See, the problem I'm starting to have with this whole ''French men, ooh la la'' thing, is - well, it's bullshit.
When I first came to France, I thought men asking me to suck their dicks whilst on my way to the boulangerie was sort of sweet. They must just be more liberated than their awkward Jeykll-Hyde, drunk-sober British counterparts, I thought. Now, after quite a bit of time here, I've finally had it.
Don't even get me started on what it's like to actually engage in a relationship with one of these men. Let's start at street level, or DSK Syndrome part 1.
This week has been fairly hard on the old blood pressure. I wasn't a nervous child, but I was the sort of child who, when asked to babysit her younger siblings at the age of 10, would sit on the stairs, eyes fixed on the door handle, waiting
a) for some leather-jacket wearing psycho to break in and perform the Human Caterpillar on me, and
b) for my selfish parents to come home.
My eyes literally did not leave the door. I sat there, my body crisp, jumping at every sound, resenting my heavy-sleeping sister, and my parents who, I imagined, were sitting in a bar somewhere laughing their heads off, oblivious to the terror suffered by their eldest daughter.
What's my point? My point is - I do not like being in houses by myself. I plan escape routes. Note which objects are lying around that I could use as a weapon. Calculate which neighbours would hear my screams. My imagination runs wild, when I'm left home alone.
So imagine my fucking FEAR when, walking home to my empty flat a few nights ago, I pass a group of guys a bit older than me, guys I don't know, who say ''Oh, c'est la petite anglaise du coin'', ''eh, do you like ze franch kiss honey?''. Firstly - how do they know I'm English? Secondly - AHHHHHHHHHH! So I call my flatmate (on holiday in the South of France), and start ranting in a way that makes me sound seriously deluded, and she tells me about how one night when I wasn't there, a group of guys threw stuff at the windows and started shouting my name. Couple this with the usual light sexual harrassment you get in the streets, and the fact that this one ex-student of mine has been calling, and calling, and CALLING all day (he's literally calling right now as I type, had to put the phone on silent), and I have had JUST ABOUT ENOUGH of this.
It's not even like it's because I'm some irresistable sex elf: it's just because men here feel like they have the God-given right to have any woman they want, and it's just a matter of pressure and time before they get them. That is the basic psychology. And it's a psychology that is beginning to infuriate me. The other night, I heard guys throwing pebbles against the window, and based on my flatmate's story, I'm guessing it's the same guys as last time. I couldn't do anything other than cower in the shadows, pulling my holey jumper tighter around my bony, shaking shoulders, because what am I gunna do? Storm up to window, cheeks flushed, throw it open and in a high-pitched reedy attempt at salvation tell them....what? ''Arretez! Qu'est-ce que vous voulez? Je vais appeler la police!'' They'd fucking love it!
Now see, if I were a man, the problem wouldn't exist. I would feel I have every right to walk down my street, and ain't nobody nowhere NOHOW gunna make me feel afraid. I would walk up to that window, get my shotgun out, and tell those muthafuckers to muthafucking beat it. (I would, obviously, be a very mannish man).
It's going to be a long time before France gets something like this RESPECTED and SUPPORTED by the majority of the community. Try and talk about this sort of sexual intimdation to your average French man, and you just get a snigger and a ''ah, les anglo-saxons...''.