Working in the modelling industry, discrimination – whether by race, size or even sex – is still prevalent, despite it being 2012, and is something in constant discussion here at Models Direct.
As such, we were interested to hear that feminists have convinced a French town to officially drop the arguably sexist term ‘Mademoiselle’ on forms.
Regardless of age or marital status, women living in Northwest France’s Cesson-Sévigné will now only be addressed as ‘Madame’.
But just what is in a title? Do Mademoiselle, Miss, Fraulein and Senorita – used to refer to young, unmarried women – really cause offense?
Perhaps so, given that these terms may unwittingly declare a women as either available or unwanted, while men, always titled ‘Monsieur’, get away with disclosing their status scot-free.
So will banning ‘Mademoiselle’ create a more gender-neutral language and in turn help eradicate sexism? Or is it just souped-up political correctness destined for controversy?
Interestingly, when the use of Madame and Mademoiselle – as well as Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita, and Miss and Mrs – was banned by leaders of the European Union back in 2009, some did indeed lash out.
In response to the ban, Scottish MEP Struan Stevenson told the Mail Online: “This is frankly ludicrous. We’ve seen the EU institutions try to ban the bagpipes and dictate the shape of bananas, but now they seem determined to tell us which words we are entitled to use in our own language.
“Gender-neutrality is really the last straw. The Thought Police are now on the rampage in the European Parliament.
“We will soon be told that the use of the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’ has been banned in case it causes offence to those who consider ‘gender neutrality’ an essential part of life.”
Models Direct is interested in your thoughts – is this move from France an erosion of an age-old language or a feat against sexism as more and more women decide marriage is not for them, but do not want to be treated differently because of it?