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What Title Do You Use?

Those of us who live in America don't have to prefix our names with our marital status. That's what "Ms." is for. But women living in France don't enjoy the same liberté, as there are only two choices: Mademoiselle (for the unmarried) and Madame (for the married).

While it might be flattering when strangers address you as "Mademoiselle," since it implies they think you're young, don't get too excited. As one French woman explains in the Guardian, the Madames get all the respect in the workplace or with strangers. As for Mademoiselle, derived from the medieval sounding damsel, "There is definitely something belittling about the term, as it originally implied the woman was a virgin and not yet the symbolic property of her husband, as madame implies." So we either have to be damsels or property? As the French say: "pfff."

Source: Flickr User antjeveren

Join The Conversation
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 7 years
Mrs. seeing I am married and have my husband's last name.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
I do, and always will, use "Ms."
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I use Ms. It's clean, easy and simple.
oohsexypenguin oohsexypenguin 7 years
I don't actively go by anything - when I was younger people called me "miss," and even though I'm married now I have yet to hear anyone address me as "Mrs." As long as they're not calling me anything offensive it doesn't matter to me. lol
CoconutPie CoconutPie 7 years
I've been married for almost two years and it still feels weird when people call me ''madame''. But it is true that ''mademoiselle'' doesn't get as much respect as ''madame''.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
As for me, it's Ms. I kept my maiden name with my husband's blessing, so that's the best title for me.
lawchick lawchick 7 years
Ms., and not just because I didn't take my husband's name. I've gotten used to NEVER using Mrs. in any context (except maybe with really old ladies!) because it's so frowned-upon in the professional realm - which is where I spend most of my waking hours. Before I was married, I used Miss most of the time.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
I try to leave that one blank. If I must fill it out I use Ms. When I was married I still used it. My thoughts were I might be married sharing the same name but I have my own identity outside of being married.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 7 years
I like how runningesq and mamasita are thinking! I guess I'd go with Mrs. since I'm married? However Her Majesty is good too.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
hahahaha nice, runningesq! you deserve it :) along that same thought process, I'll go with Her Majesty.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I really want to be a judge so I can be called "Judge Runningesq" or "Your Honor" :)
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
I am 29 and I have never been married so I go by Miss. To me, Ms is a title that divorced women use. Maybe it's because that was my mom's explanation when I asked her what Ms meant. When I get married I will take my husbands last name and be a Mrs.
secondstar secondstar 7 years
I'm single and always use Ms. I'm only 22, but Miss just seems really juvenile to me. I rarely use any title though, just on occasion when forms require it.
Frootchinator Frootchinator 7 years
I'm unmarried and I used 'Miss' until I turned 21. Kinda arbitrary, I know! I'm liking 'Ms.' a lot better.
chillchic chillchic 7 years
I like Ms. It's simple and devoid of presumptions.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I always go by Miss. Ms never appealed to me, maybe because I like being a sexy bachelorette. I never knew that about Mademoiselle in French... interesting though...
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 7 years
I don't find myself in situations where a title is needed, when asked my name, I never start with "Mrs." or before I was married "Miss"...
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
I use Mrs. I'm originally German though, and here they had the equivalent of Madame and Mademoiselle (Frau and Fraeulein), but I think they officially got rid of it decades ago. It's really easy now, you're just Frau This-and-that. The only confused people here I guess are the ones that oppose gender-specific pronouns :p
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
No my first name ain't "baby", it's Janet... Ms. Jackson if you're nasty
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