Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ms. Palin?

This isn't that big of a deal, but it is sort of odd. I was reading a New York Times' story on Sarah Palin tonight, and I noticed they call her "Ms. Palin" throughout the story. I realize that the Times typically calls everyone by a salutation - Mr. McCain and so forth.

But why Ms.? Isn't she Mrs. Palin? I then searched their archives for "Ms. Clinton." Mostly stories about Chelsea come up. I searched Mrs. Clinton. Sure enough, that's what they call Hillary. (I also found stories referring to Mrs. McCain and Mrs. Edwards)

Now, I'm not sure what this means (the continued devaluing of Todd Palin in the media's mind as if he doesn't exist?). I just noticed it. It seems to be a pattern in their stories. Maybe, to give them the benefit of the doubt, Hillary asked to be referred to as Mrs. but they try not to define other public women (save for candidates' wives) by their marital status? Maybe they think they're NOT being sexist? I suspect if one asked Sarah Palin, she'd say she's Mrs. Palin. Or, how about just calling her Gov. Palin.

In a Sept. 5 article, they asked:
The question is, will Mrs. Clinton fight Ms. Palin to help her former rival, Mr. Obama?

1 comment:

Michelina said...

Interesting... My first guess:

Sarah Palin is younger and 'hotter' hence the Ms.

Hillary Clinton is older, hence the Mrs.?

Also it could be that Hillary was first known to the public as being the wife of Mr. Clinton. So the marriage (or by-marriage) relevance was important in identifying Hillary and simply continued as she became more prominent.

And Palin was introduced to the public as Palin (the husband in the background) So she owned the last name, and her claim to fame wasn't that she was the wife of a president (or any other public figure) so she didn't need a Mrs. to identify her as such... But as she needs a salutation they w/o thinking put a Ms.

But I would think it would be an inadvertent slip that would be caught and corrected... so maybe the continued use of Ms. to make her seem younger/inexperienced?