.

Howard said...

The US edumacation system is so broke, the entire world still sends there best and brightest to our colleges and universities. Once there, they are helped along like cripples by the American kids with gumption and common sense.

Michael K said...

That the title "doctor" has become popularly associated with mere physicians is of course one of the tragedies of our modern era, bespeaking of the long-developing decline of university education.

As a "mere physician" I would like to remind you that physicians, like airline pilots, have your life in our hands.

When I am involved in sailing or golf, or in the city hall on a commission, I don't encourage the use of "doctor."

The professor of Medieval Literate was "professor" to me and the other students of the era.

That Jill Biden insists on "Doctor" to honor her Ed D is a matter of amusement.

Howard said...

Her Professor Doktor Dumb Bitch is the type of womyn who thinks she can treat all men like her hen-pecked soon to be ex-husband.

JPS said...

MayBee,

"Most students aren't trying to be assholes. It can be very uncomfortable not to know how to address someone."

Yes. This - and the misimpression that "Dear" implies emotional intimacy - is why I get e-mails from students I've never met that begin,

Hello,

buwaya said...

"The US edumacation system is so broke, the entire world still sends there best and brightest to our colleges"

The top end of your array of technical schools are world class, mainly because they are well funded, and the collection of top talent itself generates demand for talent.

The Ivy league and other schools of that league attract people because they are places where the elite recruits the elite, mainly in order to network within the upper class. And then there is the cachet, the brand name, left over from history.

There was a rush into these schools for these reasons as the rest of the world got rich and more people globally could afford to attend a US university.

All of these reasons are fading however. You see it in the decline of MBA programs, canaries in the coal mine. These were favorites of foreign students looking to burnish their resumes. But as we see from the fate of an old favorite, Thunderbird, this is in decline.

This all is less than 5% of your universities, if that.

But the rest -

Education in the US is a way of obtaining a visa and then one can pursue various options to remain legally. This is an unacknowledged driver. If an Indian wants a technical education as such he is better advised to get into IIT than San Jose State, but he is more likely to wangle a US job offer and an H-class visa out of SJSU.

And then there are a horde of outright diploma mills that sell this visa track service explicitly, They advertise extensively in China and make no bones about it.

The vast majority of US higher ed institutions are nothing special, or below that, on a global basis. As for producing value to the US the vast majority are probably a net negative. Most countries in a similar position as the US do not bother with "educating" such a large proportion of their young people like this.

walter said...

Right Howard,
There's are Uni departments and a private idustry focusing on active recruitment for international students.
And it's not really about diver$ity.
But yeah..some of the international students I encountered really did need some common sense..as well as some humility around us "natives".
The German via Ethopia ag major who was hell bent on proving to me my rural home had a bus line handy..the Spanish econ major who told me "all wealth comes from taxes"..she later moved/failed into "Environmental Science" and is an IU faculty member.

Inga said...

“Many 18 year olds grow up in homes where the parents allow children to call adults by their first names. They aren't prepared for professional situations or aware of standard professional behaviour.

My parents insisted we call adults by Mr., Mrs., Dr. or Professor. One of our friends was a PhD who worked in corporate jobs. Our parents addressed him by his title in front of us kids. He was Dr. last name. I called him Mr. once to my father, who gently explained that his title was Dr.”

My children and grandchildren were taught to address adults by Mr. Mrs. Ms of Miss. never by the first name. They were taught to be the first to say hello when an adult entered the room, say goodby and thank you to the parents when leaving a friends house. If my kids or grandkids would’ve dared address me or thier parents by the first name, (unless they were joking) they’d learn to not do it again.

JPS said...

Oh, and, to Michael K re "mere physicians":

The "mere" can go both ways. That my father, unlike me, knows how to cut somebody wide open without making them bleed to death is the main reason I, as a PhD, don't feel right being addressed as "Doctor."

Ken B said...

Communication Studies. Isn’t that where they look at the deeper meaning of things like song lyrics? From the radio recently:
“Lick my pussy and my crack”.
Let's discuss that, but remember to use my title, to maintain dignity here.

