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Don't call them Mademoiselle!

Feminist groups in France have called for a ban on use of the term "mademoiselle", claiming it is "sexist". They demand that women should only be called "madame".

world Updated: Sep 29, 2011 11:02 IST

Feminist groups in France have called for a ban on use of the term "mademoiselle", claiming it is "sexist". They demand that women should only be called "madame".

The term, which is the equivalent of "miss", should be removed from the French language, the women's groups have said.

They claim the equivalent word for men-"Damoiseau", meaning "squire"-was abolished decades ago, according to the Daily Mail.

Two feminist groups, "Les Chiennes de Garde" (Guard Bitches) and Osez le Feminisme (Dare feminism), have launched campaigns to remove the term "mademoiselle" from state and company forms.

They say it bolsters male machismo because it originates from the word "virgin".

Traditionally, the term is seen as complimentary when used by men. It indicates that a woman is young and attractive.

Feminist groups have opposed the term "mademoiselle" since a long time.

In 1983, the then minister of women's rights, Yvette Roudy, claimed it was "discriminatory", while the Les Chiennes de Garde had also opposed the term in 2006.