Etiquette used to be pretty straight forward when classifying the gender of the population.
Boy: a male child.
Girl: a female child.
Man: a male adult.
Woman: an adult female.
Gentleman: a man of upper society.
Lady: a woman of upper society.
Master: a male youth.
Miss: a female youth.
Maiden: a young female.
Mr. & Mrs. titles bestowed on married couples.
Mother: a married woman who has given birth with children.
Father: a married man who has sired children.
Widow: a married woman whose husband is deceased.
Widower: a married man whose wife is deceased.
Lesbian: a woman who prefers the embrace of another woman.
Homo: a man who prefers the embrace of another man.
Unmarried mother: a female of child bearing age who gives birth to a child out of wedlock.
Bastard: a child born out of wedlock.
In recent times high profile individuals in the media and politics and some minority factions are promoting changes in society designed to turn it on its head, and good luck to them. But older persons are finding the pace of change difficult to adjust to with the “in crowd” using many new forms of gender reference and classification. It is important to settle things down giving us old codgers the opportunity to catch up. e.g.
Equal partnerships: A politician referred to his partner as his husband. Another politician referred to her partner as “the missus”. Is this correct?
Same sex marriage: Does the marriage certificate of males refer to Mr.and Mr. and females as Mrs and Mrs.??
Same sex marriage: which partner’surname takes priority if children are born to the marriage.?
Is a child (born to couples living together, who are not in a legal partnership or marriage) a bastard, without inheritance rights?
Is the stigma “unmarried mother” attached to a lesbian who has a child out of wedlock??
Are lesbian couples, enjoying a relationship without formal commitment of a legal partnership or marriage entitled to IVF treatment on the NHS?