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'Miss' banned in France, called discriminatory to women

The honorific "Miss" is now officially banned in France, with women to be called "madame," not "mademoiselle," on government documents, regardless of marital status.
France brigitte bardot mademoiselle banEnlarge
Modern French women no longer want to be called Mademoiselle. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

Au revoir, mademoiselle.

The term "Miss" was officially banned in France today. The office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said it would be struck from government documents, along with the terms "maiden name" and "married name" for women, Agence France-Presse reported

Women's groups last year launched a campaign against the use of "Miss" in official documents, arguing it was demeaning and discriminatory to force women to reveal their marital status, Agence France-Presse reported.

Instead, the honorific "madame" will be used for all women, equivalent to "monsieur" for males.

Roselyne Bachelot, France's minister responsible for women's rights, said the move "ends a form of discrimination."

More from GlobalPost: France's "mademoiselle" war

GlobalPost reported on the linguistic brouhaha last year, noting that "mademoiselle" is used for young or unmarried women, and "madame" for married women, the same as Mrs. in English.

"But 'madame' can apply more broadly — to women of a certain age or status, or to women who have passed the peak of youth and fertility, whether or not they are wedded," GlobalPost reported.

"The terms, in other words, are short on clarity and long on sexist social freight."

More from GlobalPost: Marine Le Pen, of France's far-right, may miss ballot

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/miss-banned-france-madame-not-mademoiselle