Obituary: Mademoiselle XY

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – France, as viewed from just across the border, has finally bowed to the inevitable: 200 years or more of paying homage to the motto that includes “égalité” has finally resulted in women being reduced to just one label.

A man is a man is a Monsieur and now a woman is a woman is a Madame, with Mademoiselle being gently buried. The little girl/old maid title was officially dropped by the French government Tuesday 21 February by a government circular, reports Le Monde.

In these days of cautious government spending current documents with the old labels will be used before new ones that take note of the death of “Mademoiselle” are printed.

Feminist groups in France have been fighting the use of the label, particularly in official documents, arguing that it involves a subtle form of discrimination, often implying information about a woman’s marital status when it is not required.

The campaign to step up the fight began in earnest in September 2011 on the web site, and in November 2011 Solidarity Minister Roselyne Bachelot asked Prime Minister François Fillon to ban the title of “Mademoiselle”.

“Maiden name” is being buried alongside its twin, Mademoiselle.