Monday, February 22, 2010

Much Ado about Marianne

I think there must be a joke in here somewhere. How about...

How many Frenchman does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Ten. One to do the work and nine to get all huffy about it.

But seriously folks. I won't condemn a whole nation for the actions of a few. After all pretty much the same thing could be said for we Americans. But since I'm sitting on this side of the pond these days, let me just share with you the scandal de jour. Late last week, this ad campaign was launched:

The gist of it? The government is explaining its spending on education, sustainable development, the digital economy, research, and economic development as investments in the country's future. The lady in her Phrygian cap, the headgear of the French revolution, is clearly Marianne, whom the rest of you may better know looking like this.

But rather than making everyone feel all warm and fuzzy, it appears that the ad campaign has pretty much pissed off everyone. The left is outraged by the expense of the campaign and its timing, claiming that it's propaganda for the UMP (Sarkozy's party) on the eve of regional elections.

Their response?

The placard refers to a very ill-mannered remark made by Sarkozy in 2008 to someone reaching out to grab his hand at a public event. The whole thing was captured on a cell phone video and keeps getting trotted out to show Sarkozy's contempt for real people.

The feminists see it as a thinly veiled message that women should put up and shut up and just keep pushing out the babies. And they have a point, she's barefoot and pregnant, even though that white is awfully virginal.

Translation: Be a mother and keep quiet.

I'm not taking sides in this debate but I sure am enjoying the show.


Homéo said...

Extrait d'un article du du 18 fevrier
""Moitié Athéna, moitié Jeanne d'Arc, c'est une figure d'amazone vierge et protectrice de la cité. Elle n'est pas censée être mère", explique Mariette Darrigrand, sémiologue. Le fait de la représenter enceinte signifie que "seul l'enfant à naître peut assurer régénérescence de la société. Ce ne sont plus les lois mais les générations à venir qui vont sauver la cité"."
le blog de la dite Mariette
Bonne lecture ....

Starman said...

Poor Sarkozy, he can't seem to get anything right for getting it wrong.

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