Howard said...

I bet buwaya gets called "Doctor" all the time, not knowing it's because men see him as a supercilious moron lacking common sense.

AJ Ford said...

This seems anti-feminist, ironically.

It is not the professor's responsibility to correct someone who is being inappropriately familiar by simply saying "I prefer to be addressed as Dr." Rather, it is the responsibility of male professors to change how they prefer to be addressed in the name of women.

Men can only have agency in the service of women and women didn't have agency so long as the men do their job correctly. Oh, and if the men failed, they should be taken to task because women always have enough agency for that.

It's doubly anti-feminist because it perpetuates the stereotype of both the woman who needs someone else to do something for her and the woman who scolds.

Inga said...

“The US edumacation system is so broke, the entire world still sends there best and brightest to our colleges and universities. Once there, they are helped along like cripples by the American kids with gumption and common sense.”

Amazing that foreigners are still sending their kids to the US to be educated, eh? If one listened to Buwaya and other propagandists our education system is shit. Foreign student coming here are more likely to be spoiled rich kids, while in our country even kids from poor families can attend university.

Howard said...

walter: Apparently European uni's are third-rate as well. A lot of their STEM research is unverified nonsense, like social "sciences" in the US.

rhhardin said...

The Derrida essay was a talk as SUNY. I have the audio, have to search for a transcription....

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057%2F9781403980649_2

"The Future of the Profession or the Unconditonal University"

Howard said...

Inga: The US is like the stats on men... more idiots and morons and more well functioning high achievers when averaged out looks like we are in the middle of the pack. Twats like buyawa puti don't even realize they are imprisoned by a glass ceiling of their own making.

buwaya said...

"I bet buwaya gets called "Doctor" all the time"

Oddly enough I get called by my first name!
Its the nature of the industry.

Now, it would be useful and honorable if Howard were to engage on points raised.
Those are the rules. He has called "en garde", advanced and lunged. I have parried, with a riposite. It is Howard's to parry my riposite.

But no, he has chosen to abandon fencing and take up mud-flinging, which is an entirely different game.

buwaya said...

"more idiots and morons and more well functioning high achievers when averaged out looks like we are in the middle of the pack."

In fact the US does very badly on the matter of "high achievers", in K-12, using PISA data. A very poor system for developing talent is at fault, whereas most countries track intensively.

JAORE said...

I recall a certain California Senator dressing down a military man for referring to her as "Ma'am". She insisted she deserved the respect of being called Senator as she had earned it.

The result, as I recall was NOT enhanced respect for the Senator.

I doubt she understood that. I doubt the Prof will either.

rhhardin said...

Damn Derrida link stops too quickly.

another link scroll back 3 pages to the beginning. Even this cuts out some pages ten pages down. Derrida will remain a secret.

SGT Ted said...

Note how she blames men for the lack of respect she is shown. Feminism has devolved into just a bunch of unhappy women griping about men and blaming them for all their own troubles. Blaming other people that you don't know for your own unhappy emotional state is what people with mental illnesses do. Blaming the opposite sex for all your troubles is what bigots do. If you have to demand respect, that means you are incapable of earning respect.

Michael K said...

"The "mere" can go both ways. That my father, unlike me, knows how to cut somebody wide open without making them bleed to death is the main reason I, as a PhD, don't feel right being addressed as "Doctor."

JPS, is that your oblique way of saying your father is a surgeon or is it an attempt at humor?

There are PhDs and PhDs. Molecular biology vs "Environmental Studies."

Snark said...

I'm not sure the assumption that calling a prof by their first name should be that it is somehow conferring less. It might actually be conferring more.

Michael K said...

" It might actually be conferring more. "

Some people have peculiar ways fo thinking.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

An important note to you. What you do that is different than what I do makes me the other. Therefore, you must be like me.

Why not just be the other? That earns you even more respect.

walter said...

SGT Ted,
She is likely a big fan of the "appeal to authority" line.
Feeling that has been degraded, she resorts to discrimination, "othering"..feminism

walter said...

