WBEZ | Europe http://www.wbez.org/tags/europe Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Refugees from Syria, Iraq flood Europe http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-24/refugees-syria-iraq-flood-europe-110841 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP56838941181.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Syrian and Iraqi refugees are pouring into Europe to escape ongoing conflicts in their countries. We&#39;ll discuss how Europe has been handling the influx with Elizabeth Collett, director of Migration Policy Institute Europe.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-refugees-from-syria-iraq-flood-europe/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-refugees-from-syria-iraq-flood-europe.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-refugees-from-syria-iraq-flood-europe" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Refugees from Syria, Iraq flood Europe" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-09-24/refugees-syria-iraq-flood-europe-110841 Chemical found on U.S. apples banned in Europe over safety concerns http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chemical-found-us-apples-banned-europe-over-safety-concerns-110066 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Apples.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The European Union has banned a chemical commonly found on non-organic U.S. apples due to safety concerns, according to a new analysis by advocacy organization <a href="http://www.ewg.org/release/most-us-apples-coated-chemical-banned-europe-0" target="_blank">Environmental Working Group</a>.</p><p>The compound in question is called diphenylamine (DPA) and it&rsquo;s used to keep apples fresh in storage. Tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2010 (the most recent round) found DPA on 80 percent of U.S. apples.</p><p>Since 2008 European food authorities have been looking at the possibility that DPA could produce carcinogenic nitrosamines and other harmful byproducts when it interacts with other chemicals while in storage. In 2012, regulators concluded that makers of DPA had not proven the safety of the pesticide and banned it for use on EU apples and pears.</p><p>Last month, European regulators set DPA tolerance limits at .1 parts per million for all apple imports. The rule imposes a de facto ban on most American apples, whose average DPA concentration, in 2010, was found at .42 parts per million. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set DPA concentration limits for U.S. apples at 10 parts per million.</p><p>Today, Wendy Brannen, director of Consumer Health &amp; Public Relations at the U.S. Apple Association, told WBEZ that &ldquo;all U.S. apples are safe and healthy for all U.S. consumers.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The decisions made by the EU were not based on specific findings of risk,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It was rather an assessment that certain data were not provided in the re-registration process. It is my understanding that they have since been able to gather some of that data and they still have not found there to be any safety issues&hellip;Here, in the U.S., DPA usage is highly regulated. We are well below the tolerances that are set [by EPA] and there is no safety issue.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>EWG&rsquo;s senior scientist Sonya Lunder said Thursday in a statement:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;While it is not yet clear that DPA is risky to public health, European Commission officials asked the questions that the chemicals&rsquo; makers could not answer. The EC officials banned outright any further use of DPA on apples cultivated in the European Union until they are confident it is safe. Europe&rsquo;s action should cause American policymakers to take a new look at this chemical.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p></blockquote><p>Brannen says the European market is worth about $1.5 million a year in U.S. apple exports &nbsp;(about 1.7 percent of total US apple exports) and acknowledged that the ban was &ldquo;of concern.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;This is something that I&rsquo;m sure our industry will look at and consider if we need to make any changes,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But those changes would have nothing to do with a safety or quality issue, just a matter of &lsquo;is there something we need to do to work more symbiotically with the EU&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The U.S. EPA told WBEZ earlier this week that the agency&nbsp;<a href="http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reevaluation/" target="_blank">re-evaluated DPA</a> in September 1997 and decided that the current EPA standards met &ldquo;reasonable certainty of no harm.&rdquo; The agency says that DPA would be examined as part of its ongoing review program, but it had no timetable for that process.</p><p>A statement from EPA included this response: &ldquo;If evidence arises to challenge the safety of this registered pesticide, EPA will take action.