@1 year ago with 49 notes
I agree with Kim Willsher, the author of this piece in the Guardian. Looking at some of the comments on this op-ed, many women don’t—they think that devoting time and effort to addressing the madame/mademoiselle dichotomy in French honorifics for women is frivolous, and that we all have better things to do.
Maybe there are “bigger”, “more important” issues at hand. There are, certainly. But confronting discrimination and making change happen is not a zero-sum game. If French women press for an alternative honorific (as the English language now has in Ms), it does not necessitate their having to want anything else less. Human beings, even women(!), are quite capable of wanting more than one thing at once. Women are perfectly capable of wanting not to be defined by their real or perceived marital status and apparent youthfulness (or lack thereof) and wanting to have pay equality and so on, you know!
But one commenter suggests that “getting snotty about something as trivial” as this “demean[s]” the fight against “abuse/rape/discrimination”.
Does it fuck.
Only having madame/mademoiselle to choose from reinforce the idea that women can and should be defined by their looks or marital status, but further than that, by saying that it doesn’t matter you say that how we (society) address women doesn’t matter. And that what language we use for women isn’t important. And that, really, we can call women whatever we like. Because it doesn’t matter. It’s not trivial or frivolous or naive to not want to be defined and controlled by how (patriarchal) society views your body or your life. It’s a fundamental tenet of feminism, actually.
#france #feminism #guardian #madame #mademoiselle #ms #honorifics #sexism #sexist #language #patriarchy #europe #french