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French feminists want to ditch mademoiselle

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Summary of story from The Connexion, September 28, 2011

Feminist groups in France are calling for the title of ‘mademoiselle’ to be abolished on official documents and forms, calling it ‘anachronistic’.

The use of a single title for women, that of ‘madam’, would be on a par with the single male title ‘monsieur’.

Osez le Féminisme and Chiennes de Garde, French campaign groups who have been fighting to banish the use of ‘mademoiselle’ for years, have launched a new website to ignite interest in the cause.

The campaign groups argue that men do not have to reveal their marital status with the use of the word ‘monsieur’, while the use of ‘mademoiselle’ implies ‘young unmarried woman’.

Although adult women in France have the right to be known as ‘madame’, regardless of age, official forms, like those from local councils, still carry the distinction.

Osez le Féminisme spokeswoman Julie Muret pointed out that the term for young men  ‘damoiseau’ (squire) was considered old fashioned, and no longer used.  She said that the same should be happening to ‘mademoiselle’.

  1. Good luck to them. I hope they achieve it. I think the use of ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ should be similarly dropped and replaced with Ms as the female equivalent to Mr. Women should not be defined in relation to their marital status – men are not – its completely irrelevant.

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