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French town dumps 'sexist title'

Jan. 6, 2012 at 6:57 PM

CESSON-SEVIGNE, France, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Officials of a town in France say they have banned the use of the word "mademoiselle" on all official forms because of "discrimination."

Officials in Cesson-Sevigne, in the northwest section of Brittany, said they decided to ban "mademoiselle," ("miss") from all official forms beginning Jan. 1, thelocal.fr reported Friday.

"This is about getting rid of anything that could be seen as discriminatory or indiscreet," said a statement from the town hall.

"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 statement said.

The town's decision comes on the heels of a campaign begun in September by feminist groups who allegedly wanted the appellation gone from all forms from rail pass applications to tax forms, thelocal.fr said.

"Our campaign is aimed at completely removing this sexist title, as it only concerns women," said an unnamed spokeswoman for the campaign at the time.

One male poster to thelocal.fr Web site said the word "mademoiselle" was a "mark of politeness and recognition vis-a-vis women."

An unnamed female countered to that post, writing, "This differentiation between men and women is one of the building blocks of sexism of which women still suffer horribly these days."

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