Down with mademoiselle!

Today’s quirky feminist news: it seems there is a sizeable group of ladies in France who have had it up to here with “mademoiselle.”

NPR reports that Marie-Noelle Bas, president of the feminist group Watchdog, says the word “mademoiselle” is irrelevant in today’s modern and progressive society:

“‘In old days, women went from the domination of their father to the domination of their husband. They were ‘mademoiselle’ when they were girls, and ‘madame’ when they were married. For the men, there is no two states, only ‘monsieur’ from the youth to the elder,'” she says.

‘Mademoiselle,’ say feminists, separates women into two categories in a manner men aren’t subjected to. The corresponding title for males, ‘damoiseau,’ which translates roughly into squire, disappeared from use nearly a century ago. Feminists say using the generic ‘madame,’ like ‘monsieur,’ will create the same rules for both genders. They also claim leaving out ‘mademoiselle’ will cut down on opportunities for discrimination and harassment.”

NPR and other outlets are blaming this whole thing on the recent downfall of renowned philanderer Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who narrowly avoided a sexual assault trial after New York prosecutors dropped charges against him last month.

Says the Globe and Mail:

“Dissenters argue that feminists have bigger fish to fry.

In France, the pay gap between men and women in the private and semi-private sector is 19 per cent, the Guardian has reported. There are 75,000 rapes each year, but only 10 per cent of women go to the police.

Harassment passes as gallantry and Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s infidelities – and alleged rape – were chalked up to a voracious sexual appetite.

But in the wake of ‘l’affaire DSK’ and the nation’s reexamination of macho culture, condescending formalities no longer cut it, according to the anti-mademoiselle campaign.”

Good luck, ladies.

It’s almost here! The October issue of Carnet Atlantique goes live soon!

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