David, one of our longtime contributors and a fellow expat resident with me here in Paris, forwarded the link below, suspecting that I might find it fascinating.
He was right. France, home to both legendary male chauvinists and trailblazing feminists, is having what you might call an identity crisis at the moment: is it going to hold onto outdated, oppressive traditions, regardless of how sordid they might be? Or is it going to move forward with its other, grander tradition of embracing bold ideas, like equality and a woman’s right, not only to choose, but to also say No to a man without fear of reprisal?
All of the contradictions and confusion are eloquently laid out in THIS GUARDIAN ARTICLE by journalist Natasha Lehrer. She brilliantly captures some of the elusive, baffling, and frankly horrifying nuances of this often Rubick’s cube-like culture, which many find fascinating, and more than a few find disturbing.
So, you have been warned: this piece is not a postcard picture of Paris. It is the reality of life in France, some of it grossly unfair to women. That said, it’s an article that should be read by men and women alike, French or otherwise, as we continue to reach for equality for everyone.
Thank you, David. Much appreciated.