Tuesday, October 17, 2006

An Expose of Prurient French Politicians: Now What are We Exporting?

Leave it to the French to write an expose of the sexual exploits of politicians entitled Sexus Politicus. Two reporters, Christophe Dubois and Christophe Deloire, churned out a 39o page tome on the sexual habits of the successful French politician and discovered, according to the NYTimes,

The book’s central premise is that in France, a successful politician is also a seductive politician. Sex, the authors say, is a civic imperative. “Far from being a flaw, to cast yourself in the role of seducer is without doubt an important quality in our political life,” the book claims.


They understood, according to the authors, a fundamental rule of French politics: Good politicians love and are loved.

What is perennially disappointing about seducing politicians (with the exception of cretans who go after young boys or girls) is that the American public is so damn moralistic about the whole thing. Moreover, we have a hard time respecting privacy, probably due to that same moralism. We would rather delight in the moral failings or exploits of others than take a look at our own shortcomings. Afterall, why do shows like Jerry Springer thrive here: where an ex-politician caught for soliciting hookers gave a little moralizing sermon after parading the most depraved subjects on the planet for the public's consumption. A little privacy would go a long way.

The article ends thusly

That Ségolène Royal, the leading candidate for the Socialist nomination in next year’s presidential election, is not married to the father of their four children has not been an issue.

That said, the French tolerance — or even celebration — of sexual exploits may change if Ms. Royal becomes president.

“This French exception that makes power rhyme with sexual prowess — will it survive the feminization of politics?” Le Figaro asked. “This question has not escaped Ségolène Royal, who predicts the revenge of women if she assumes power.”

If it is the case that the feminization of politics leads to more moralizing about the private lives of public servants, then I do think we have an interesting cultural difference on our hands. The most expensive moralizing to the taxpayers in this country came from Conservative men, looking to bring down a moderate Democrat. If the Democrats take the House or Senate (neither very likely), then perhaps we will see "the revenge of Conservatives" once again.

More importantly, what is wrong with the Le Figaro question is the potent and damning association now made between feminism and cattiness. If it is the case that the election of Ségolène Royal ennervates moralizing femmes, then I wouldn't mistake those femmes for le feministes!