One academic, Dr.
Siobhan O’Dwyer from Australia, has sparked a worldwide controversial debate over the use of appropriate titles in a recent Tweet she posted after getting called ‘Miss’ rather than ‘Doctor’ by the airline she was flying with.
O’Dwyer, who was left furious after Qantas airline called her a Miss, shared her disapproval saying:
“Hey Qantas, my name is Dr O’Dwyer. My ticket says Dr O’Dwyer. Do not look at my ticket, look at me, look back at my ticket, decide it’s a typo and call me Miss O’Dwyer.
“I did not spend 8 years at university to be called Miss.”
Soon after her tweet, plenty of other female academics voiced their concerns and sympathized with O’Dwyer. They, too, have admitted they were caught in similar situations even when their male colleagues were addressed properly.
“I often travel with male colleagues who do get ‘Dr’ and then I get called ‘Miss’. It’s the casual nature of the sexism that makes it so hard to combat. Keep calling it out Dr O’Dwyer,” one woman wrote.
“This has been a constant fight with my doctor’s office. ‘May we speak to Miss Angela Fowler?’ Me, ‘It’s Dr.’ Them, ‘Excuse me?’ Me, ‘It’s Dr not Miss. I tell you guys this EVERY time you call.’ They just finally made a note in my chart,” another one commented.
While some agreed with the doctor and even called flight attendants rude and disrespectful, there were also those who pointed out that she should pay attention to her own words as well.
“Hi Dr. O’Dwyer. It’s great and all you have a PhD. I get it must have took a lot of hard work and effort. But tone down on the ego, ok?” one person wrote.
“I generally try to use a person’s honorific. In school I called my professors ‘Dr.’ or, if not a Ph.D., ‘Professor.’ But anytime a person INSISTS I call them by their honorific, I call them ‘asshole.’ Your Ph.D. is meaningful in academic circles only, and in your specific field,” another one commented.
The debate got even more heated as another doctor, Mel Thomson, joined it and referred to flight attendants as “some trolley dolly.”
Soon enough, one air stewardess called the commenter out:
“Please don’t refer to us as trolley dollies. We may not have completed a PhD however we are required by law 2 maintain quals that enable us to evacuate an aircraft in 90 secs, keep you alive in-flight, prevent hijacking, put out fires etc.
“I have always used the correct honorific. And I have always been especially careful to ensure I used it when I saw it on a woman’s boarding pass as I was proud to be able to support the woman and her achievements in a male-centric world.
“You’ve just gone and sh*t on that with your condescending comment about us,” she wrote.
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