&rdquo;</p><p>DPA has been registered for use in the U.S. since 1962 to prevent &ldquo;storage scald&rdquo; or blemishes that can develop in storage and affect other apples in the container. Brannen says it &ldquo;helps us...to properly store the apples so that they come out fresh, crisp and tasty just like when they went into storage. From that point of view it is a very necessary compound for us to use and something we use for a specific purpose.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>On Thursday, EWG president Ken Cook <a href="http://static.ewg.org/pdf/2014-Letter-to-EPA.pdf" target="_blank">sent a letter</a> to the head of the EPA&rsquo;s pesticide office urging it to &ldquo;halt the use of DPA on U.S. fruit until a rigorous analysis by EPA of the chemical can prove that it poses a reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the&nbsp;</em><em><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/chewing-fat-podcast-louisa-chu-and-monica-eng">Chewing the Fat</a></strong></em><em>&nbsp;podcast. Follow her at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a>&nbsp;or write to her at&nbsp;</em><em><a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chemical-found-us-apples-banned-europe-over-safety-concerns-110066 NSA roundup and UN intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-02/nsa-roundup-and-un-intervention-democratic-republic-congo-107928 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP195268182531 (1).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>DER SPIEGEL senior Washington correspondent Gregor Peter Schmitz elaborates on the magazine&#39;s recent reports on NSA spying. Friends of the Congo&#39;s Kambale Musavuli discusses what impact UN troops can have in the Democratic Republic of Congo.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F99409587&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-nsa-roundup-and-un-intervention-in-the-d.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-nsa-roundup-and-un-intervention-in-the-d" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: NSA roundup and UN intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p></p> Tue, 02 Jul 2013 11:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2013-07-02/nsa-roundup-and-un-intervention-democratic-republic-congo-107928 Greeks vote against austerity measures http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-05-07/segment/greeks-vote-against-austerity-measures-98882 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP120502037670(2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Europe saw a political shake up this weekend when voters went to the polls in France, Serbia and Greece. Greek voters gave a majority to the center-right New Democracy party.&nbsp; But with only about 19 percent of the vote, they did not win enough seats to take control of parliament. They&rsquo;ve now got three days to try and form a coalition.</p><p>The two parties that were part of the previous coalition government suffered a big loss as voters cast their ballots against austerity measures.&nbsp; The vote split among at least seven parties, unseating socialists and conservatives that have dominated Greek politics. Voters delivered a clear message, they want a change. We&rsquo;ll got some analysis from Endy Zemenides executive director of <a href="http://hellenicleaders.com" target="_blank">Hellenic-American Leadership Council</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 07 May 2012 15:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/worldview/2012-05-07/segment/greeks-vote-against-austerity-measures-98882 Making sense out of a strange winter http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-07/making-sense-out-strange-winter-96174 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-07/weather3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago is having its warmest winter in 80 years, according to <em>The Sun-Times</em>. Meanwhile, Mexico is mired in drought. Europe is experiencing bone-chilling cold in places where snow doesn't usually even fall. In Ukraine alone, an estimated 122 people are reported dead from hypthermia and frostbite.</p><p>Today, <em>Worldview</em> tries to make some sense out of this year's anomalous weather around the world with <a href="http://www.climatecentral.org/about/people-bio/heidi_cullen" target="_blank">Heidi Cullen</a>. Heidi's a climatologist with the think tank <a href="http://www.climatecentral.org/" target="_blank">Climate Central</a> and the author of <a href="http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061726880" target="_blank"><em>The Weather of the Future</em></a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Heidi Cullen is giving <a href="http://public.elmhurst.edu/news/archive/137126173.html" target="_blank">a talk</a> on "The Future of Weather" at Elmhurst College on Thursday, March 1 at 7PM.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 16:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-07/making-sense-out-strange-winter-96174 The history behind a vote for Scottish independence http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-30/history-behind-vote-scottish-independence-95954 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-30/scotland4.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Scottish government recently announced plans to hold a referendum on independence from Great Britain. Though Scotland has partial self-government, it's been a part of the United Kingdom since 1707.