Women think twice about `Ms'

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Women are considering ditching the title `Ms' because it is outdated and alienates men, it emerged yesterday.

Some younger women think it should be replaced by "Miss" for all women, married or single. A motion proposing the change will be debated at the annual conference of Business and Professional Women UK Ltd in Bristol next month. One of the women putting forward the motion, Anne Freeman, an information technology manager from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, said that "Ms" tended to be linked with aggressiveness by some male employers. However, Marcelle D'Argy Smith, former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, said: "To say `Ms' offends men just typifies the toe-curling apathy of women and the dormouse servitude to men."

Rita Bangle, general secretary for the women's organisation, stressed that the motion had not yet been accepted by its board or membership, and would `disappear' if it did not find favour.