Cesson-Sevigne, France has bid “adieu” to to the word “mademoiselle” as a way to improve gender equality.
The French town has eliminated the use of the word “mademoiselle,” the French equivalent of “miss,” on all official documents. Henceforth all women will be labeled “madam.”
The move to get rid of the word — which traditionally applies to young, unmarried women — came in response to a campaign started last fall by two feminist groups, Osez le Féminisme (Dare Feminism) and Les Chiennes de Garde (Guard Bitches), to remove the term from all official paperwork in the country.
At the beginning of their campaign the Daily Mail reported that the organizations saw the term as “sexist and condescending.”
The Local, an English-language paper in France, reports that the campaign finally found success in Cesson-Sevigne.
“This is about getting rid of anything that could be seen as discriminatory or indiscreet,” said a statement from town officials. “Having two different terms to distinguish between married and non-married women is discrimination against women as there is no such differentiation for men.”
The ban on the term from official documents commenced on the first of the year.