To her colleagues: "Don't you know who we are?"

Henry said...

— Shannon McGregor (@shannimcg)

Is her title an m-dash or an an @ sign? She made a public proclamation demanding titles and neglected to apply her own title to it!

Howard said...

The map is not the terrain, but keep pushing hard to game the testing buwaya, that's the key to your gold-plated participation trophy.

Howard said...

Doc: only you guys earn the title... maybe the oral surgeons too. Definitely not dentists.

Balfegor said...

RE: Inga:

Amazing that foreigners are still sending their kids to the US to be educated, eh?

A student visa is in some cases easier to get than other types of visa. In addition, it allows you to work in your field while (supposedly) attending school. Living and working in the US gives you a leg up in building the contacts you would need to maximise your chances of getting a work visa after graduation. The number one reason students come to the US to study isn't because our schools are so great (a lot of foreign students are quite happy to come to crappy schools in the US -- they don't all end up at Berkeley and Harvard) but because our economy offers a lot more opportunities to make a lot more money than they can at home. Even when we're in a recession, there's more flexibility in our labour market than there is in other advanced economies.

If one listened to Buwaya and other propagandists our education system is shit. Foreign student coming here are more likely to be spoiled rich kids, while in our country even kids from poor families can attend university.

I don't know what you're trying to say here . . . kids from poor families can attend university in other countries too (provided it's a state-run school); they just can't afford to send their children here because airplane tickets and housing are expensive. The question is really just does our system do better than others? Kindergarten through High School, I think the answer is clearly no -- our system does a terrible job, particularly considering how much money we spend on it. At the college and especially the graduate levels, we do a lot better. I think our top STEM programs are (rightly) the envy of the world.

Think said...

There is a not-so-hidden message in the center:

“Because a certain genre
Of man
Is always dying”

Paddy O said...

As a "mere physician" I would like to remind you that physicians, like airline pilots, have your life in our hands.

It'd be great if we started calling physicians, "captain." :-)

I'm being a bit silly of course in all of this. I've been re-reading the Aubrey/Maturin series and so have been struck by how the terminology can change. The wikipedia article is fascinating on global usage.

There's definitely PhDs and PhDs, and professional degrees fit somewhere in the middle. A professional pastoral degree (MDiv) is three years of study, but that's only a Masters (and serves as a prerequisite for PhD in theology or related topics). Doctor traditionally meant someone who has mastered knowledge in a field and is contributing original insight. I think some medical doctors do that, but the distinction is that not all do.

In talking to my daughter (age 5) not too long ago, she answered someone's question about what she wanted to be when she grows up. "A doctor!" The person she was talking to said, "Your daddy is a doctor!" She replied, "No, not like him, I want to be a doctor who helps people!"

Indeed.

John Tuffnell said...

"Students usually receive a syllabus w/ name and title of instructor listed with the course number.

18 year olds often do not pay close attention to this sort of thing, so I'd suggest introductions on the first day."

Mr. Hand knew this, but he was old-school.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMtdrKIdDgE

Snark said...

"Some people have peculiar ways of thinking."

I think it's true that I might be more likely to call a female professor by her first name. But it wouldn't be because I respected her achievements less, I think it would be because I might assume more about her ability and desire to care about and connect personally with her students. So that is a stereotype clearly, and perhaps not even how every professor would want to be seen, but it's a stereotype of more, not less. That's what I meant to express.

Mike Sylwester said...

The theme of Susan Harlan's "poem" is her own academic title should be honored, because she EARNED it WITH DIFFICULTY.

In contrast, she dismisses a genre of men because they merely WON their own academic titles EASILY.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Howard said...
I bet buwaya gets called "Doctor" all the time, not knowing it's because men see him as a supercilious moron lacking common sense.

4/18/18, 11:49 AM

Thanks for your thoughts, Doctor Howard.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger Howard said...
The map is not the terrain, but keep pushing hard to game the testing buwaya, that's the key to your gold-plated participation trophy.

