French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has ordered that the term ‘Mademoiselle’ be removed from all official French paperwork.
Campaigners have been trying for years to get the term removed from French documents, saying that it is condescending. “Everywhere we are asked to declare our marital status. This is not imposed on men, it’s not important whether they are married,” said Julie Muret of the group, Osez le Feminisme. The French government decided that women will no longer have to choose how to describe themselves, and the terms Maiden Name and Spouse’s Name will be replaced with Family Name.
Germany uses the terms Frau (Fr.) for adult females; Spain uses Dona and Latin America uses Senora (Sra.). Though the term Miss is used in English-speaking countries, Ms. has commonly replaced both Miss and Mrs. on documents as well as in common usage, especially when marital status is unknown. French, Spanish and German do not offer this neutral term.
French students everywhere, I’ll wager that you’ll still have to learn how to spell “mademoiselle”. C’est la vie.