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Mademoiselle becomes Madame

2012-03-01

1.jpg„What do you wish Mademoiselle?“, „Can I help you, Mademoiselle“, „Mademoiselle, something has fallen out of your bag...“ Is it the end of this charming title in France? „Mesdomoiselles“ will become „Mesdames“, without considering their age and their marital status. In the admistration forms the term „mademoiselle“ is being suppressed as well as the information of the „maiden name“.

Feminist groups have been speaking up that it is discriminatory that nobody in the administration asks men if they are married or not and women have this stamp on their forehead, even if the information is for the administrative purposes irrelevant. Various media mention the example of Germany where the title „Fräulein“ has almost completely disappeared.

If a woman looks under 50, the shopsellers in France will call her „mademoiselle“, and if she looks above 50, they will call her „jeune dame“ (young lady) with the purpose of fl2.jpgattering their female clients. Although many ladies agree that this word gesture is flattering, it is a verbal flirting and noticing the fact that the woman is free, at some situations the title provokes a feeling that the men want to prove their superiority, lack of respect.

However, let’s hope that there will be no radical change in the French culture and that there exists quite clear border between administration forms, strict faces of the administation employees and the mischieveous jingly voice of the flowers seller saying „Qu’est-ce que je peux pour vous mademoiselle?“ (What can I do for you mademoiselle?) Anyway, again a topic for neverending polemizing so typical for the French.

© Paristep

 

Preview of picture in folder Paris Women | Jan Schinko jr.