Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Will it be 'au revoir' to 'mademoiselle'?




By Aussiegirl

Somehow this is all so typically French. Remember Professor Higgins' perspicacious observation in My Fair Lady: But the French don't care what they do, actually, so long as they pronounce it properly.

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Will it be 'au revoir' to 'mademoiselle'?By Kerstin Gehmlich
REUTERS NEWS AGENCY
May 6, 2006
PARIS -- "Bonjour, mademoiselle" -- is that a sexist insult? A classic pickup line? Or just a friendly greeting for millions of Frenchwomen every day?
Whatever it is, it could become a thing of the past.
A group of French feminists wants to get rid of the word "mademoiselle," or "miss," saying the term turns a female into an inferior being defined by her marital status.
"When you get letters, the postman or anyone passing by your mailbox can see whether you are married or not. It's nobody's business," said Mathilde, an unmarried 40-year-old, who has started a petition for the government to abolish the term. [....]
Not all Parisian women agreed with Mathilde's plans.
"I like being called 'mademoiselle.' It's charming, and it makes me feel young," said Laurene Lasne, 23. Unmarried Ayline Onger said being called "madame" made her feel like her mother.
"But when I talk to single moms, I call them 'madame,' " said Miss Onger, a 25-year-old social worker. "I don't want to rub in the fact that they are on their own."

1 Comments:

At 4:36 AM, Blogger TJ Willms said...

Perhaps mademoiselle Meathilde, "the unmarried 40-year-old", would prefer the wide scale use of the English term for a woman who has remained single beyond the conventional age for marrying. "Spinster" It serves the same dual purpose of instantly identifying the gender and marital status of a woman yet does remove those unfortunate inferences that may indicate youth.

 

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