What do you think of when you hear the word Mrs. ? Do you think of a crotchety old third grade teacher? Maybe you think about your friends' mothers, or the older ladies who feed pigeons in the park.
But what about Mrs. Megan Fox? How about Mrs. Raquel Welch? Mrs. can, and should, be very sexy indeed.
Women should be proud to address themselves as Mrs. It should be used with honor because it represents a mature, sexual woman. Only a grown woman capable of a sexual relationship with a man willing to spend his life with her can use the title Mrs.. Being married, being a Mrs., tells the world that she is mature enough, intelligent enough, sexual enough, to interest another adult in an exclusive lifetime commitment to her and to embark on one herself. She is quite obviously no longer a little girl.
The Navajo people celebrate a girl's first menstruation as a symbol of her transformation from girl to woman. While this celebration of adulthood is admirable, it nonetheless celebrates something that is merely physiological, something that happens to all girls at puberty, regardless of their choices or values in life.
Marriage, on the other hand, is not a physiological function, and requires a lot more than a shifting of your hormonal balance. A woman marries by choice, when she herself has determined herself to be fully adult, fully sexual, and fully capable of a long term commitment to the values she has chosen to bring into her life. She should be proud of reaching such a stage in her life, and change her title to Mrs. in order to reflect this.
When used with her husband's name, it can be a very symbolic gesture, a gift she gives her husband, an acknowledgment that she is proud to be his wife. It does not mean that she is inferior, subjugated, or the disrespected chattel of some man. It is, after all, just a name.
Some women, usually from a different generation, prefer to use their husband's full name, as in Mrs. John Smith. This has fallen out of favor due to the assertion, mostly by feminists, that this eclipses a woman's identity completely, that when she relinquishes the use of her first name she loses herself completely. I disagree. It may not suit everyone, but there is nothing wrong with addressing yourself by your husband's full name if that's the way you choose to honor him.
By the same token, unmarried women, of any age, should be proud to call themselves Miss. There is nothing wrong with being single, and with identifying yourself as such. Even if you are married and eventually divorce, it is reasonable to revert to your maiden name, and to being a Miss again.
But the trouble is, no one knows what to call themselves anymore, or how to address anyone else either. No one knows if addressing a woman as Mrs. is offensive, or if not addressing her as such is offensive, whether Miss is a derogatory term for a grown woman, or whether a woman's marital status is simply none of anyone's business and shouldn't even be brought up. That kind of confusion has led to the widespread use of Ms., an ugly word that connotes something even uglier; a disdain for the married and the unmarried alike.
Use Ms. if you must, but realize that there are two very real alternatives here, titles that let you celebrate your womanhood, married or not. Marital status is nothing to be ashamed of. Enjoy the coquettish, flirtatious tone of Miss if you haven't found the man you want to marry yet, or if you thought you had found him but have to start your search again. Revel in being a married woman if you have found the man of your dreams, and show everyone, especially him, how proud you are to be his wife.