'Miss' officially banned in France

2012-02-22 10:07

Paris - "Miss" is officially out in France.

The office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Tuesday the term would be struck from official documents, along with that of "maiden name" or "married name" for women.

The prime minister's office said it would be writing to all ministries and regional senior officials to ask them to ban such wording.

Instead, authorities are to use the term "Madame" (Madam), equivalent to the male "Monsieur" (Sir), and drop all reference to the husband's name unless it is that officially adopted by the woman.

A number of women's organisations last year launched a campaign to do away with "Miss" in official documents, arguing that it was discriminatory to force women to state their marital status.

Solidarity Minister Roselyne Bachelot, responsible for women's rights, welcomed the move which she said "ends a form of discrimination".

  • Bronwen - 2012-02-22 10:38

    at last

      Grant - 2012-02-22 12:15

      Maybe IT doesn't want to have to state IT's gender? :P

      npretorius2 - 2012-02-22 14:27

      greaaat!! now go make me a sandwich!

      jandreleroux - 2012-02-22 15:37

      Men and women are equal but different. I fail to see how this is going to help to do anything about discrimination. Its a bit like BEE but will be called WEE

      Grant - 2012-02-22 15:39

      You mean you dont have one already!!? (I could take this to another level, but I fear people get too sensitive) :P

  • Gary - 2012-02-22 11:08

    Man so much other crap to worry about in the world and the French find something so petty.........

      Grant - 2012-02-22 11:44

      I think they should ban capital letters!! Why should I be forced to state whether I am a proper noun or a common noun!? :P

      Hans - 2012-02-22 12:58

      What happens when they visit other countries and are called Miss or Mrs? Then their marital status will be revealed?What's wrong with being married, don't they love their husbands?

      Char - 2012-02-22 15:21

      Hans, it's not about keeping their marital status a secret, it's about being discriminated against as a woman. There is no title for men that states married or single, only Mr. If I, as a divorced woman, insist on being addressed as Ms. I get treated like a bra-burning liberal hippy. Does my marital status really have anything to do with anyone? No one asks a man to state his marital status before dealing with him, why is it different for women?

      Grant - 2012-02-22 15:44

      @Char - do women ever look at things the other way around? "Its not fair that we cant work" could be translated into "its not fair that my husband HAS TO work" "Its not fair that I cant join the army" could be translated into "Its not fair that guys HAVE TO risk their lives to fight wars" "Its not fair that I have to state my marital status" could translate into "its not fair that my husband cant show off HIS status" Sometimes things are different - doesnt mean disadvantaged or discriminated. Just means different - for BOTH sides.

  • Gus - 2012-02-22 11:11

    Typical of the french...

      Gordon - 2012-02-22 14:05

      yep, those poephols that bought the world photography, Roulette, Latex caberet, manned flight and the internal combustion engine. They also gave birth to liberal democracy and the secular state. Most countries could learn from the frogs.

      ronheidtmann - 2012-02-22 15:33

      Gordon, as a Frenchman I am quite offended with your post!

      John - 2012-02-22 18:10

      @ Ronh... Why??????????

  • ludlowdj - 2012-02-22 11:11

    wonder how much it will cost them to reprint all those documents, suppose they will be renaming streets next. What a waste of money.

      Char - 2012-02-22 15:22

      Unless the streets are named with "Mr such and such" or "Miss Such and such" I don't think they'll bother. :)

      ronheidtmann - 2012-02-22 15:33

      Well at least it's not the ANC changing the names of streets for no reason!

  • Moss - 2012-02-22 11:12

    What about MISS FRANCE ,on beauty peagent? Is it gonna be madame France?

      Grant - 2012-02-22 12:16

      You have to be single to enter Miss France. I think the competition you are referring to is "Madame Housewife" :P

  • James - 2012-02-22 11:12


  • Johan - 2012-02-22 11:19

    That's why you have a name and a surname. Throw away this Mr/Mrs/Miss/Sir/Madam, etc.

      Sebastien Russell - 2012-02-22 12:59

      How would one differentiate between a married woman and an unmarried woman if we had no titles? How would one differentiate between male and female in the case of unisex names, such as Leslee, or Shannon? How would one address another if familial bonds have not been estaished? Eg: some people take offense if you use their first name without permission. How would one address one's employer when the latter of the two expects to be addressed as Mr. X?

