Have you ever noticed how some people like to impress others with their titles? It might be professor, prince, doctor, senator, or councilman, or any variety of pompous labels. As if, this egotistical tag lends more credence to their wisdom, or lack thereof. Interestingly it is the very people who demand to be respected, who are the least respected. Using a title for self-indulgence is nothing more than proclaiming their lack of worth or confidence in themselves, or attempting to elevate themselves at the expense of those more worthy of esteem. Nowhere is the perceived importance of title more noticeable than in all levels of government.
Watch and listen as California Senator Barbara Boxer interacts with General Michael Walsh during a senate committee hearing.
It is likely the General worked even harder to earn his title.
The Naperville city council has its own version of ‘address me by my title’ and that would be council woman Judy Brodhead, or is it council member Brodhead, or is it Mrs. Brodhead as Mayor Pradel refers to her, or is it councilman Judy Brodhead as her name plate on the dais refers to her.
Watch and listen as Council member Judy Brodhead (or as the Mayor refers to her, Mrs. Brodhead) gets bent out of shape when her tag or title is not revered and admired for all to hear.
This occurred after citizen Eric Shidler addressed the Naperville city council in a respectful manner regarding the topic of whether or not to approve the Naperville Fertility Center. A number of points are interesting in this exchange:
• Eric Shidler had completed his presentation and left the podium, but was asked to return by councilperson, or member, or woman Judy Brodhead.
• Mayor Pradel then referred to councilwoman as Mrs. Brodhead, without Mrs. Brodhead getting angry with the mayor.
• Council member or woman Brodhead digressed from the merits of the ordinance to a focus of personal value; need we say very poor judgment on her part.
To say that half of those in attendance felt councilperson or woman Brodhead made a fool of herself might be accurate, while the other half felt that she embarrassed Naperville.
Citizen Eric Shidler deserves an apology from council member, or person, or woman Judy Brodhead. To do that would require her to show class and demonstrate character; hence based on that Eric Shidler (a guest from another city) will not be getting that apology.
For Mrs. Brodhead (thank you Mayor Pradel) to toss in the ‘sexist’ card during such an important city decision was inappropriate. There was a time when actors such as Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep were referred to as ‘actresses’. Now they are proud to be some of the best actors of our time. Their body of work is what is important, not their title. It is unimportant if you are referred to as a councilwoman or a councilman; what is important is how you represent your constituency and the fine city of Naperville. If you are truly that vain, then you need to have the nameplate changed that you sit behind
So how should we address the second person from the left at the dais?
The nameplate shows councilman, and the city is never wrong. The mayor says, ‘Mrs. Brodhead’ and he is the mayor, so he cannot be wrong. Chances are the voters will determine how to address her at the end of the next election when Judy Brodhead becomes ex-council member, person, or woman.