So the France government finally announced that the term 'mademoiselle' should be eliminated from all official documents in govermental places. Good time for feminists who argued for a long time differenciating between a married woman and single woman by using different words is wrong.
There is the same thing in English language, but the term "Ms" has been coined to avoid the argument above, but the words Miss and Mrs are still in use as far as I know.
We don't have two different words for a married woman or single woman in Iran. In both cases the woman will be called "khanoom". This shows in Iranian culture it is not important to know if a woman is married or single in everyday conversation.
But there's no need to be pompous about. Any culture has its own other side:
The only time two words for differenciating between a single woman and the one who has married before is being used is at the time of marriage when the cleric is announcing the man and woman husband and wife. By calling her "dooshizeh" it means the woman has never been married before, and by calling her "banoo" it means she was married before. These 2 terms are not used in everyday spoken Persian. Only at the time of marriage.
And now this part of our culture shows itself: It is important to know if a woman is virgin or not at the time of marriage.
Also, the word girl can have a very different meaning in Persian as well: "She's still a girl" means she's still a virgin, and "she became a woman" means she lost her virginity. (girl in Persian language is dokhtar and woman is zan)
I personally found the use of the words girl and woman like that very offensive and very low-cultured. Thank goodness it's not common.
Now I bring an example for you to show you how the simple words woman and girl can have hidden meanings in Persian and make a conversation complicated:
Me and my non-Iranian friend who can speak our language were talking in English about a female friend we met at the library.
Me: The woman we met at the library....
My friend, a bit surprised: She's not a woman!
Me: Come on, she is a woman.
My friend: She isn't a woman, she's not married.
Me: I know. But she's older than us, she must be in her late 30's, so she's a woman.
My friend: But don't you call an unmarried female in your language girl?!
Me: !!!! [Where did she learn this?!]
Anyway, the French prime minister hoped that the term mademoiselle would become out of popular use.
But if I went over to France, please call me Mademoiselle Mercedé. When somebody calls me that I feel like this:
It's sure cooler than being called Madame Mercedé.
Here are some pictures and me adding jokeful captions under them:
|Call me mademoiselle and I'll kill ya.|
|Will you marry me mademoiselle... sorry I mean madame?|
|They should have done it sooner.|
|How can you really call me Madame?|
|That's not possible.|