Firstly, if anyone can explain in the comments what a “Gender Economist” is and what tangible benefit they bring to the species, I’ll be very grateful.
I’m more curious to examine Mrs/Miss/Ms Moore’s idea in more detail, however.
G. K. Chesterton famously described an imaginary fence in the middle of a field and suggested that we shouldn’t allow someone to take it down unless they could describe precisely why it was originally built. His point being that there was presumably a very good reason it was there in the first place and, although that reason may not still be valid, we should not remove it until we’ve understood the consequences.
What then, might we be giving up if we were to remove all honorifics when addressing each other? Why have honorifics been in use for all these years of human history?
Here’s a few reasons I can think of immediately;
1. A sign of respect and deference when addressing someone.
2. To add further information to a person’s name, such as gender and, in the case of females, marital status (since the 1960s, this additional item of information can be opted out of by the request to use “Ms”).
3. To assist in efficiently providing context and clarification particularly in situations when there are two people with similar names, Joe Smith and Jo Smith, for example.
4. Professional information and status, such as Doctor, Reverend, Professor, Captain, Darth, etc.
5. To provide additional information about the age of the person, particularly for males (Master), but more ambiguously for females (Miss).
There’s probably other reasons but five seems a good enough number to justify not removing them without fully planning for the consequences.
Susanne Moore might want to consider legally changing her name as, simply by looking at her first name, we can tell she’s female regardless of whether or not it is prefaced with an honorific.
However, it’s still not clear to me why it is a problem that people receive additional information with a person’s name.