Mademoiselle? Will they ‘Miss’ it?
Posted on: Wednesday 29th February 2012
From WVoN 29 February 2012.
The Prime Minister’s office issued a document last week, phasing out the use of Mademoiselle on official forms. Old forms will be used until they run out, but thereafter the options will be limited to Madame or Monsieur.
The document also instructs ministries and administrative bodies to discontinue requests, where possible, for maiden name and spouse’s surname on forms.
French feminist groups have been campaigning for years for Mademoiselle to be dropped, saying its use is sexist and discriminatory, which clearly it is.
French women have never had the option of the neutral ‘Ms’ so women were ‘Madame’ or not, whether they liked it or not.
Another French feminist group who welcomed the change was Les Chiennes de Garde, whose campaign to get rid of the distinction in female honorifics, ‘Mademoiselle, La Case en Trop!‘ was launched in September last year.
However, the change has not been welcomed by all. It hasn’t even been welcomed by all French feminist groups.
Paroles de Femmes, a women’s group which fights for women’s equality, isn’t very impressed with the victory, with its President, Olivia Cattan, saying the word mademoiselle had never annoyed her.