Reading Paul Bracher's recent post on titles, I was a bit bothered that all of his examples were of men. Admittedly, he is male, and so, if he's speaking about his own perspective, male pronouns make sense, but this didn't have to be male only:
You'll find that I'm pretty liberal in using "Dr." when addressing letters and e-mails, because you never known when someone is going to get upset at being called "Mister."
When are you nearly guaranteed to upset someone by calling them "Mister"? When that someone is female.
One of my college professors–let's call her Dr. Smith–kept her maiden name after marriage, like plenty of other academic women do. She and her husband –let's call him Dr. Jones–were introduced at an event as "Dr. and Mrs. Jones." In that moment, she lost her name and her title to the old-fashioned assumptions that Dr. = Mr. + PhD, and that a married woman always takes her husband's name.
Another commenter at ChemBark described one of my own fears along these lines:
…sometimes those students would call a male professor "Dr." but then use the title "Ms" or "Mrs" with me (While we were in the same room! And with a male professor who was my age!)"
So Paul Bracher can go by Paul if he wants, but when I am an instructor, can I go by Beth? This time next year, I will be Dr. Haas. If I don't insist on the title, will I forfeit the respect that comes with it?