The end of “Mademoiselle” ?

Emily Davison being force-fed during a hunger strike

According to the BBC magazine article found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16503341 the term Mademoiselle is falling out of fashion. This is apparently a feminist movement by women who don’t want to have the distinction between being married or unmarried, and it appears to be mostly because men only have Mr to define them.

I don’t understand the big deal? I was married and I was Mrs, now I’m divorced and use Miss, what’s the big deal? Does admitting to being married or single give people a weapon to use against you?

I always thought Ms was used by divorcees, but I never understood the point. What does it matter if people know whether or not you’re married? Are you more likely to be raped or abducted if you admit to being a Miss, do married women get paid more, or get more rights than single women? Is it just because Master has gone out of use for boys and young men?

Sometimes I think the feminists are fighting entirely the wrong battles!

Let’s face it, feminists tend to go on about how they are seen as “less” than men by the great misogynistic majority of men, but in this case we have two options for address, where they only have one, surely we’ve won this round? Am I the only person who doesn’t believe that it’s a problem for a woman to be addressed according to her marital status? After all, if you’re really rabid about it there’s always “Ms” as a form of address, but is that any better?

In this day and age I don’t believe it makes the slightest bit of difference how you’re addressed, especially given the way roles within families have changed, but doing away with an entire form of address because women want to be entirely equal with men is non-sensical, why aren’t these women fighting for equality in pay, or any of the other things that have been campaigned for over the years? I haven’t seen any of these so-called “rabid” feminists throwing themselves under carriages to make their point publically and sacrificing themselves for their cause, Emily Davison must be sitting in her heaven looking down at these women wondering how the hell they call themselves feminists…having their militant coffee mornings and talking about Miss vs Mrs.

According to some of the more radical feminists, nothing has been achieved since the suffrage movement, but over the years since it all began in the early 1900’s with the votes for women campaign of the suffragettes.  I’m sure Millicent Fawcett is turning in her grave at the very idea! Feminist activists have campaigned for women’s rights – such as in contract law, property, and voting – while also promoting bodily integrity, autonomy and reproductive rights for women. Feminist campaigns have changed societies, particularly in the West, by achieving women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in England, equal pay for women, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property.

Feminists have worked to protect women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. They have also advocated for workplace rights, including maternity leave, and against forms of discrimination against women.

It’s worth pointing out that Feminism is mainly focused on women’s issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men’s liberation is a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles.

With all the things that have been fought for and won on behalf of women everywhere, arguing over a descriptive address seems petty in the extreme, especially when you consider that equality for women isn’t anywhere near as advanced in other countries as it is in the west.

It also seems that feminism entirely ignores subjects like male rape, abuse and slavery which is still rife, and even in the west. Equality for women shouldn’t mean inequality for Men, and neither should it mean making women “more” equal than Men.

In my relationship, Red and I have gravitated towards a set-up where we do the things we enjoy and that seems to put us squarely in the gender-specific role catagory. I enjoy taking care of the laundry, I do most of the cooking and we take a fairly equal role in keeping the house clean and tidy. At the same time, Red mostly does the DIY around here, and he takes care of the car maintenance. It’s not because I’m not capable of doing my own car maintenance and it’s not because he’s incapable of cooking, it just seems that we do the things we enjoy most. I don’t see any problem with that and neither does he. Red accepts that there are some things I’m better at than he is (frying eggs for one) and I accept that there are things he’s better at than I am (undoing wheel-nuts springs to mind) but it has nothing to do with our gender, it’s just the way things have turned out.

I was once told that I “set the feiminst movement back 50 years” because when I had my first careers interview at school, I said that the only career I wanted to have was to be a mother. Now I’ve wondered about that on and off over the 20 years or so since then. As far as I can see, being a Mother is a fairly exclusively female job title, it’s also a very important job, giving birth to, nurturing and raising a human being and one who will take over this world when we leave it. Parenting is a massively important role, moulding and guiding your progeny in the ways of the world so that you leave a bit of yourself behind, safe in the knowledge that you have done the best job possible to make them a good and useful member of society. Why should this be any less important a career choice than astrophysicist, Doctor, Lawyer or Librarian?

The way I see it, Feminism used to be a big important thing, women felt so strongly about their cause that they would throw themselves under carriages, starve themselves to death or chain themselves to railings for days on end to demonstrate the passion they felt. I think that wave of feminism has passed on into a new “activist” phase, with women who sit behind their computer screens bitching about “mansplaining” and misogyny, even though they themselves have never been put at a disadvantage due to their gender.

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