4/18/18, 12:31 PM


Dear Buwaya,


1) Howard is a fuck, or, in his words, a supercilious moron lacking common sense. You are too generous with your time, but that's due to your fundamentally benevolent nature.

2) You are, however, to be congratulated (perhaps) on drawing him out of his shell. Usually he is satisfied to pose as above it all, better than other people, because he doesn't understand or care about issues, but as Malcolm X said, Throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one that yelps the loudest is the one you hit. I would have never guessed that Howard could yelp so loudly. Showing his true nature.

Sal said...

I bet people will try not to address her at all. That will work out well.

Inga said...

“A student visa is in some cases easier to get than other types of visa. In addition, it allows you to work in your field while (supposedly) attending school. Living and working in the US gives you a leg up in building the contacts you would need to maximise your chances of getting a work visa after graduation. The number one reason students come to the US to study isn't because our schools are so great (a lot of foreign students are quite happy to come to crappy schools in the US -- they don't all end up at Berkeley and Harvard) but because our economy offers a lot more opportunities to make a lot more money than they can at home. Even when we're in a recession, there's more flexibility in our labour market than there is in other advanced economies.”

Yes, it’s amazing if one listens to Buwaya, that people are still clamoring to come to the US to live. Buwaya has not EVER said a good word about this country. NOT.ONE .

Mark said...

Expect to be treated to the respect that you show to others.

In a classroom setting beyond grade school, that means calling students "Mr." or "Miss," and for the teacher, "Mr.", "Miss", "Ms.", "Mrs." (or "professor" in college or grad school), however they identify themselves.

If the instructor calls students by their first name, they should expect (and deserve to be) called by the first name too.

Sal said...

It'd be nice to know what department she's in. People with a PhD in education like to be addressed as "Doctor". People in natural sciences prefer "Bill" or "Sally".

roesch/voltaire said...

My wife Is called professor or Sensei in some cases, I liked Mr.and a few students who took a number of my courses did call me by first name.

tcrosse said...

We should leave pedantry to the pedants, but Susan Harlan misuses the word 'genre' and brackets 'performatively' in a split infinitive.

Unknown said...

http://www.shannoncmcgregor.com/

"Hi, I'm Shannon McGregor"

if she wants formal she should project formal, like "Hello, I'm Dr. McGregor"

JPS said...

Michael K:

"JPS, is that your oblique way of saying your father is a surgeon or is it an attempt at humor?"

The former. It's something like the distinction Paddy O's 5-year-old charmingly makes. I don't want to introduce myself as Doctor and then have to explain that, well, no, I can't actually fix dying people or animals, but I did once spend five years in a lab and write a book read appreciatively by dozens.

Mark, 1:21: Agreed, strongly. If I have a title, so do you.

Henry said...

Inga said ...
Yes, it’s amazing if one listens to Buwaya, that people are still clamoring to come to the US to live. Buwaya has not EVER said a good word about this country. NOT.ONE .

You forgot the word "SAD!" at the end. Go the full Trump!

Ken B said...

“Doctorissimo Inga”. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

Michael K said...

Inga is an interesting case in her resentment of buwaya.

She has not responded to my question about her political leaders who say "America was never great" yet she attacks someone who is presenting honest criticism.

I agree that colleges in this country, aside from a few at the top in science like CalTech and MIT, have lost all focus. Duke used to b considered a top flight university but now, in the age of affirmative action, it tolerates abuse of speakers and even the president of the university.

The Lacrosse Team case is another example of the political corruption at the heart of affirmative action and its destruction of higher ed.

It's not really the fault of the mismatched students, who are victims of this political nonsense, the faculty's efforts to make it look like they are succeeding by degrading everyone else's education that is the problem.

The dishonesty at the heart of this left wing destruction of higher ed is the problem and I see no sign of change.

Right now, the best thing a kid who does not have a scholarship to a STEM program can do is enlist in the military.

They might learn self discipline and maturity while earning some GI Bill credits.

Michael K said...

"I think some medical doctors do that, but the distinction is that not all do. "

In England, the medical degree is a Bachelor of Medicine and Chemistry.

