‘Call female teachers SIR’, demand feminist academics in bid to end ‘sexist’ culture in the classroom

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DailyMail: Calling a female teacher “Miss” is sexist and should be banned in the classroom, academics have demanded. Pupils should instead refer to teachers by their first names – or even call all women at school “Sir” – to end the discrimination.

Calling teachers “Miss” allegedly exposes children “to the prejudices of the previous generation”, experts writing in the influential education journal the Times Educational Supplement said.

The titles used in British schools can be traced back hundreds of years, the academics said. Sir was first used in 16th century classrooms when male teachers from the lower classes were trying to stamp their authority on aristocratic young boys.

But Miss is a throwback to the 1800s when schools only hired single female teachers – because women gave up work after marrying.

Sir Coates...

Sir Coates…

Jennifer Coates, a top professor of English at Roehampton University, said the traditional titles in schools needed to be scrapped. She said: “It’s a depressing example of how women are given low status and men, no matter how young or new in the job they are, are given high status.”

“Sir is a knight. There weren’t women knights, but “Miss” is ridiculous: it doesn’t match “Sir” at all. It’s just one of the names you can call an unmarried woman.”

The academic complained that when she went to teach at her local secondary school the children did not call her “Professor”. “I was extremely surprised,” she said.

“The men on the staff are all in their twenties and they were all called Sir. I didn’t think there was this awful disparity between professorial status and these young teachers, but they’re all Sir and I’m not.

She claimed that Sir comes from “Sire” – which is what people called the king. Professor Coates claimed that “part of the history of the English language is sexism”.

Sir Lakoff...

Sir Lakoff…

Robin Lakoff, a professor at the University of California, added: “The thing about Sir is that it always conveys respect.” She said: “It always means that this person is higher in status than me, and I owe them respect for that. Miss doesn’t.

“You can use Miss disparagingly: ‘Hey, Miss, what do you think you’re doing?”

It says that you can never expect the respect that’s due to a man because you’re not a man and therefore not as good. It’s very hard to create linguistic equality between people, who in many people’s minds, aren’t equal.

feminism

Education historian Jacob Middleton told the teaching journal that Britain should “probably want to go down the route of referring to female teachers as Sir as well”. He said this would “raise the semantic status of women“.

Sara Mills, a professor specializing in “feminist linguistics” at Sheffield Hallam University said pupils should call teachers by their first names only. “That’s the way things are moving,” she said. “Americanisation and these camaraderie norms, where you move as quickly as possible to the most informal term. I think that’s a driver of a lot of things in English culture and English language at the moment.”

“Sometimes teachers find that they can control students more when they try to stress the similarities between them, rather than trying to keep as distant as possible.”

Professor Lakoff claimed all male teachers should be called “Mr” followed by their surname and all female teachers as “Ms” followed by their surname.

But Debbie Costlett, a chief executive overseeing the three schools in south-east England rejected the claim the “Miss” was sexist. She said: “I don’t really think there’s a disparity between them. It’s a title, isn’t it? My response is always that my name isn’t Miss; it’s Mrs. Coslett.”

“But if I’m in a school where students don’t know me and they call me Miss, I’m fine with that. They’re showing respect by giving me a title, rather than “hey” or “you” or whatever. Sir is a term you might call a man.

“You wouldn’t call anyone Mrs or Lady or Dame or whatever. That’s just the way the English language works.

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Julia
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Julia

Lakoff looks like a “Sir” anyway!

Steve
Member

Julia, they always do. LOL
Also it says
““You can use Miss disparagingly: ‘Hey, Miss, what do you think you’re doing?”
Umm I can use Sir disparagingly also.
” Hey, Sir, I think you’re a real schmuck”
and her point was…. They have no point, no lives no brains.
The pendulum will swing back soon and hard. Just ignore these ignoramuses.

pnordman
Guest

When is this silliness going to stop!?

Anniem
Guest
Anniem

Talk about the REAL war on women and normal. So now I’m supposed to HIDE that I’m a woman???? Burkha next?

marycrum
Guest

These are idiot women who think this way. What is wrong with them? If they are that unhappy and think that they should be referred to by a male title, then they should become men. They still wouldn’t be happy.

TrailDust
Admin
TrailDust
MomofIV
Guest
MomofIV

These “oppressed” females look more like “mam” to me. Kinda odd how feminists want to be called “sir” when it’s a masculine term. Do they feel “equal” being addressed as a man? They are basically saying they feel better when referred to in the masculine…so, how is that feminine? Oh, right, feminism isn’t about being feminine…but becoming more masculine.

Karl
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Karl

Sir is being used on some television shows and it is sickening. Calling a woman sir is inappropriate and demeaning, women are not men, why would you want that; yoi are basically saying that women are nt good enough the way they are, lets do something to help the poor things out, sad. Women are great and they need no pseudo-enhancement.

christy
Guest
christy

Hence the need for all those “gender neutral” terms that some bored sir(s) have come up with!

PMB
Guest
PMB

Can’t imagine a truly self-confident woman even giving “titles” a second thought.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

This goofy situation looks like a job for a mental health professional.