It’s “another time”, so…

Let’s spend a minute on the “French women” topic, as I’ve already received several emails on it. As to why American women seem so fixated on French women, reader Dotty says “It’s because they seem to have everything American women want.” Reader Trisha says “It’s because they have a certain mystique, an allure.”

Interesting. Interesting because American women — or at least some American women — seem to spend a fair amount of time thinking about French women. I find that odd because, speaking for American men, we don’t spend much time thinking about French women per se (or French men for that matter). So why the desire to imitate them? It’s not as though American men are routinely pushing off for France in search of dates.

If I had to think hard about it I’d say that if French women have any special allure for American men, it’s that they seem to have a very clear picture of men and what they want. They seem to have an innate comprehension of the fact that ultimately we’re quite simple creatures with few real demands. We want only two things: a.) to eat well and, b.) to have unrestricted access to live sports on television. Most of the rest of life we greet on a take-or-leave basis.

But really, that’s about all I can think of. As I said, most men don’t think about the French any more that they think about, say, the Chinese. Unless you’re a baking and pastry blogger of course, then you think about both the French and the Austro-Hungarians quite a bit (but, you know, in an academic sort of sense). You also regret that you’ve let your high school French go the way you have. Sigh.

8 thoughts on “It’s “another time”, so…”

  1. Heh. I have a German friend who, the last time we went out to a bar, spent quite some time telling me how terribly unfair it was that French men (there was one chatting up a young lady quite close to us) had such sexy accents. This made me laugh quite a lot, because my German friend is tall, blond, tanned and handsome, and he has one of the sexiest accents I’ve ever heard – even heterosexual male New Zealanders have been known to comment on it.

  2. I’m quite amused. I must have a mistaken understanding of men because I would have guessed differently on their priorities. Perhaps the version I care for is slightly different.

    1. Doubtful. Men are pretty much the same everywhere.

      Thanks for the comment, Connie!

      – Joe

      1. I must have the same model as Connie because I, too, can think of a couple of other male maintenance requirements.

  3. I’d like to point out: if your thought is “1. American men aren’t specifically attracted to French women, so, 2. It is odd that American women would envy or want to imitate them,” then here’s the flaw: you assume that women are motivated only, or primarily, by the desire to become more attractive to men.

    Of course not. Women are individuals with lots of desires, only one of which may or may not be to become more attractive to men. Maybe we envy French women because they seem happier or more confident, or healthier or more worry-free, and we’d like to feel that. Your reader said, “they seem to have everything American women want”, but the only thing you could think of that American women would want is the attention of American men. No… women have many other concerns in life besides getting men to desire us, thank you very much!

    Personally, I envy French women their easy access to French patisseries. 🙂

    1. I just generally assume the prime motivator of pretty much every human being is to be attractive to his/her love object. You mean there’s a flaw in that reasoning? Hmm…

      Thanks for the email, Jamie!

      – Joe

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