Historically, “Mrs.” actually stood for “mistress.” Now, in modern times, that word has a derogatory connotation, used mainly in the sense of a woman with whom a married man is having extramarital sex. However, in the past, according to Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of 1755, mistress meant: “1. A woman who governs; correlative to subject or servant; 2. A woman skilled in anything; 3. A woman teacher; and 4. A woman beloved and courted.” In the 1700s, “mistress” and “Mrs.” had nothing to do with a woman’s marital status! They were compliments about the woman’s occupation and skills. But since mistress has become such a derogatory term over time, “Mrs.” now simply means “married.”
Along with its friend “Miss”, the use of “Mrs.” instantly indicates a woman’s marital status and elevates this information above other details such as her name A man’s marital status isn’t known unless he is with or speaks about his spouse.
This should be changed. A government document shouldn’t hold a woman’s marital status above the importance of her name, while a man’s marital status isn’t even discussed.
Basically, according to the government, the equation is: Mrs. ≠ Miss. ≠ Ms. ; Mr. = Mr. = Mr.
They should refer to a woman as who she is, a woman.
Not married or a wife. Not a single woman. Just a woman.