Posted by / Category Politics /

I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to write on the ‘Hollande affair’ again, but something was still bugging me. Here it is: don’t you think that the way the actual President treats his partners is appalling? From where I am sitting, it looks like he considers his various girlfriends to be fungible commodities. To make matters even worse, Valerie Trierweiler, who was until recently acting as France’s first lady, has now been humiliated in a very public way. If this isn’t a repudiation, then I don’t know what is.

Am I the only one to think that Hollande’s behaviour shows a deeply machist mindset? Actually, it is not only machist, but also careless and cruel. If we leave aside any moral considerations for a minute, the age-old commandments of having an affair have been broken here:

1. Thou shalt remember that someone will get hurt;
2. Thou shalt be discreet;
3. Thou shalt remember the old adage ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it’;
4. Thou shalt not be cruel to your spouse/partner- after all, you are already cheating on him/her;
5. Thou shalt dress immaculately;
6. Thou shalt pay for your mistress’ accommodation;
7. Thou shalt own up to what you have done (especially if caught);
8. Thou shalt remember that you have put yourself in such a pickle in the first place;
9. Thou shalt consider yourself lucky to have such first-world problems;
10. Thou shalt try thinking with your head, for a change.

What happens now? Well, I don’t know, and I feel sorry for Valerie Trierweiler and her very public meltdown. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been one of her fans, but I wouldn’t wish what is happening to her to anyone. That said, I feel like Valerie could make the most of a really bad situation by pulling herself together (easier said than done, I know), looking fabulous (as she usually does, I must admit). She should then proceed to packing her suitcase, and come to London or New York. She could have a fresh start over here, and would probably become a star in a jiffy. She could publish books about the whole affair, have talk shows and live the high life.

And finally, I can’t help thinking that things would have been different with a female French president. A woman would have behaved in a more dignified and respectful way, I think. Please, let’s have more women in office!

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Sans commentaire!!

  • Hmm. Those must be rules that obtain only in France! I have neither heard them- nor seem them apply in practice in the States.

  • Thanks for clarifying the “rules” of French affairs. As for a female president — I’m all for it and will be pushing for one here in the U.S. at our next election. I think a lot of things would be better if women were in charge.

    • I honestly believe that a woman would have behaved in a more dignified way. I am not saying that all problems would have been solved with a woman, but I am convinced that things would have been more civilised!

  • I think he’s behaving appallingly too. So callous and cruel. Quite loathsome actually. Julie G would do well to note his behaviour for future reference. She’ll need it, probably even before the 7-year itch!

    • I really don’t understand what she sees in him. I must have missed something!

  • A woman for President? Hmm. Is there a French equivalent of Angela M? They have just released the contents a survey about infidelity here in France, and it appears to be pretty much common practice – although more so for men (55% admit to having been unfaithful) than women (32%). It appears that Mr Hollande has had two women in his life at the same time since he met Valérie in 2007. He’s just part of the statistics, apparently.

    • Well, we can’t deny that he is part of the statistics. That said, he should have behaved in a better way, don’t you think? Surely it was possible to be more discreet!

  • I’m with you.. more women in high places, please! Writing that I wonder- would many women really ‘serve’ that differently from men? Seems to me there are systemic problems in the world of power, i.e.- corruption, and I don’t know if anyone climbing that ladder can be exempt. My cynical thought for the day.

    • You are right, Brenda. That said, there is such a shortage of women in positions of power that I can’t help thinking that they wouldn’t mess things up at the first possible opportunity. I might be wrong. In fact, we will achieve gender equality when we have as many incompetent female leaders than male leaders. We still have time…

  • I use the “T” word quite tentatively because it raises so many emotions at both ends of the spectrum. We have had a female leader. It was an interesting experience.

    • The T word. You are right, you had a female leader over here. Whatever we might think of her, she wasn’t involved in a sex scandal, was she? I think that everybody was taking her seriously. I am not sure it is the case with our president right now.

  • I am feeling sorry for her, too, and yes, it throws a very sad light on the state of affairs (ha!) with regards to sexism and how women are treated in France. I don’t mean that they are generally treated badly, but this whole having an affair things (as a man) and finding it perfectly normal (again, as a man) is really shite.