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Today, <em>Worldview</em> tries to unravel the emotional and practical implications of Scottish independence with local Scot <a href="http://las.depaul.edu/geography/People/EuanHague/index.asp" target="_blank">Euan Hague</a>. Euan is chair of the geography department at DePaul University.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>To read an article by Euan Hague on the culture of the Scottish-American community, click <a href="http://www.scottishaffairs.org/backiss/pdfs/sa38/sa38_Hague.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 30 Jan 2012 16:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-30/history-behind-vote-scottish-independence-95954 Vocational training vs. college education: Lessons from Europe http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/vocation1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanks to the feverish coverage of the European debt crisis, we know that Germany is the economic engine that’s kept the Eurozone afloat. The Germans attribute their success in large part to their dual education system. At a young age, schoolchildren go on tracks that determine whether they’ll receive vocational training to prepare them for employment or go to university.</p><p>While the system provides little flexibility, it does deliver on jobs. Germany, as well as Switzerland and Austria — which have similar education models — have the lowest youth unemployment figures in Europe. Young people in countries like France and the U.K., which put a greater emphasis on college degrees, fare much worse. In the U.S., youth unemployment is double that of adults.</p><p><a href="http://www.pepperculpepper.net/" target="_blank">Pepper Culpepper</a>, a political science professor at the European University Institute in Florence and editor of the book <a href="http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=CulpepperGerman" target="_blank"><em>The German Skills Machine</em></a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> what the U.S. can learn from foreign educational models.</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 Greek Prime Minister: Undoing His Father's Legacy http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/greek-prime-minister-undoing-his-fathers-legacy-92818 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-04/Papandreou_2_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou, who was born and raised in the U.S., belongs to Greece's most important political dynasty — he's the son and grandson of prime ministers.</p><p>And yet just two years after he led the Socialist party to victory, his popularity has plummeted, his debt-stricken country is at the heart of the eurozone crisis and he faces the daunting task of dismantling the generous welfare state his father created.</p><p>Anti-government protests have been escalating in decibels and numbers. Many demonstrators were once loyalists of the ruling Socialists – but all party flags have disappeared, replaced by posters depicting George Papandreou as an American stooge or an alien from Mars.</p><p>Greeks are furious as the government slashes public sector wages and pensions and raises taxes. But the prime minister seems unfazed.</p><p>"Many ask me, 'But do you have the support?'" Papandreou said last week in Berlin. "My first answer is, 'That is not my problem.' I've said, I am here to work for my country, save the country, change the country, whether I'm re-elected or not is not my problem."</p><p>Papandreou was basking in the applause of a group of German businessmen. This is precisely what triggers the most criticism in Greece: the cosmopolitan prime minister seems more comfortable abroad than in his homeland.</p><p><strong>Raised In The U.S. </strong></p><p>The 59-year-old Papandreou was born in Minnesota and also lived in California and Massachusetts. He has degrees from Amherst College and Harvard University. His mother was American, and father Andreas, a Greek economics professor at the time, was forced into exile after a military junta took power in 1967.</p><p>Perhaps because of his years abroad, George Papandreou's Greek is still inflected with a Midwestern American accent and his bearing is much more reserved than is typical in this Mediterranean society.</p><p>Journalist and publisher George Kirtsos has known Papandreou since they both were college students in the U.S., and he says the father and son couldn't be more different.</p><p>"Andreas Papandreou was a firebrand socialist, big spender, charismatic politician, let's say, a very capable orator," Kirtsos says. And how does he describe the son? "OK, he's a nice guy, liberal, in the American sense of the word, open-minded but this doesn't make him effective in the, let's say, byzantine environment of Greek politics."</p><p>After the fall of the junta, Andreas Papandreou founded Pasok, the Socialist party. Following in the footsteps of his father, George Papandreou, Sr., he was elected prime minister in 1981. Society was polarized by years of civil conflict and decades of right-wing rule.</p><p><strong>Father Built Welfare State</strong></p><p>But, thanks to Greece's entry into the European Union, the state was suddenly flush with cash. That allowed Andreas Papandreou to create a generous welfare state. Improved education, health care and social mobility also helped heal the political wounds of the past.