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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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La di da and La dy Di

Ok, so the “French Women Don’t Get Fat” thing.

== begin tirade ==

Is this news to anyone? Did the public need a whole book? A book with a ridiculous Leek broth panacea? Is it news that portion control and not snacking keep a person slim and trim? Is it because I am French that these things seem self-evident?

I do think it is important that the author revealed this: that French women are concerned with their “ligne” not just to be happy themselves, but to be attractive to men. I would even say mainly to be sexy to the opposite sex. (I apologize for making generalizations along straight lines. I don’t have much experience with the wiggly gay ones.)

American women may want to be sexy to others, but when they deny themselves certain foods, diet and work out, it is principally to better themselves. And I’m not even going to talk about the cultural differences at work here (the fact that delicious food is integral to French life whereas puritanical Americans see pleasure as sinful, the fact that the French do not rush anything (bureaucracy, anyone?) while Americans take. Care. Of. Business.) Average French women do not overexert themselves unless the reward is somehow sensual.

For all the progress Feminism has made in the last 40 years, French society remains deeply divided along gender lines. The women shop and cook and pick up the kids after school; the men do not. Go to a restaurant and order for yourself and your (male) significant other, and see what kind of reactions you get. Women do not order for men; men order for women. Do yoga for your own benefit? That’s very strange. Go to France with your American entrepreneurship and see how many men are emasculated by your ambition and work ethic (Parisian client: “You cannot work on Saturday! How can you work on Saturday? We are closed on the weekend.” Me: “Because you need the files on Monday, right? I have to work on Saturday to get that done. It’s no big deal.” French client: “Let’s worry about the files on Monday, then. Nobody works on Saturday.” Me: ???)

I haven’t researched any of this (much like the author of the book.) These are just the observations of someone with a foot in both cultures, someone raised French in an Anglo dominant culture.

== end tirade ==

So Prince Charles is finally going to marry Camilla. I’m not the first to say this, but he should have done that in 1981 and spared Diana a lot of unhappiness. I woke up 2:00 am to watch that sham of a travesty of a sham of a wedding, you know, and I was so enchanted that I even went through a brief English phase where I had to have tea every afternoon, Weetabix for breakfast and vinegar with my “chips.” Meals were to be served on my special Charles + Diana breakfast tray (photo t/k.) You see that I wanted to be not only English, but also Royal. This is very important. I got no respect from my family. Nobody obliged my regal desires, and I know that I have deplored that before in this diary. Does it sound as though I were still smarting from these injuries?

Justice will be mine!

10:08 a.m. - 2005-02-10

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