Thanks for sharing that James Finn. Ma’am is what the clerk says to the lady in the shop; not typically to someone in authority. Similarly Miss is also not a term that commands respect, which is part of the evolution of Ms. To me, Miss is a term for girls under 18 — it brings to mind “Little Miss Muffet.” Ms. is only a political statement if you believe that not wanting to be systemically marginalized is a political act.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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