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For the last few weeks, we have all been living with the Weinergate, DSK,  George Tron (a French minister who happens to be a foot fetishist-trust me, you don’t want to know more). I received a comment from Thom, a fellow blogger, who in essence asked: what about women? Are they as bad as men? Why don’t we hear more about them?

Well, I am sorry to break it out to you all, but I think that women can be as bad as men. They are just less likely to be in a position of power (just look at the statistics if you need to be convinced). That said, I tried to gather for you a few gems coming exclusively from sisters, in no particular order.
1.   –  Do you remember Edith Cresson? She was a French Prime Minister and eventually became a European Commissioner. Not only did she hire her dentist as an AIDS expert (see here) but she also famously said that “one in four British men [was] homosexual”.  Well, as a French woman living in London, I get a lot of unwanted attention. No later than this morning a (drunk – I hope) gentleman told me I was the most beautiful woman on earth. I was going to the dry cleaner (half asleep as it was early morning), I am dangerously nearing 40 and I have at least a stone to loose. I think that she misinterpreted the signs. British men were not interested in her, that’s all;

2.    –  While living with Jean-Paul Enthoven (a well-known French editor), Carla Bruni fell in love and had an affair with his son, Raphael Enthoven, who had the time was married with Justine Levy (a well-known novelist). –I hope you followed, I had to read it twice before getting it-. The affair and the end of the marriage inspired Justine Levy to write the very good novel “Rien de grave” (Nothing serious in French).  Carla Bruni denied having an affair with Raphael Enthoven  and went on to have a son with him. She is now the First Lady of France. Men love her as indeed she is very beautiful. As for me, well, suffice to say that I am getting my British passport as soon as I can. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in people’s right to a private life. But destroying other persons’ life, even if it wasn’t intentional –as I am sure was the case-, takes what she did to unbearable levels;

3.    – Gisele Bundchen said that there should be a “breastfeeding law” for the first six months of the baby. I was just trying to imagine what the breastfeeding police would look like. Would they knock at your door and try to extract some milk? Knock knock! Milk police here! We all say stupid things of course, but someone needs to explain to the gorgeous Gisele that, as moms, we are all doing what we can.
If you have heard about other gems please do let me know. My point was that no one is immune from saying or doing silly things. It has nothing to do with gender or nationalities. There is, however, one universal truth: sometimes –especially when you don’t know enough-, you might want not to say anything…
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Your last paragraph reminds me of Denis Thatcher’s comment (Mrs T’s husband) that the first rule he learnt in business was it was better to sit there, say nothing and have people suspect you were a fool rather than open your mouth and confirm their suspicions!

  • Love your laconic line: “CB denied having an affair with RE and went on to have a son with him” !!! This might be the time to tell you how much I admire your mastery of English.

  • If a camera followed any of us around, noting everything we do and say, none of us would ever leave our homes. It can’t be easy being in the public eye and yet, for those who are, like it or not, they have to be more careful about what they say and do. It is news in our information-hungry world and much more interesting than the ordinary lives most of us lead.

    While I do think that men tend to be the worst offenders when it comes to using power for sex, it still takes two to tango, as they say!!

  • Muriel, I agree, if one doesn’t know enough, one should keep one’s mouth shut! There’s nothing more irritating than to hear someone prattling on about something they don’t know an inkling about! Giselle and her breastfeeding law? It doesn’t get more ridiculous than that one!

  • I think it’s true that people can behave well, or poorly, no matter their gender, nationality, or position (powerful or not). And with the internet and social media’s power… those behaviours are out there for all to watch and discuss.

    As we are now. 🙂

    Hey, Muriel, Blogger’s being silly again…
    it’s Stacey! Have a lovely weekend!

    xo

  • Well said! I am guilty of making the best speeches I will ever regret and am learning to be a little more discreet before speaking. Awesome post Muriel, filled with those gems pasted at the top!

  • Interesting. Am sure women can be as bad as men. You don’t hear as much about it because there are fewer women in such positions of power. I think the personality it takes -the sheer self centred bloody mindedness -it takes to be in power leads to the same consequences regardless of sex

  • Let’s not forget the Mrs Robinson scandal a year or so ago…First Lady of Northern Ireland who was discovered to be having an affair with a teenage toyboy, who she was bank-rolling to start a coffee shop!

    Think I agree with Working London Mummy though – women can certainly be as bad as men, but there are less of them in positions of power. There’s a whole other issue…!

  • I had to laugh at number 3, I am trying to visualise too what they would look like. Mind I did visit a lady the other day and she said it was against the law to breastfeed in her country and police took bottles off you if you were caught out with them. How true this is I don’t know but she was very convincing

  • Why let a pesky thing like not knowing what you’re talking about stop you? 😉 I think — especially for the insecure — being desired can give a person a sense of power. If his/her professional position isn’t enough to quiet nagging fears and doubts, getting frequent reassurances — through sex, adulation, intimidation, manipulation, etc. — will do. As you pointed out, neither gender is immune.

  • Alas, silliness is not exclusive to any gender. Don’t get me started on the “leaders” that have made a mess of my country. SIGH…

  • @DC – poor Denis, it must have been difficult for him.
    @ Deborah – thank you! What a nice compliment!
    @Stepper – well said…it takes two to tango…
    @ Bella – I am sure that she meant well. She just needs to stick to modelling…
    @ Stacey – hi there! Don’t you think that people in a position of power sometimes believe they are above the law?

  • @Elizabeth – thanks. I am the same. I sometimes regret what I say…
    @WorkingLondonMummy – Agreed. Hopefully not everybody reacts the same way.
    @ Accidental Londoner- apparently her excuse was that she was depressed
    @Dianne x – are you talking about Spain?
    @Kenya – well said. No-one is immune

  • @ Sam – interesting. I will have to look it up. What’s going on in your side of the world?

  • Yes, I do think that something about positions of power seems to attract those who at least act as though they’re above the law.
    Though in truth I suppose there are also some ‘regular folks’ who seem to act like they feel that way, too.

  • ‘Tis true. Power corrupts on both sides of the fence.