</p><p>Sociologist Despina Papadopoulou says the result was a large middle class that kept Pasok in power for almost 20 of the last 30 years.</p><p>Now, with draconian austerity measures, Papadopoulou says, George Papandreou is undoing his father's legacy.</p><p>"The paradox is that it is the same ruling party that is destroying the middle class, is destroying the social forces that helped it (gain) access to power and this is our real crisis," Papadopoulou says.</p><p>Last year, when Papandreou announced he was seeking a $150 billion international bailout, he declared he was inspired by antiquity. Greece was facing a new Odyssey, he said, but knew how to get back to Ithaca.</p><p>Konstantinos Koutsodimos, vice president of the powerful Genop union, is also a Pasok loyalist. Dismayed by the prime minister's severe cutbacks and tax hikes, he wonders whether George the son has an Oedipus complex.</p><p>"This is a political patricide," he says. "Papandreou's policy is a complete betrayal. Before being elected, he promised that he would increase the social welfare state. He said he would increase wages, and in just two months after his election he reversed everything, he forgot all his promises."</p><p>Many economists here agree that the Greek welfare system has grown too big, is tainted with corruption, and that the massive public sector must be drastically streamlined.</p><p>But analysts question whether Papandreou — who has alienated so many Greeks — will be able to deliver. His drive to save the country without social consensus seems to be a Sisyphean task.</p><p><strong> </strong> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317758347?&gn=Greek+Prime+Minister%3A+Undoing+His+Father%27s+Legacy&ev=event2&ch=1124&h1=Europe,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141048632&c7=1124&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1124&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111004&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 04 Oct 2011 14:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-04/greek-prime-minister-undoing-his-fathers-legacy-92818 Greece's Woes Deliver Fresh Blow To World Markets http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/greeces-woes-deliver-fresh-blow-world-markets-92765 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-03/Greek+Economy_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Financial markets in Europe and the United States slumped badly Monday after Greece conceded it will not meet its deficit reduction goals for this year — or next — despite its austerity measures.</p><p>Stocks indexes in the U.S., France, Germany and Spain all fell about 2 percent.</p><p>The markets were responding to news that the Greek budget, which was sent to Parliament on Monday, showed a deficit this year of 8.5 percent of GDP, well above the 7.6 percent figure Greece agreed to for its bailout program. Greece also said next year's budget is estimated to miss deficit reduction targets set by its European lenders.</p><p>Some Greek officials and economists said the news supports their argument that the country cannot possibly cut its way out of debt and needs growth strategies, too. The austerity measures are considered one of the main reasons the Greek economy is set to contract a record 5.5 percent this year.</p><p>"If you have any economy which is in free fall, the private sector is de-leveraging, it is cutting its investment and its consumption, and then the state comes along and does the same, then the sum of public consumption, public expenditure and private expenditure will go down," says economist Yanis Varoufakis of the University of Athens.</p><p><strong>Greek Bailout Money At Risk</strong></p><p>The deficit news could further jeopardize Greece's next installment of bailout money, an 8 billion euro ($11 billion) infusion the country desperately needs in two weeks in order to avoid bankruptcy.</p><p>That's because Greece's troika of creditors — the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank — have said repeatedly that the government must meet clear deficit reduction targets for Greece to receive its regular installments.</p><p>Greece this weekend agreed to cut 30,000 public sector jobs through early retirement and layoffs in a further effort to meet the conditions of lenders.</p><p>On Monday, the reaction from Germany, the eurozone's largest economic player, was muted because it's a national holiday and all offices were closed. European finance ministers were meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, and tried to send a message of reassurance that the EU was taking action.</p><p>But critics say the EU has been unable to develop a comprehensive strategy. In addition, the critics argue that the EU has been too slow and reactive, and has not been able to ease a crisis that's already seen bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.</p><p>George Osborne, the finance minister of Britain, which is not in the eurozone, stressed the need for decisive action.</p><p>"They need to increase the size and firepower of their financial fund — the bailout fund," said Osborne. "Second, they need to deal with their weak banks, which are a real drag on growth across the European continent. Third, on Greece, they need to decide what they're going to do with Greece and stick by that decision." <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317675635?