Green Room

Oh, those conservative … French?

posted at 5:42 pm on September 18, 2013 by

Remember when we used to laugh up our sleeves at our friends in France — those licentious, tax-happy, surrender prone French?  Nowadays the French seem more eager than ever to engage in military intervention — they managed to rescue Mali from an al-Qaeda takeover this winter, after nearly allowing it through the disastrous US/UK/French intervention in Libya.  Suddenly, they’re not as fond of taxes as they used to be, either, according to the Financial Times:

When François Hollande came to power last year, his most famous election promise was to impose a 75 per cent tax rate on those earning more than €1m a year. Now France’s socialist president has acknowledged that the country is hitting the tax buffers.

In a television interview this week, he noted that both his and the previous centre-right government had raised taxes in total by €60bn since 2011, equivalent to about 3 per cent of national income. “That’s a lot – that’s to say, too much,” he said.

Mr Hollande has promised a “tax pause”, backing up his finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, who last month triggered a political tremor when he said he was “very conscious that the French are fed up with taxes”.

French business leaders have been clamouring for relief from a relentless increase in the tax burden, which government projections show will rise to 46.5 per cent of gross domestic product next year, one of the highest levels among developed economies. Recent polls have indicated the French public increasingly feels much the same.

Well, at least they’re still anything-goes libertines on sexuality.  Oh, wait

Child beauty pageants may soon be banned in France, after a surprise vote in the French Senate that rattled the pageant industry and raised questions about how the French relate to girls’ sexuality.

Such contests, and the made-up, dolled-up beauty queens they produce, have the power to both fascinate and repulse, and have drawn criticism in several countries. France, with its controlling traditions, appears to be out front in pushing an outright ban.

French legislators stopped short of approving a measure banning anyone under 16 from modeling products meant for grown-ups — a sensitive subject in a country renowned for its fashion and cosmetics industries, and about to host Paris Fashion Week.

The proposed children’s pageant amendment sprouted from a debate on a women’s rights law. The legislation, approved by a vote of 197-146, must go to the lower house of parliament for further debate and another vote.

Its language is brief but sweeping: “Organizing beauty competitions for children under 16 is banned.” Violators — who could include parents, or contest organizers, or anyone who “encourages or tolerates children’s access to these competitions” — would face up to two years in prison and 30,000 euros ($40,000) in fines.

When did the French become more stodgy and conservative than Americans?

Addendum: I intensely dislike beauty pageants for girls, because of the very inappropriate sexualization to which the French also object. I don’t agree that it should be a crime, but hopefully so socially repulsive that it forces parents to reconsider putting their daughters through that kind of meat grinder.  Adult women who want to enter these contests make their own choices.

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…people in Europe are starting to wake up…finally

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM

…all my relatives are in the Netherlands…my folks came on the boat here after the war…and 1 aunt went to Canada…(it took a while for the natives to get restless!)/

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

I don’t get the point of child beauty pageants. If they like to show off skills, do talent shows. If they like to dress up or dance, join cotillion. Beauty pageants are inherently sexual and inappropriate for children.

philoquin on September 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

I don’t get the point of child beauty pageants. If they like to show off skills, do talent shows. If they like to dress up or dance, join cotillion. Beauty pageants are inherently sexual and inappropriate for children.

philoquin on September 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

They are also physically damaging. Among the delightful “tricks” that are common in the “baby pageant” game are;

-Hair weaves, dyes and extensions;

-Use of prescription acne medicines intended for adolescent or older patients to ensure “babyface” complexions;

-Having baby teeth removed by dental surgery, so dentures can be fitted (got to have that “perfect smile”);


And other even more potentially hazardous (or even lethal) measures to transform the subject into a miniature sex doll.

I consider a lot of this on the part of the parents to be nearly a textbook example of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. The fact that it’s generally the mother that is the prime “suspect” is noteworthy in this respect.

Personally, I’d like to see this sort of thing done away with everywhere, period. They could start by getting rid of Honey BooBoo.

clear ether


eon on September 18, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Outlawing kiddie pageants? Roman Polanski hardest hit.

rbj on September 18, 2013 at 8:54 PM

The people who gave western civilization Hugo, J.B. Say, and Fred Bastiat have only stepped away from the precipice. They have not rejected the rot of egalitarian socialism.

AshleyTKing on September 18, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Murphy9 on September 18, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Long live Wilhelm-Alexander!

AshleyTKing on September 18, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Without child beauty pageants, we would not have Honey Boo Boo. I for one simply cannot imagine a world without that little bundle of joy.

Seriously, though. I don’t think they should be outlawed. This is a land of liberty. If people want to do that to their children, let them. There are worse things they could do to them, including neglect.

Kafir on September 19, 2013 at 8:54 AM

eon on September 18, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Amen. Though I would prefer by societal disapproval than by laws.

Kafir on September 19, 2013 at 8:54 AM

You don’t think it’s abuse?

GWB on September 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM

You don’t think it’s abuse?

GWB on September 19, 2013 at 9:13 AM

No, in the same way that I don’t think waterboarding is torture. Some may find it distasteful, but it isn’t abuse.

I agree with you though, if society disapproves enough, it will stop and I wouldn’t miss it.

Kafir on September 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM

The taxes I see, but why are military interventions and government interference in free association “conservative” stances?

Clark1 on September 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I am trying to imagine being for child beauty pageants and against pedophilia simultaneously.

The cognitive dissonance is terrifying.

thejackal on September 19, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I don’t think it’s in good taste to laugh at the French for their misfortunes. Considering that they fought in WW2 with the Resistance and saved many Jews during the Holocaust, that’s not something to thank them for? Or, why must you think bearing a defeatist mindset is funny? I don’t. It’s just sad.

Not to play devil’s advocate, but if you think it’s fine to laugh at some Europeans for their defeatism, did you ever think the British or the Norweigians were ripe for joking about? Strange why some people go for the easy targets when there’s much more ludicrous mindsets running around loose out there. In the end, it’s not a laughing matter at all to see specific Europeans taking up dreadful ideas. It’s just a lot of disappointment and pity.

Avi Green on September 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

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