France: All Mademoiselles To Become Madames


Married or not – well it will soon get harder to tell in France, as feminists have scored a win with getting the title “Mademoiselle” scrapped from official language.

The appellation may spell youth and charm to some, but that’s precisely why the activists wanted it dropped. They say the title raises unnecessary assumptions about a woman’s age, and the reasons why she has so far failed to settle in marriage.

Following American feminists who wanted to be called “Ms.” and Germany dropping its “Fraulein”, French feminists demanded “Mademoiselle” be replaced with “Madame” in all official documents and papers.

Now, the government has given official bodies the order to do so.

The French campaign against the title that declares a woman’s unwed status was launched last autumn. France abandoned “Mondamoiseau”, the male equivalent of “Mademoiselle”, nearly a century ago, the activists point out.
The campaigners expect the next step to be dropping the French equivalent of “maiden name” and “last name in marriage”, to replace them with “family name at birth” and “present family name.”


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One thought on “France: All Mademoiselles To Become Madames

  • February 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I don’t see how being called Madame is any less sexist, and I wouldn’t wish to be confused wit my mother. In some countries where there is no equivalent of Ms., I can still ask to be called Komrade.


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