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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Au revoir, Mlle: French government drops "mademoiselle"

    'Mademoiselle' gets boot in new French rules (AP)
    PARIS (AP) -- Forget what you learned in French class about "madame" and "mademoiselle." The French government now says women's marital status shouldn't matter, at least when it comes to this country's far-reaching bureaucracy.
    Until now, a woman has been required to identify herself as a married "madame" or an unmarried "mademoiselle" on everything from tax forms to insurance claims and voting cards. France offers no neutral option like the English "Ms."

    Men don't face this issue: Their only option is "monsieur," married or not.
    Feminist groups have been pushing for the abolition of the "mademoiselle" option for years and hailed the circular.

    "Everywhere we are asked to declare our marital status. This is not imposed on men, it's not important whether they are married," said Julie Muret of the group Osez le Feminisme.
    more at link above

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    If there is anything worse than the sandwiches, it is the sausages which sit next to them. Joyless tubes, full of gristle, floating in a sea of something hot and sad, stuck with a plastic pin in the shape of a chef’s hat: A memorial, one feels, for some chef who hated the world, and died, forgotten and alone among his cats on a back stair in Stepney. – Douglas Adams

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    This is making me wonder, historically, when, how, and why did titling a female based on her marital status get started in the first place.

    Seems like almost every culture does it and I don't know enough details of world history to know about its origins. Anyone got the answers? And what about eastern countries... do they do this too? I'm only familiar with

    Madame, Mademoiselle

    Frau, Fraulein

    Misses, Miss

    Senora, Senorita

    From the article:

    [E]ven ordering groceries online in France requires a woman to identify herself as madame or mademoiselle.

    That made me realize how many times we are made to choose between Mrs. Miss, and Ms. whenever we fill out any kind of documentation here in the US. We're so used to automatically choosing a marital identifier, but it does seem kinda strange when you stop and think about how often we have to do it, and sometimes for such mundane reasons as a french lady's grocery order.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Daily Mail's take on the matter:

    Au revoir, Mademoiselle! France bans word for 'Miss' from official documents because it suggests a woman is 'available'
    Dare Feminism spokeswoman Julie Muret said: 'Contrary to popular belief, it is not flattering to tell a woman she's available, particularly in a professional context.

    'Mademoiselle harks back to the term 'oiselle', which means "virgin" or "simpleton".'

    The equivalent word for men of 'Damoiseau' - meaning squire - was abolished decades ago, Ms Muret said.
    more at link above

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