Photo via TheLocal.fr

Women’s groups across France are claiming a victory today. After expressing displeasure with the term “Mademoiselle” because it forces women to disclose their marital status, the country is ditching the term from its official documents.

Unlike in other countries (especially America and England) where women can choose between Mrs., Miss, or Ms., which allows them to either disclose their marital status or not, French women only had two options–Madame and Mademoiselle–and were required to identify as one or the other on official documents from tax forms to voter registration cards. Men, on the other hand, only had to pick one option–Monsieur–whether they were married or not.

According to the Prime Minister’s office, all women–regardless of marital status–will be called Madame from now on.

While many women’s groups are applauding the change because they say it no longer discriminates against women, others are not so happy about the decision. One woman on NPR remarked that using Mademoiselle made her feel young and that she’ll continue to use it in conversation.

What do you think? Should France ditch Mademoiselle from its official documents? 

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  • Robbie

    I want to be called mademoiselle. That is how I define any single woman including myself in France. As a french woman, I want to be refered as mademoiselle until my status changes.

  • Discrimination based on a woman’s marital status is real. I just applied for a visa and there was a non-optional field for my father or husband’s name. Blank stare.

    This is for a trip that I, as a grown-ass woman, would be paying for myself and going on alone. Why the hell do you need my husband’s or father’s name? I’m assuming this was for women only since I’m don’t think they were thinking of gay marriages.

    So yes, I’m all for removing marital status indicators on government documents unless it is actually *necessary*.

  • LemonNLime

    Don’t we have the same this in English? Mr = male single or married, Mrs = married woman, Miss = a young woman or single woman, Ms = a woman but you don’t know nessecarily if they are single or not. I don’t know many women who use Ms its alway Miss or Mrs.

    • @LemonNLime That is what the argument is about. Ms. is a woman’s way of choosing not to disclose her marital status (the way with Mr., you can’t tell with men). Choosing between Mademoiselle or Madame forces you to disclose. There is not equivalent of Ms. in French.

    • CD86

      I use “Ms.” all the time actually.