Friday, January 17, 2014

Privacy Violation?

"I'm sure you'll understand my answer. Every one of us can go through difficult periods in our personal life and that is our case. They are painful moments, but I have one principle, which is that private matters are dealt with privately, within a respectful intimacy. Therefore it is neither the time nor the place to do so."
"My indignation is total. [The story was] a violation that touches personal liberty. [France must] maintain the principle of respect."
French President Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande French President Francois Hollande delivers his speech at his annual news conference Tuesday, Jan.14, 2014 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Monsieur le President misunderstands, obviously. A public figure such as one with the status that he represents really has no private life when he chooses to live a life that is clearly in defiance of public morality. Yes, in France things are far different. Women have been acculturated to accept the tidy little conceit that men insist is their right. Indeed, women too may play that game, and they do, most certainly.

But there is something in human nature that yearns for emotional fidelity. And certainly, most certainly, louche behaviour is not anticipated in a man who leads the French Republic. How, one might venture to enquire, can one trust a man to effectively lead a nation who will not make a commitment and respect the deep emotional needs of someone he has presumably committed himself to?

Men of power enjoy the aphrodisiac effect that it appears to have on many women. A woman with some measure of self-respect might tell herself that this is a man who has somehow managed to attract the attention of young, beautiful, talented and intelligent women, but he has an inability to reciprocate. What is his value as a human being other than one who has enjoyed the status of a predator upon whom no criticism redounds.

His current inamorata strangely enough felt placidly entitled to his sole attention as a sexual partner, perhaps forgetting that she hasn't been the first, or the one of longest-standing, or one who might have morally had first call on his responsibility as a common-law husband and father of four children. How she could be shocked into a nervous breakdown necessitating emergency medical attention in a hospital is beyond imagination.

What, aside from the power of his political position, enhances the perception of this mousy little man as a sex partner to begin with? The mysteries of male-female bonding will forever escape our full understanding. It is also very difficult to understand how or why French women are so quick to accept a male hunting ground that has its scopes on young females of attractive persuasion.

That a prominent French commentator, Christine Clerc, could write chastisingly her formula for social good manners that accepts the status quo and chides any woman who hasn't the intelligence to move on after having been used and abused is mind-boggling: "There are quite a lot of betrayed women who think that a First Lady should face this situation with more dignity. It's not the first time that we have a president who has affairs with women. It is even part of a certain tradition."

The question should be why is it so universally accepted in France that such a tradition is admirable in any way? Why, above all, would women collectively accept this, placid in their place as objects to be used and discarded? As for Mr. Hollande, he will think about it, whether or not he deigns to feel compelled to allow Valerie Trierweiler to continue in her guise as First Lady.

With dignity, as demanded by his position as President of France, the far-from-debonair skirt-chaser responded to a question whether he would be accompanied by Ms. Trierweiler on an upcoming Washington visit, with the response that he was unprepared to comment at the present time, but he would clarify the situation in due course; leaving the impression that he is undecided as yet which of the two will languish while the other moves into place as his current consort.

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