Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Au revoir, "Mademoiselle !"

Although Mademoiselle is still used in France to mean "Miss," as of February 2012, it is no longer a title to be used on official documents.  Now all women will become "Madame" on official documents.  Just like the title "Ms." is becoming a popular replacement for "Miss" and even "Mrs." in English, the same thing is happening in France.  Some women's rights activists argue that just as men do not have to disclose their marital status with their title (Mr. can be married or unmarried), the same should be true for women.  Others argue that "Mademoiselle" is an important word in French culture and should not be banned.

Nonetheless, you will still call me Mademoiselle in class, since this ban is only on official documents and not in regular conversation.  We'll have to see over the next decade if Mademoiselle fades away for good!
Which side are you on?  Or perhaps you don't even have an opinion?
If this issue interests you, here is an article about it:
Au Revoir, Mademoiselle! French Ban the Word in Government Writing
Image from Madame ou Madame

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