A Full-Blooded American

A recent article in the New York Times told of the reactions of the French living in New York City in the aftermaths of the Affaire DSK. It was interesting to realize how much the comments of the few people interviewed matched quite well my own sentiments. They had compassion for the soul-searching France but were in favor of the American justice, and every woman said she felt more respected in the USA than she had been in France.
Le Monde has used the article to illustrate how French natives evolve as they move away from their native land, adopting the customs of their adoptive country while keeping strong feelings for the French culture.
According to the article, it seems that most other ethnic groups blend faster and easier into the American culture than the French who tend to keep stronger ties with the homeland.
It is hard for me to say when and how the shift from being a 100% French woman to becoming a hybrid half French half American has happened.
In my last story for Valley Public Radio, I told of my slow but definite transformation and gave my own definition of being an American, which is a unique and quite extraordinary phenomenon that can’t happen to anyone anywhere but in the USA.
Since mid May, it is impossible to read a French newspaper and escape the headlines that since the Affaire DSK tell of the malaise that destabilized a nation as suddenly and strongly as a natural catastrophe or a mean flu virus would have.
Beyond the understandable humiliating experience, France is now realizing that what happened at the Manhattan Sofitel is only the tip of an iceberg. As unpleasant as it is, France is now naked in front of the entire world, for once offered the opportunity to get a chance to understand more of the legendary French seduction.
Unfortunately for the French, the delicious art of flirting, that is the trademark of my native land, is tarnished by what appears to be a deeper and general disrespect for women.
Also, the French, trying to grasp the consequences of the Affaire DSK, and to defend their libertine lifestyle, are missing a crucial point.
Every single French paper has compared the affaire DSK to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, to Spietzer’s unfortunate taste for prostitutes and even John Edwards’ love affair. The point for the French media is to illustrate the American Puritanism, the disdain for privacy and the hungry appetite for public exposure.
Sorry, but none of the men involved in these stories, definitely not representing at the time of their behavior lapses the best of our country, has been accused of rape.
DSK is now facing criminal charges that are much more serious than poor sexual decisions.
Not until the French understand that consensual sex means yes from both parts, and acknowledge that sexual aggression against women is a crime punishable by the law, will they be in a position to criticize the American lifestyle defined by a much younger country but a much older democracy.
On that subject, I am not anymore a hybrid but a full-blooded American.

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