MD in the British system is a graduate in internal medicine, equivalent to "Board Certified" in Medicine in the US system.

If you call a British surgeon "doctor" you insult him by implying that he (or she) is an internist.

British surgeons are always addressed as "Mister."

JPS said...

When certain lefties here start in on buwaya, does anyone else think of Animal House?

"Well, we're not going to sit here, and listen to you badmouth the United States of America! Gentlemen!"

Seems about that sincere.

I have a finely tuned ear for long-term foreign guests crapping on the US - I get it a lot from western European friends with green cards - and I've never once had the sense that buwaya is doing so. It's the difference between "The Reason You Suck" and constructive criticism from a well-wisher who's in, but not of, this country.

Paco Wové said...

Back when I was in academia, I usually went by "Dr.", in academic settings at least. Now that I'm out in the cold cruel world of industry, I don't ever use my academic titles, nor do any of the other Ph.D.'s in the office, except on very very rare (as in, once, ever) occasions.

JAORE said...

When a college friend became the first of our group to earn a PhD we agreed to call him Doctor for one night.

Seemed appropriate then. Still does.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Dr Squid,
My father, a retired Marine F4 and A4 driver of similar vintage to your patient, once almost leaped over the table at my brother in law. Said BIL, an immigrant, had just blandly "explained" to him that immigrants came to the US primarily for economic gain, no other reason was important.
I had only seen him so angry once or twice before in forty years.

Richard Dillman said...

During my long academic career, the only faculty I knew who insisted that they be called by a title were in the school of education or one of the studies department. It was often a sign of some type of defensiveness or insecurity. On the West Coast first names for faculty were
common, however.

rcocean said...

I always thought calling PHD's "Doctor" was absurd.

Lets reserve that for REAL Doctors - who keep us healthy and alive.

Not somebody who can toss the bullshit around.

Fred Drinkwater said...

In about 1995 a very senior PhD female colleague at Adobe wrote an internal memo on how to cope when visiting our Japanese partner companies. The main point i remember was that she said to make sure everyone addressed you by your title. Otherwise you would be expected to make tea.
And there was the French thing about having your academic credentials on your business cards...

rcocean said...

Buwaya tells the truth. Some call that "criticism" - I don't.

Inga, like many leftists, is a bitter/angry person.

I wonder what she thinks of Clarence Thomas?

rcocean said...

I remember when I had to deal with lawyer correspondence, they would always tack on "So-and-so, Esquire"

Which made me laugh.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Thank God we got rid of Lord, Lady, Sir, and Dame.

Otherwise, we'd be talking about Lord Little Rock (Bill Clinton) or Sir Bob Dylan.

Inga said...

“Inga, like many leftists, is a bitter/angry person.”

Really? I’m a happy person actually, I have a temper, but on the whole I’m quite jolly.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Buwaya always brings value.

Rick said...

I have a finely tuned ear for long-term foreign guests crapping on the US

I once had a Cuban client here because his wife worked for either the World Bank or IMF. He couldn't stop badmouthing the US, literally every conversation we ever had included it. So eventually I asked why he was here. During his answer it came out I was the first person to ask him and he'd lived here over a decade. Crapping on the US was so common in that circle everyone simply agreed rather than point out it was an easy choice to rectify.

JaimeRoberto said...

I fail to see what this has to do with feminism.

Darkisland said...

I was an adjunct for about 30 years at southern New Hampshire University. I never paid much attention to what my students called me. John, Mr Henry anf and professor Henry were all fine.

Most of my students were from the upper 50

I also taught at the Polytechnic University of pr for 5 years in the Industrial Engineering program. There I don't think I was ever called anything but professor Henry including in official correspondence from the school and by students who knew me from work and normally called me john.

I was not, technically, a professor. My official title was adjunct instructor.

John Henry

Michael K said...

I don't ever use my academic titles, nor do any of the other Ph.D.'s in the office, except on very very rare (as in, once, ever) occasions.

