ISTM that men are more commonly referred to by their surnames as compared to women

My given first name is “Susan”. I have never used that name, as my parents called me by my middle name since i was born, and it’s stuck. (And I’ve since taken it as my legal first name.) But I’ve always been aware of how many Susans are out there. One year in overnight camp, i shared a cabin with two "Sue"s, a “Susan”, a “Susie”, and a “Robin”.

None of us were called by our last names. Because, as mentioned above, those weren’t really ours. We were expected to grow up and take some guy’s name.

That’s another example I’ve known of for a while. I didn’t happen to think of it when I wrote my earlier post, somewhy, though I think of it more often than I think of the example I did give. However, unlike with the Matilda effect example, Wikipedia does say (emphasis mine):

so some reliable sources must be calling it that. But I haven’t actually seen it called that in the wild, myself.

Yes. I wonder if there’s any public info one way or the other as to whether she actually goes by “Tabby” at all. Regardless of the answer to that (it being a secondary factor), I prefer the term “Boyajian’s Star”. But, given which part of my post you quoted before introducing this example, do you lean toward using her given name in this case to show that it’s named after a woman?

I reluctantly lean a little towards the “use woman’s given name” approach. It amounts to a form of reverse discrimination. Which is inherently very suspect, but may be necessary in measured doses for some measured time interval to overcome the inertia of history.

Much as we justify other forms of measured reverse discrimination even as we hold our nose while doing so.

As to whether she goes by “Tabby”, her own website suggests not, but also suggests she’s got a sense of humor about her name. She may well have used Tabby as an undergrad and before. Now that she’s got some gravitas in her field, she’s becoming Tabetha or Dr. Boyajian.

I think I’d correct them more than “gently”.

As I said upthread, my surname was used only by those who were disrespectful to me in high school. As an adult, I haven’t heard anybody, male or female, called by their surname except 1) Cultures where that’s common, like here in China or 2) People for whom the surname sort of became their given name, as their given name is difficult to pronounce e.g. “Dzichtchi Borisov” (not a real name, I think) might become “Boris(ov)” in the English speaking world for practical reasons.

Otherwise I would consider it very rude.

It is not so hard to just ask people.

My Employees called me Mr Deth, I said, no just my first name. But I said if you drop a occasional “sir” I will not get upset but neither do I expect it. I was at least twice their age, so…

I was just looking in my notes for an unrelated reason and noticed I had a note listing a few examples of this phenomenon. The only one that hasn’t been posted here already:

You did understand that I was replying to a post about policies governing choices by central naming bodies naming things in honor of their (possibly deceased) discoverers?

My comment was not about asking my cubemate whether he prefers John, Smith, or Mr. Smith. For that I agree with you: simply ask.

Missed that. duh-oh. :crazy_face: :flushed:

That’s also fraught with problems. I had a 20-something white kid ask me to call him P-diddy. “No.”

I went to an all-boys school. In my fourth grade class of 18, 7 of us were named John. I’m actually a Jonathan, but was always called Jon. That year was when I started going by Jonathan. One of the boys had always been known as Jack. The other five had to fight it out I guess.

See also: street names. Streets commemorating a man almost always bear his last name (with exceptions for the regnal names of kings), while streets named for a woman frequently use her first name: “San Francisco’s McAllister Street was named after an American male attorney, while Octavia Street was named after a woman who was the sister of a politician.”

That example reminds me: The site where the Curiosity rover landed on Mars is called Bradbury Landing, after Ray Bradbury. The site where Perseverance landed just a couple of months ago is called Octavia E. Butler Landing, after Octavia E. Butler. (The theme is science fiction authors.) But, in that case, though the form of name differs, they did use her full name, so it’s not an informal form like Octavia Street. And she seems to be less well known than Bradbury, so it’s understandable that they’d want it to be clear that the site is named after a woman, which wasn’t a concern with Bradbury Landing. Maybe, back in 2012, they should have thought ahead and used the name Ray Bradbury Landing, but they didn’t.