Sunday, 20 October 2013

Senate of the apes.

I'm not a palaeontologist, but know quite a lot about neanderthals. I'm British. We Brits are no slouches when it comes to knuckle-dragging behaviour. We seem to have various institutions which would give anyone a run for their money in this department, but we don't have a monopoly. Everyone is descended from the same literally lowbrow stock, but in different parts of the world it manifests itself in different ways. The theory of 'Intelligent design' is a particularly apt example.

This week, a French woman politician, Véronique Massoneau had to endure a drunken male colleague making 'clucking-noises,' as she delivered a speech on pensions. When she complained, the male backlash was like something from well, the Stone Age. 'She only got into Parliament by sleeping with the right people........'

A writer and political journalist Eric Zemmour was interviewed a couple of days after the incident on the French equivalent of BBC Radio 4's Today programme on France Inter. He dismissed the whole thing as 'feminist nonsense.' 'How did women get into the Assemblée Nationale and the Sénat?..... by laws of parity that forced people to put them on (voting) lists........and they put friends, women, mistresses etc.....'

Or what about Bernard Ronsin a regional councillor in: Crécy-sur-Serre: 'Parity is bullshit,' he told his local paper. 'We're going to force women into politics when they don't necessarily want to. In my profession,(blacksmith), I deal with more and more women. There are some who are very competent, but they ruin our lives. They'd be better off with pans making jam.'

I'm not saying that this is a specifically French thing, but it does seem to be the case that the incidence of such behaviour there seems to be much more prevalent than in protestant/Viking Northern Europe.

In our local bar, groups of young couples arrive in the evening. The guys immediately take all the chairs on the terrace.They then quite often drink themselves.... I was going to say stupid. Anyway, they always seem to leave the girls to fend for themselves. Quite understandably, the girls leave before the 'men,' with, one imagines nothing more to look forward to that evening than some inebriated groping.

The further south you go, the more pronounced the phenomenon seems to be. In Spain a couple of years ago, on the coast just outside Barcelona, we were eating at a restaurant in a narrow street. A couple at a nearby cafe had two young children; a boy and a girl. The father spent a lot of time playing in the street with the little boy, who had already been socialised to be a charmless brat. The little girl, who was slightly younger than her brother, followed them around desperately seeking both approval and attention. The father behaved like she didn't exist. Being Spain, he was covered in religious bling - crucifixes and holy medallions. The correlation between his behaviour and his faith was striking - a sort of Mediterranean wahabism.

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