My father-in-law worked for Hughes Aircraft company and worked with lots heavy duty science PhDs.

He had not finished college but if any ever asked him about his education, he told them that he had only finished eighth grade.

He said it worked like a charm and they all had great respect for him. He finally got his BA at 80.

Char Char Binks said...

The male profs were trying to be more democratic, but Suzy got her panties in a twist.

Michael K said...

Said BIL, an immigrant, had just blandly "explained" to him that immigrants came to the US primarily for economic gain, no other reason was important.
I had only seen him so angry once or twice before in forty years.


The other day I posted my wife's experience with a young nurse who is from Cambodia. She and her famuily spent two years in refugee camps before being allowed to come here.

She asked the young woman why they had gone to so much trouble to get here. The woman said "Freedom."

That was all that was said.

tcrosse said...

One department head I worked for had a PhD in Physics, Magna Cum Laude, from Harvard. He displayed his sheepskins, which were about the size of desk blotters, on the office wall behind his chair, so that whoever was in the hot seat knew who they were dealing with. My own boss, who reported to him, had his PhD in EE from OSU, plus a bunch of post-doc work in the UK. He posted his 8th grade diploma on his office wall. Nobody had any doubt which of these two guys was the smarter.

Char Char Binks said...

You know who else was a chancellor? Hitler.

Jim S. said...

I don't want my students to call me by my first name just because I think the teacher in the teacher-student relationship is an authority figure and should be addressed formally. Having said that, I don't care if they call me Professor or Doctor or just Mister.

I also object to the claim that earning a Doctorate is an "easily won authority" for men. It reminds me of a Bill Burr rant when women comedians told him being successful was easy for him because he's a guy. "Oh yeah! Didn't I tell you? I just have to show up! Same with being white! We're all Kennedys vacationing on our yachts!"

Having said that, I think it was harder for women (and non-whites) to earn Ph.D.s where I got mine. But that's because it wasn't in America, it was in continental Europe. If the racist crap that flies under the radar there happened in the States, cities would burn.

Darkisland said...

Similar to what Buwaya said, here lawyers and pharmacists are routinely addressed as Licenciado (Licenciada if female) instead of mister. Writing one would say "Lic. Nelson Paz"

Licensed Professional Engineers are addressed as "inginiero(a) sanchez" or ing. For short.

And woe betide anyone who pretends to be an engineer who is not licensed and a paid up member of the colegio de inginieros. Severe fines can be imposed for practicing without a licence.

Way back when I had a job, my title was Engineering Manager. The Colegio (professional association) found out and took Alcon to court.

To their credit Alcon defended the title saying that the word engineering modified my title of manager. The colegio said it was the other way round.

They went back and forth for 6 months til my boss got tired of it. He called me in, told me he had spent $20m of Alcon's money with no end in sight. He the gave me a $5 raise and "promoted" me to manager, facility operations. No change in functions. Just no longer had the word engineering in my title.

Leora said...

I think concern about this is part of impostor syndrome. If you don't feel your authority is earned, then you need artificial props like titles.

Jim at said...

I study on my own all the time, and I'm lucky if people only call me a schmuck.

Yes. You are lucky if that's the only thing they call you.

Char Char Binks said...

I insist on being called Esquire. It's my privilege as a gentleman.

"Says the guy who can’t say a good word about the country he’s lived in for 30+ years and hasn’t seen fit to become a citizen."

Bullshit! Buwaya is far more honest about AND respectful towards the USA than plenty of Anti-American Americans who comment here.

I know a man from Ecuador IRL who constantly talks shit about the US, but he's a US citizen now, no doubt for the benefit to HIMSELF. He has no desire to slither back to his rightful shithole.

buwaya said...

The Spanish state, its Foreign Ministry say, always addresses its citizens as "Señor Don" in official communications. "Don" as an address used to me a mark of distinction, of an aristocrat or an otherwise eminent person, but it became universal.

This probably began during the Franco regime, but it has persisted.
Its a curious thing about Franco and the Nationalists.

