Saturday, May 21, 2011


From the May 19th Economist:
In matters of sex, as of war, Europeans are from Venus. They mock Americans’ puritanism about the sex lives of public figures. For a politician to cheat on his wife in America is a sign of dishonesty. Witness the opprobrium heaped on Arnold Schwarzenegger over the new revelation that he had fathered a child out of wedlock. In much of Europe, affairs can be a badge of virility. That is the insinuation of an interview given by none other than Mr Strauss-Kahn’s wife, Anne Sinclair. Asked in 2006 whether she minded her husband’s reputation, she replied: "No, I’m rather proud of it! It’s important for a politician to seduce. As long as he seduces me and I seduce him, that’s enough for me."
Why is this considered sophisticated?


Assistant Village Idiot said...

There is a missing piece to this sophistication. Rich and powerful men anywhere, but especially in France, have always been able to do what they want to those with lower status. It is a marker of power. In the last century, rich and powerful women have also acquired some of this same class entitlement. We are watching class entitlement, not gender entitlement here.

Warren said...

Mark Stey:

Yes They Kahn!
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the other elevated souls of the governing class are above your bourgeois standards.

Warren said...

Opps, that's Mark Steyn.

OBloodyHell said...

> Why is this considered sophisticated?

Ummm, because it fits with the postmodernist meme of societal destruction.

If it's not destructive of Western Society, it's double-plus uncool. If it is destructive, it's double-plus ultracool.

Whitehall said...

There is some biological merit in the European viewpoint but it is important that is based on the stronger social heirarchy they have. Out more egalitarian structure and values work against it and make monogamy preferred.

Of course, American fertility os higher and stable families are therefore more important.

Carl said...

AVI: I agree that it's also about aristocratic elitism, see Peggy Noonan's WSJ piece:

"But what is most startling about the story is not the charge that a powerful man did a dreadful thing. It is the utter and profound difference between the U.S. response to the story and the French response.

America was immediately sympathetic to the underdog. The impulse of every media organization, from tabloid to broadsheet to cable to network, was to side with the powerless one in the equation. The cops, the hotel's managers, the District Attorney's office—everyone in authority gave equal weight and respect to the word of the maid. Only in America (and not always in America) would they have taken the testimony of the immigrant woman from Africa and dragged the powerful man out of his first-class seat in the jet at JFK.

In France, the exact opposite. There, from the moment the story broke, DSK was the victim, not the villain. It was a setup, a trap, a conspiracy. He has a weakness for women. No, he loves them too much. Hairy-chested poseur and Sarkozy foreign-policy adviser Bernard-Henri Levy sneeringly referred to "the chambermaid," brayed about DSK's high standing, and called him "a friend to women." Jean Daniel, editor of Le Nouvel Observateur, sniffily asked why "the supposed victim was treated as worthy and beyond suspicion."

Why wouldn't she be treated as worthy, buddy? One is tempted to ask if it's the black part, the woman part or the immigrant part.

As David Rieff wrote in the New Republic, to French intellectuals, DSK deserves special treatment because he is a valuable person. "The French elites' consensus seems to be that it is somehow Strauss-Kahn himself and not the 32-year-old maid who is the true victim of this drama."

Americans totally went for the little guy. The French went for the power.

Lafayette would weep.

Someone once sniffed, "In America they call waiters 'Sir.' " Bien sur, my little bonbon. It's part of our unlost greatness."

OBloodyHell said...

> Why wouldn't she be treated as worthy, buddy? One is tempted to ask if it's the black part, the woman part or the immigrant part.

Actually, Carl, it's more than likely the "not French" part.

Amazing how everyone always victimizes the French. They're such a wonderful folk -- so worldly, so sophisticated, so cultured, so... full of shit.

OBloodyHell said...

The fun part here is when you juxtapose the Left's unthinking defense of her vs. their unthinking defense of Polanski.

Clearly, in all honesty, one should grant the French bozo some level of presumption of innocence, though his own personal history suggests the reality.