Two thumbs up for gender rights and equality activists for finally propelling the French Government to formally ban the use of ‘mademoiselle’ from all official correspondence. Prime Minister François Fillon has sent out a memo directing all offices to immediately cease using ‘mademoiselle’ to refer to women who are not married.
‘Mademoiselle’ is the French equal of the English word ‘Miss’, which upon reference clearly indicates the marital status of the woman irrespective of whether she wants to share it or not. On the flip side, the commonly used term for men has been ‘monsieur’ (i.e. ‘sir’), which refers to the person in question without unnecessarily bring in their marital status in the limelight.
Active advocacy is now underway to ensure that private companies and organizations also follow the precedent set by the French Government.
Article publié pour la première fois le 23/02/2012