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This was parked just outside my house. I love it!
It’s the Indian summer in London. It is fair to say that it has never been warmer in a long time, which is nice -and unexpected. We keep wandering in London, with our sunglasses on and the whole experience tastes like holidays.
I went for my usual coffee this morning. On Sunday mornings, I like buying the Sunday Times to try to catch up with the news. Everybody loves buying the Sunday Times in London. As one friend explained it to me, it is good for the recycling industry ( who said the written press was dead?).
While I was trying to read, a tanned hunk with flip-flops, an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt and short pants came to get a coffee. All the women were understandably distracted and even I had to stop reading my article to admire him. Then, a Japanese baby started to play hide-and-seek with my newspapers. He was approximately 18 months old and really seemed to enjoy my big pile of newspapers. He loved the noise of the cracking paper and we had a few laughs together. That said, my business section is now full of the crushed mango he had all over him. Never mind.
I finally made it back home to have a proper read of what was left of my paper. Apparently, the Prime Minister has apologised for some comments he made (like, a month ago ) to two female MPs (Members of Parliament). The comments could be perceived as sexist (he said something like “calm down, dear” and added that the other female MP was “frustrated”).
How odd. It got me thinking that, at least, he has apologised (better late than never, eh?). In France, no one would have blinked an eye. Does it mean that the Brits are less sexist than the French? I don’t think so. I have heard as many sexist comments this side of the Channel than in France. And no apologies in all cases. Let’s be honest, things don’t change that easily and if you dare to complain you are the one who is bitter and frustrated -she must having her periods-. Maybe we will get there in 200 years?
To conclude on the subject, I am seriously considering hiring an experienced male actor with charisma and grey hair to help me conclude business deals -I would pose as his PA, and it would be for my business. Negotiating with a woman seems terrifying and unacceptable for some, maybe I need to try to make potential clients feel more at ease. Yes, this is happening in 2011. I think that I might give it a try. What do you think?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • So … I should say ‘good’ post instead of ‘good girl’? 🙂

  • An experienced male actor with lots of charisma?…sure, but good luck on finding one who will be brainy enough to truly represent you and your business….hehehehe….(Am I being sexist too?) 😛

  • If you hire George Clooney, you can sell me anything!

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  • I’m with Lalia! Though on a serious note – myself and my partner are finding the same…and our business is care industry based…where most males think we should reside.
    Keep it up, keep them rattled I say. If they weren’t so busy looking over their shoulder scared of the approaching multi tasking mother/daughter/housewife/businesswoman extraordinaire then we wouldn’t have so much fun mocking them! lol

  • @ Thom – I am sure that whatever you say simply will not top up some of the comments I had…

  • @ Joy – I could train him? But your are right, it would be tough!!!

  • @ Lalia – Totally agree. But I might be a tad bit distracted!

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  • @ Lucylastica2 – It is funny how some things never change, isn’t it? That said, I am glad to see that it is not only me…

  • I love how you described your Sunday, Muriel! =) You make every-day happenings sound so Hollywood! =)

    As for hiring a male representative, I love Lucy’s comment on this. “Keep them rattled”! =)

  • I have been reminded down here that the English word Hypocrite comes from the Greek word for an actor – somebody pretending to be somebody else! Would stay here longer but must be off for my cold Frappe coffee – routines must be respected!

  • Interesting idea! if you try it, let us know how you get on!

  • Isn’t the way men react to women in business just such horsecrap? I have experienced it a bit, but when I am focused on a job, I don’t let that stand in my way of getting things done. Good luck, and as I told my oldest daughter years ago when she began work as an accountant, you have to talk to men like a man. No emotion, just facts. 🙂

    George Clooney would be nice, but Robin Williams might get more done. 🙂

  • My God, it sounds just like the good old Sixties in London when we, a small number of female executives, had to pretend we had no periods, no personal life outside of work, and no emotions worth showing. One thing that has been toned down is the sexual harassment, at least on the surface, because I’m sure it still exists, just less.

    As for the Prime Minister calling a woman MP “dear”, that sounds condescending but not worth the time or attention for a public apology. Personally, I prefer the French attitude. As for men who fear negotiating with women in business, outside of London, I rarely had any problems of a sexist nature (including in Latin America). I had several great guys working under me who have all told me how I helped them with their careers.

    I love the idea of you hiring a male actor but never pretend to be a PA. Let him play that part and see how those snooty English businessmen react.

  • Comments from Stephane & Vincent:

    Are you offering me a job? The grey hair is slowly getting there and I think I could pose as a respectfull English person! What do you think?

  • @ sam – i will, Sam, I will. But at the same time, you have to give your customers what they want, don’t you?

  • @ DC – I am all about routine too. Maybe I am becoming British and I mustn’t fight it!

  • @ Cath – Congratulations for having such a bright daughter. Maybe in the US things are a bit better?

  • @ Jenny – I will, Jenny, I will…

  • @ Penelope – Here, you must be part of the club. If you are not, well, tough luck…