Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pollitt on French Sexism, Racism, and Hypocrisy

Katha Pollitt unloads on French hypocrisy over Strauss-Kahn's rape of the hotel maid, finding it shockingly depressing that French women are reacting just as awfully as French men.

Of course, the French (and a lot of Europeans at large) are complete hypocrites when they say bad things about America given their own history of racism, colonization, and inequality, not to mention excuses for rape. And it's when she moves beyond DSK that she delivers my favorite line:

A word about race: for decades, France, you've prided yourself on your lack of racism. But really what that means is you like African-American jazz musicians and writers. You're actually quite racist toward your own ex-colonized immigrants of color, most notably Muslims from North Africa. The way you talk about Muslim immigrant women, you would think France was a gender-egalitarian paradise for everyone else, and the biggest feminist issue was whether or not to ban the burqa.

Best thing I've read today.