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'Mademoiselle' banned by French council for being 'condescending, sexist'

London, Fri, 17 Feb 2012 ANI

London, Feb 17 (ANI): A French council has banned the word "Mademoiselle" from official documents as they feel it discriminates against women by asking them to reveal their marital status.


According to the Paris suburb of Fontenay-sous-Bois, the term, which is the French equivalent of "miss", discriminates against women by asking them to reveal if they are married.


Council bosses said that from now on, men and women will only have to tick boxes asking if they are male or female.


Officials in the borough have also banned the term "nom de jeune fille" meaning "maiden name" from all paperwork, because it is "archaic" and has "connotations of virginity".


Instead, women who have changed their surname will be asked only for their "birth name" on documents.


"There is no good reason why women should have to reveal their marital status while men don't. It's is simply outdated and unfair," the Daily Mail quoted a council spokesman as saying.


The Brittany town of Cesson-Sevigne also banned the term "mademoiselle" two months ago after pressure from a local women's group.


The blows for feminism come after French solidarity minister Roselyne Bachelot demanded a nationwide law to ban "discriminatory" titles last year.


"It is an invasion of privacy to ask a woman to identify herself as single or married," Bachelot said.


"We don't ask men to do the same thing. I am just asking for complete equality on how we treat the sexes on official government forms," she said.


Julie Muret of campaign group Osez Le Feminisme, meaning Dare Feminism, said in September that the equivalent word for men of "Damoiseau" - meaning squire - was abolished decades ago.


"That disappeared because it was an old-fashioned and outmoded title, and the same should be happening to mademoiselle," Muret said.


"These days men are never asked if they are married if they wanted to get a credit card or a mobile phone or pay their taxes.


"But women are always obiliged to reveal this aspect of their private lives - and it's practically only in France that this still happens," she added. (ANI)



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