Not so long ago, feminism and convention waged a battle over titles—Miss, Mrs., and the young upstart, Ms. Though seemingly trivial, the question of whether a woman should have to specify her marital status in stating her name cut to the core of women’s place in society—and was never fully resolved, observes Nancy Gibbs. Twenty years after the New York Times, a staunch holdout, accepted "Ms," women continue to use all three.
Gibbs says all three play a role in her life: "Ms. when I'm out slaying dragons, Mrs. when I'm in the company of those I love most, Miss when I want to stay home under the covers and daydream," she writes for Time. Perhaps that's the feminism's hard-won victory: not a generic Ms. for all, but the freedom to use all three.