French Feminism

This morning as I was battling on the exercise bike, I watched a brilliant programme on the French channel Arte about the feminst group ‘Ni Putes, Ni Soumises’ (not whores, nor submissives). Obviously as it was all in French I hardly understood any of it, but what did strike me was how elegant French feminists are. They wear lip gloss, nice clothes and have expensive hair cuts. In fact, they look just like most French women.

Maybe the days when feminists had obligatory hairy armpits and wore hideous sandals are over? Perhaps now that we (I use the term loosely) have made such great strides we can go back to looking like most women actually want to look, which is feminine and, well, beautiful?

In the book Persepolis that I blogged about a few weeks ago there is a brilliant cartoon where the author shows how ridiculous rules about how you look keep women from thinking about what is really important. So if you are worried abut being arrested because your scarf is not on the right way, or your abaya is too clingy, or your lip gloss too obvious, then you are unlikely to have the time to worry about your right to vote, or talk to a male or complain about the regime that is oppressing you.

So now that feminists can go back to high heels, waxed legs and mascara, will it give them less or more time to feminise? Is that even a word? Who knows, but at least I have time to think about it.

Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2011

3 thoughts on “French Feminism

  1. Whereas in the UK we have just had the SlutWalk as a showcase for modern feminism…

  2. In New Zealand, the “real woman” plays rugby, and looks like an Amazonian, fit for the Smithsonian with a caveman at her side, and a club at her feet……. O_o

  3. I have to comment, as I just today came back from being two weeks in Antibes. There really is something about French women. They really seem to know how to look very elegant and even chic. But not all of them. No, of course not. A must read is ex model Ines de la Fressagne’s stylebook,
    Parisian chic: aStyle Guide. I am interested to know of it takes to break a bank to look good, or perhaps there are some ways to do it. I hope not.

    Remarkable is that women’s undewear department, no under such name in one of those big departmentstores. It is seduction department.

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