The Republic was class-less, aggressively proletarian. In its ideologies, all were ostensibly equals in the working class. They greeted each other with "salud!"

The Nationalists certainly weren't proletarian, but on the other hand they were quick to extend some of the courtesies due the aristocracy to their citizens. That is, instead of everyone adopting proletarian styles, all adopted aristocratic ones. Or that was an element of it anyway. I think this was partly due to the influence of Millan Astray, that engineer of human souls.

He began the practice in his Legion, the Tercio, made up of volunteers of the lowest classes and assorted desperadoes, the prototypical "man who wanted to forget" of the French Foreign Legion.

Unlike the case with the French, Millan Astray addressed them, and had them address each other, as gentlemen, however brutal the circumstances and the discipline of that hard bitten outfit.

Every private was a "Caballero Legionario" - "knight-legionnaire". Much of this I think leaked into the culture of the Francoist state.

Darkisland said...

Reading all these comments makes me glad I am a dropout.

6 or 7 years ago I enrolled in an online phd program. One of the reasons was that the pr government requires a phd to teach grad students. We got around that by the dean claiming he was teaching my classes but still...

The checked it ot for me and it was a legit degree in engineering management.

The real reason was I wanted to be able to put Dr Henry on my business cards to impress clients.

I didn't do enough due diligence, though. Turns out that tbey actually expected me to work for the degree. Lots and lots of hard work.

Screw that. I didn't mind the money but I had thouvht ir was just a diploma mill.

Later, it turned out that the school was one of the ones Clinton was in bed with.

But now I see that you all would have thouhft me Dr Douchbag.

As someone else asked what about masters degrees? I have 2 ans a halh of those. Would I be out of line to ask to be addressed as Master Mas Master Henry?

John Henry

Jim at said...

Imagine - if you will - you're later on in life. You've saved enough money to go back to school. Not student loans or grants. But your own money.

And this bitch ends up being the first prof you encounter.

I would turn heel, walk over to the Administration Building, drop every class and never set foot on a college campus again.

Because it's people like her who aren't the exceptions anymore. They're the rule.

Char Char Binks said...

Interesting stuff, Buwaya

It seems that commies and other pseudo-democrats in Spain wanted to bring everyone down to the lowest level, and call each other "comrade", but the Nationalists elevated even the lowest to "knight".

It may be a little like the loss of "thou" in English. A few Quakers called anyone that, but the culture as a whole went with the more respectful "you". Unfortunately, we also lost the plural, at least in standard English.

Now everybody is "dude" or "bro", or "guy", or maybe "fella".

I insist on Esquire.

Darkisland said...

The proper response to a woman like this is:

"you earned your position? I just assumed you got it through affirmative action.

How do you know that you didn't?

And if you can't know that, how can I?"

This is one of the most corrosive effects of aa. No woman or black or other victim can ever really know how good they are. No matter how good they really are, there is always that doubt

John Henry

David said...

"in law firms, a completely new associate would call the oldest partner by his first name."

Now, maybe. But when I started in Milwaukee, it was "Mr. Foley" and "Mr. Lardner."

As a summer associate, I had confused Mr. Foley with one of the elderly postal employees who worked as intra office messengers. A terrifying mistake which engendered great mirth at my expense. Apparently Mr. Foley had a sense of humor, because it was never mentioned officially.

Freeman Hunt said...

All those people who work tremendously hard to start businesses that employ people and are thus responsible for the well-being of multiple families seem to get on okay without special titles.

Howard said...

Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.

Also Freeman, college professors frequently delude themselves into thinking that they are giving up truckloads of money in exchange for being a Christ-lite figure sacraficing worldly goods and comfort to conduct altruistic research for the betterment of all mankind now and in future. For renouncing wealth, they think they have earned the right to demand to be called "Doctor".

Howard said...

Blogger Bad Lieutenant lost his binky

tcrosse said...

An occupational hazard of college professors is to profess outside their specialty.

n.n said...

Feminist insecurity was a given when the leadership denied women's franchise.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Michael K
Thank you for that.
As it happens, I needed that just now.

