"Xenophobe's® Guides: Attitudes & values"

Xenophobe's® Guides: French values toward the opposite sex

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French women believe in feminism but not at the price of femininity, which is perfectly acceptable to the French men's ideal of 'a sexy mind in a sexy body'.

Xenophobe's® Guides: A book series that highlights the unique character and behaviour of different nations with insight and humour.

Feminism and femininity

French women still look as though they expect doors to be opened for them, cases to be carried, or seats to be vacated. They present themselves as elegant creatures who need men in the way that a perfect jewel needs the proper setting. It is still perfectly acceptable to compliment a French woman in a way that would rile her British or American sisters.

It is logical, reasonable and sensible to demand equal pay, equal access to the top jobs, equal opportunities in work and education. But they have not the slightest intention of surrendering the power that they have traditionally wielded so subtly, whether as good wives or good mistresses.

French women believe in feminism, but not at the price of femininity. They still want to be wooed and seduced. The idea of hating men or wishing to exist without them seems ridiculous to the vast majority of French women. What is the point of flaunting fashion or flair if men aren't around to admire them? Where is the fun or frisson in life if men aren't around to play their part?

French men

This approach is perfectly acceptable to most French men, who are as excited by women's brains as they are by women's bodies. Madame de Pompadour and Madame de Maintenon might not have been pin-ups, but they knew how to run the country better than their royal lovers. The ideal combination for a Frenchman is not ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body', but ‘a sexy mind in a sexy body'.

For more, read The Xenophobe's Guide to the French.

Reproduced from Xenophobe's Guide to the French by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides.

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