      Lauren - 2012-02-22 14:15

      Many married women choose to retain their maiden names and are still known as, for example, 'Ms Smith'. So it really does not matter how we differentiate between married and unmarried women. We don't with men, why should we with women?

      Char - 2012-02-22 15:31

      Sebastian, that's a very sexist comment. You don't make any differentiation between married and single men by title, so why are women treated differently? And if parents choose to give their kids unisex names, surely one look at Leslee or Shannon should reveal whether they are male or female? Certainly, by retaining the titles of Madame and Monsieur, it is blatantly obvious that you would still address men or women by the appropriate title? If you object to having 'Miss' abolished, then it should be fine to address all unmarried men as Master Smith and only married men as Mister Smith,no matter what age they are?

      ronheidtmann - 2012-02-22 15:35

      Your posting is so stupid. By throwing away the Mr/Mrs/Miss/Sir/Madam one can still identify who's married and not and who's male or female. Every title time I fill out a form I'll place "Mr" and still want to know marital status and sex. No need for titles.

      John - 2012-02-22 18:16

      @ Sebastien. I guess the same way they differentiate between single and married men... As for the sexes, I can help you there to. The women are the ones with the boobs... Not too difficult really...

  • Gerald - 2012-02-22 11:35

    I wish someone will look at the question "Marital Status - Single - Divorce - Married" on forms. I mean, if I am UNMARRIED, but not single which do I tick because neither of the aforementioned is applicable?

      skootzie - 2012-02-22 11:46

      Marital means: "Of or relating to marriage or the relations between husband and wife." - So if you are not married, then you are single.

      Hugo - 2012-02-22 12:50

      why does it matter

      peter.j.solomon - 2012-02-22 13:06

      If you are married then you are legally one with the person to whom you are married. It is a legal issue as you are joined to the person. Thus in order for people to treat you correctly with the correct rights one would need to know whether you are married or single.

      John - 2012-02-22 18:21

      Its the "divorced or single" that gets me... I'm single either way. And what has it to do with anyone should I be divorced? I see most divorced people will mark "single' these days

  • skootzie - 2012-02-22 11:44

    What an utter waste of time and money.

      ronheidtmann - 2012-02-22 15:36

      And you think the French care for your view point?

  • Ziggie - 2012-02-22 11:59

    Has the French nit more important issuesg to make decisions about?

      John - 2012-02-22 18:22

      Yes, like learning to spell....

  • E=MC2 - 2012-02-22 12:03

    Now the world is a better place...?

  • Gavin - 2012-02-22 12:11

    I'm trying to see thing from the French perspective, but I can't get my head that far up my arse.

  • Sika - 2012-02-22 12:20

    I guess, they will not be allowed to participate in Miss World....!

      Char - 2012-02-22 15:17

      Married women aren't allowed to compete in Miss World, so it's not an issue for them.

  • Khomotso - 2012-02-22 12:26


  • Hugo - 2012-02-22 12:48

    fine with me

  • aardvarkie - 2012-02-22 13:02

    I don't think anyone will Miss it.

      Shrink007 - 2012-02-22 15:21

      hey, now that's a worthwile and good comment!!

  • RobertKeeling - 2012-02-22 13:18

    "Excellent" decision. Now many civil servants will hae a helluva lot of work to do in the futre, making their cushy jobs safe. Have they nothing better to worry about in a countr going bankrupt, with a freespending president who will probably lose his job shortly?

      melissa.jarvis2 - 2012-02-22 15:35

      couldnt agree more!

  • jeremy002 - 2012-02-22 14:29

    More liberal new age hogwash. Discrimination my foot. Total nonsense.

  • vivisu100 - 2012-02-22 14:38

    Something wrong in theirs women head,,,,lot's crab nonsense eui...

  • Pulverturm - 2012-02-22 15:13

    Patsy Stone> Mademoiselle... Mademoiselle!!!!

  • Shrink007 - 2012-02-22 15:23

    What is the freaken difference? I'm a Mr. Can you tell if I'm married or not? Why the big issue around Miss or Mrs? News24, give us some real news.. France, make some real news....

  • Dave - 2012-02-22 15:49


  • rickvcooper - 2012-02-22 17:14

    An old hag by any other name...

  • Marlene - 2012-02-23 10:25

    i like it!!! as long as I'm not mistaken for the one that has the house of "ill repute" so to speak

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