John said...

Speaking of titles, for all of you lesser folk without any, my business card says:

John R Henry
Changeover Wizard

I am not a changeover wizard. I am THE Changeover wizard.

It came from kidding with an old friend who was called "The Timing Screw Guru" I told him that while gurus know a lot and can talk a great game, a wizard actually got stuff done.

I tell clients I wave my magic pen and make downtime vanish.

John Henry

Original Mike said...

Blogger Rob said...”McGregor demands her “well-earned respect.” She’s an assistant professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Communications, ...”

I have to be honest. I kinda don’t respect that.

Ken B said...

Companion article: Male professors insisting on their title are perpetuating the patriarchy!

Original Mike said...

When I started out, students tended to call me by my first name (I didn’t care what they called me; I only cared if they were getting the material.) Later, I noticed more “Professor” being used. I took it as a sign of our increasing age difference.

MadisonMan said...

I have no problem being called whatever. I take objections to it as an inferiority complex.

I would tell this woman: Get a life. Don't be defined by what other people call you!

Original Mike said...

I’ve been thinking about this. There was kind of a tradition in our graduate program for the students and faculty to be on a first name basis. I entered as a student and upon graduation joined the faculty. As a student I found it awkward to call the faculty by their first name because that was not how I was raised, but when, 5 years later, I found myself looking at it from the other side, I liked it. It was an extension of courtesy by the faculty (knowingly premature) that the students had joined a community of scholars. What mattered was an advancement of the field and the students quickly became an integral part of that. It was appropriate to acknowledge that and encourage them in their/our work. It makes perfect sense in a STEM field. I can’t speak to other disciplines.

traditionalguy said...

True story: There was a skinny young man in a new group meeting whose first name happened to be Shirley, which apparently is a British man's name meaning a bright Shire wood.

In a pleading tone Shirley requested that we all call him Mr.Shirley Smith.
After a moment of suppressing ourselves in silence, the entire room erupted into laughter.

traditionalguy said...

True story: There was a skinny young man in a new group meeting whose first name happened to be Shirley, which apparently is a British man's name meaning a bright Shire wood.

In a pleading tone Shirley requested that we all call him Mr.Shirley Smith.
After a moment of suppressing ourselves in silence, the entire room erupted into laughter.

dwarzel said...

This particular commenter has a PhD in English Lit and I don't care what you call me. But I barely squeaked through the program because I couldn't stop myself from laughing at most of the silliness that pervades the field--such as insisting that a perfectly straightforward prose sentence magically becomes Poetry when broken across several lines. You could never *say* the Emperor had no clothes, because poetry was Serious Business. Needless to say, I've never worked a day in my field since I got my final degree.

Douglas said...

I advise all new young faculty to keep a professional distance between themselves and the students and never to allow the students to address them by their first names. I remember one case a few years ago when a young teaching fellow lost control over her class after she violated this rule.

John Lynch said...

Funny how conservative liberals can be, when it comes to themselves.

Original Mike said...

”Funny how conservative liberals can be, when it comes to themselves.”

Yeah, but somehow the little light bulb never goes off over their heads.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

”I remember one case a few years ago when a young teaching fellow lost control over her class after she violated this rule.”

There was a time when I couldn’t have imagined “losing control” of a college classroom. And it still would be unthinkable in our classes. But, sadly, it does seem to be a thing now.

veni vidi vici said...

I attended 3 different undergrad schools and have two post-graduate degrees, and in none of my classes did anyone ever refer to our professors by their first names, nor was it invited or encouraged by any single professor, male or otherwise.

I call bullshit on the endeavor of yet another woman seeking attention. Does "MeToo" really only end up meaning, "Hey, pay attention to me b/c I have a grievance too!"? Reminds me of that Nirvana lyric...

"...Broken hymen of your Highness, I'm left back
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back
Hey!
Wait!
I've got a new complaint
Forever in debt to your priceless advice..."

Pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? Between this and the same album's line about how "everybody's gay", Cobain has proven himself a goddam prophet.

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