Woman Demanding To Be Called ‘Doctor’ By Airline Has Twitter Divided

If someone puts in the time, money and effort to earn a degree, they deserve whatever title comes with it regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity.

At least that’s what Dr. Siobhan O’Dwyer believes.

However people of color and women routinely have one title ignored or changed when their credentials or documentation display it. That title is “doctor.”

Recently, Dr. Siobhan O’Dwyer let Quantas Airlines know she did not appreciate a member of their staff reading the title “Dr.” on her airline ticket, then choosing to call her “Miss” instead. And like many people now, O’Dwyer shared her experience on Twitter.

She stated:

“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.”

However instead of support, O’Dwyer faced a backlash of people calling her egotistical, entitled and elitist for asking Qantas to use the title displayed on her airline tickets.

But some people understood where O’Dwyer was coming from.

O’Dwyer earned a doctorate of philosophy in 2009. 

Many on Twitter are blasting O’Dwyer for the tweet, with some stating it is because she is not a medical doctor. But female medical doctors also cited routinely having their titles changed to “Mrs.” or “Miss.”.

After the tweet had gone viral, O’Dwyer clarified her statement in another tweet.

Dr. O’Dwyer’s fellow doctors expressed their disappointment about the vitriol aimed at her.

Oh, how quickly Twitter forgets. 

Only a few months ago, another female doctor, Dr. Fern Riddell, began a viral hashtag, #ImmodestWomen, addressing this same issue. Numerous publications and news organizations covered the story, including Guacamoley.

Here is the link to our coverage.

Dr. Riddell’s point was if a seemingly male person bears the title “Dr.” on their nametag or office door or airline ticket, people rarely decide to change that title to “Mr.” or ask if the person is a medical doctor before deciding what title to give them. They just read the title the person has and call them “Dr.”.

However this change of titles to anything but “Dr.” routinely happens to people perceived as female whose documentation clearly says “Dr.”. And when women ask to be addressed in the manner present on their credentials, they are routinely chastised for boasting or being immodest or questioned about what type of doctor they are (see above Twitter reactions).

While Twitter may still be divided on the subject, Dr. O’Dwyer’s title reflects eight years of hard work. 

And when addressing any person, is it not always best to just use the title in front of you, not the new one you decide they should have based on your perception of them?

H/T: New York Post, Yahoo