August 13, 2010 |
"Sexual intercourse began in 1963," the poet Philip Larkin said of the revolution that liberated women and changed the world. And nowhere was that revolution more on display, literally, than on the beaches of the French Riviera, where the first bare breasts appeared just a year later. Scandale ! Some local mayors prohibited it, and the Interior Ministry declared it illegal. But as anyone who has visited a French beach in the last 40 years will know, public opinion was stronger than the bureaucrats' protests.
June 2, 1992 |
When it was over, after Jennifer Capriati defeated Mary Pierce, 6-4, 6-3, in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday, their fathers shook hands. Many among the 12,000 spectators at Center Court were expecting something more exciting. But Stefano Capriati and Jim Pierce, excitable fathers who coach their teen-age daughters, were on their best behavior. That left the daughters, whose lives have been as public as a TV sitcom, to bang away for 1 hour 24 minutes.
November 27, 2011 |
On Jan. 24, 1943, 230 French women who had been arrested for resistance activities were put on a train at Compiegne, outside Paris, and sent to Auschwitz. The youngest had just celebrated her 17th birthday; the oldest was 67. They were teachers and seamstresses, students and farmers' wives; there was a doctor, a dentist and several editors and chemists. They were to be a lesson to other would-be troublemakers. The women were not Jewish, so they were not sent immediately to be gassed.
October 11, 2009 |
American women may drop billions to look fabulous, but someone else holds the title to the ultimate in allure: the French woman. Is it any coincidence that the French coined the term femme fatale ? You know the type, a woman who's impossibly svelte and chic, with a certain aloofness and an aura suggesting that she knows something we don't about sexuality and seduction, a woman with that elusive quality known as je ne sais quoi. So is there truth to the stereotype? Yes and no. The mysterious creature people find so fascinating is partly real and partly steeped in myth, forged by icons such as Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot, says Debra Ollivier, author of the new book "What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind."
September 27, 2011 |
She shied away from the term "sexual harassment," preferring "seductive pressure. " "Women can't talk about the seductive pressure that men put on women, because it is a taboo in France," said the woman, pausing between sentences. A former company manager, she, perhaps tellingly, wished to remain anonymous. "As women managing directors, we've all been confronted with it. " As she spoke, she began to worry that her comments would create "generalizations" about France. She was only one person, and was sorry to be wasting a reporter's time, she added, with a tight smile.
February 9, 2012 |
A little more than a year has passed since the publication of Amy Chua's "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" - the paroxysm-inducing guide to raising better children through belittlement, intimidation and tyrannical music practice - and already we have version 2.0. Pamela Druckerman's "Bringing Up Bébé" alleges that it's the French who could teach indulgent, over-scheduling, helicoptering American parents a thing or two about rearing les enfants...