France’s new first lady speaks of her past relationships

Paul K. writes:

There’s an article in today’s Telegraph titled “French women ‘are the sexual predators now’”, which contains this uplifting bit of information:

Female sexual emancipation has been a hot topic in France ever since President Nicolas Sarkozy met Carla Bruni, the Italian model and singer. The couple married last month.

Ms Bruni recently declared monogamy “terribly boring” and spoke in relaxed fashion about her numerous past conquests, including Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.

“I am a tamer [of men], a cat, an Italian”, she told Le Figaro last year.

“I am faithful … to myself. I am monogamous from time to time but I prefer polygamy and polyandry [its female equivalent].”

Interesting that she describes her sleeping around in terms of “conquests.” Wouldn’t “submissions” be a more appropriate term? If it’s a conquest for Bruni, what is it for Mick Jagger? Can both be conquerors?

Back when women put great value on their virtue, cads bragged of their conquests. But where there’s no resistance there can no conquest, just mutual gratification of a purely physical desire.

I believe that we have an innate understanding of honor. No matter how casually we may flout its dictates, no man likes to consider himself a coward and no woman likes to consider herself a whore. We will always rationalize our behavior rather than accept that characterization. Thus, we do not expect Bruni to say “I am what you would call a whore,” rather we expect her to come out with things like, “I am a tamer [of men], a cat, an Italian.”

The article also notes that “one-in-five younger French men ‘has no interest in sex’.” That seems entirely understandable.

LA replies:

However, Bruni did not use the word “conquests,” that was the reporters’ description. Also, for her to describe herself as a “tamer of men,” is not the same as saying that they were her “conquests.” It has a very different implication. “Conquests” is the male activity of getting a woman in bed and boasting about it afterward. “Taming a man” sounds like the female activity of domesticating a man.

Laura W. writes:

Bruni has no choice but to be a serial “tamer of men.” She is far too vain to love.

Paul K. writes:

You’re correct to point out that Bruni did not use the word “conquests” herself. It’s a writerly descriptor that would sound odd if someone used about their own activities. Bruni merely talks often and proudly of her many famous lovers, which suggests that she thinks she’s accomplished something noteworthy.

The fact that so many reporters use the term when writing about her supports the question I raised about what sort of “conquest” is involved when a beautiful woman offers herself to willing men. I did a Google search on “Carla Bruni, conquests,” and the terms were linked thousands of times.

Bruni met the French president at a large dinner party. Her come on was not exactly subtle:

At the end of the meal, 40-year-old Bruni asked Sarkozy if he had a car waiting outside. Sarkozy nodded and she accepted his offer of a lift home.

There, outside her 18th-century apartment block in the upmarket 8th arrondissement of Paris, she invited the French leader up for coffee and was stunned by his cool rebuttal.

“Never on a first date,” he told her.

LA replies:

So, for the French, giving someone a lift is a “date.” So if you gave someone a lift a second time, that would be a second date, and going upstairs would be ok.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 07, 2008 12:19 PM | Send

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