&gn=Greece%27s+Woes+Deliver+Fresh+Blow+To+World+Markets&ev=event2&ch=1124&h1=Europe,Economy,Business,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=141014775&c7=1124&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1124&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20111003&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-10-03/greeces-woes-deliver-fresh-blow-world-markets-92765 French Feminists Say 'Non' To 'Mademoiselle' http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-29/french-feminists-say-non-mademoiselle-92633 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-29/Mademoiselle_3_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Feminists in France say the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal has forced the country to confront longstanding sexist attitudes. Buoyed by this new awareness, they are now taking on what they see as one of the most entrenched, if not discreet, barriers to gender equality in France: the word "mademoiselle."</p><p>In France, when you fill out a form — whether it's a job application or a parking citation — if you're a woman, you have to choose between madame and mademoiselle.</p><p>Too bad if you feel your marital status is nobody's business, there's simply no French equivalent of "Ms."</p><p>Now, French feminists are launching a campaign to change that. Marie-Noelle Bas, president of the feminist group Watchdog, says the word "mademoiselle" is no longer relevant.</p><p>"In old days, women went from the domination of their father to the domination of their husband. They were mademoiselle when they were girls and madame when they were married. For the men, there is no two states, only monsieur from the youth to the elder," she says.</p><p><strong>Climate Right For Change</strong></p><p>Mademoiselle, say feminists, separates women into two categories in a manner men aren't subjected to. The corresponding title for males, damoiseau, which translates roughly into squire, disappeared from use nearly a century ago. Feminists say using the generic madame, like monsieur, will create the same rules for both genders. They also claim leaving out mademoiselle will cut down on opportunities for discrimination and harassment.</p><p>Bas says France is way behind its neighbors. The Scandinavians no longer delineate between married and unmarried women, and the Germans have dropped fraulein.</p><p>The campaigners say even the Spanish have struck senorita from official forms. A new website lets users sign a petition and offers form letters that can be sent to companies and lawmakers to demand that the title mademoiselle be discarded.</p><p>Thalia Breton, from the organization Dare Feminism, says the climate is right to launch the assault on mademoiselle.</p><p>"People have really woken up about inequalities and sexism since the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair. And we think these issues will be a part of the presidential debate leading up to next May's election," she says.</p><p>Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund, was arrested in May on accusations he sexually assaulted a hotel maid in New York. The charges were dropped, but he still faces a civil lawsuit brought by the woman, Nafissatou Diallo.</p><p><strong>A Compliment Or Not?</strong></p><p>Though a few sociologists, writers and philosophers have signed on to the feminists' linguistic cause, the issue isn't being widely discussed. Judging from first reactions on the street, the feminists have their work cut out for them. Monique Wlazlo, 45, who is coming out of a shop where she has just completed a form to get a new cell phone, calls the campaign paranoid.</p><p>"As long as no one calls me monsieur I'm fine," she says. "Anyway, we naturally refer to an older, unmarried woman as madame. And if you you're married but don't look your age you might get called mademoiselle. It's flattering one way and less so the other, but that's life," she says.</p><p>Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist work, <em>The Second Sex</em>, was published 60 years ago. Even so, says Bas, French women have integrated the masculine domination of French society into their very souls.</p><p>"It seems normal to them that the men are more important than them," she says.</p><p>And aside from that, says Bas, mademoiselle isn't even a compliment, explaining the origins of the word: "Madame, for madame, oiselle in French is the feminine for oiseau. And in ancient French, that means virgin, that means stupid, that means somebody who needs to be married."</p><p>Mademoiselle is only a word, says Bas. But it's important to fight sexist words and images because they create the climate of inequality between men and women that can lead to violence, she says.</p><p>Feminist Breton sums it up this way: If you were to call a man damoiseau he would laugh in your face. Mademoiselle, she says, is just as ridiculous. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1317333610?&gn=French+Feminists+Say+%27Non%27+To+%27Mademoiselle%27&ev=event2&ch=1124&h1=Europe,World,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=140931817&c7=1124&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1124&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110929&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 29 Sep 2011 15:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-29/french-feminists-say-non-mademoiselle-92633