A post linking to articles on the increased sexual liberty and assertiveness enjoyed by French women appeared at the Huffington Post with this incredibly EFFED UP headline:

French Women: The New Sexual Predators?

This headline makes a question out of a headline appearing in the London Telegraph:

French women “are the sexual predators now”

If you are not immediately experiencing the cognitive dissonance, let me explain. Sexual predators tend to be folks like these fellows profiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement: rapists, molesters, sexual batterers, and kidnappers. Women enjoying sexual emancipation feel free to choose partners, enjoy multiple partners and, at least in the case of Italian model and singer Carla Bruni (now married to French President Nicholas Sarkozy), are brave enough to declare that monogamy “bores me.”

Or, as the Telegraph reports:

The proportion of French women who claim to have had only one partner has dropped from 68 per cent in 1970, to 43 per cent in 1992 and 34 per cent in 2006. A woman’s average number of partners has risen from under two in 1970 to over five today, while a man’s has remained the same for four decades, almost 13.

French women’s first experience of sex is now almost as early as that of the opposite sex: in 1950 there was a two-year difference, but the gap has narrowed to four months, to around 17 and a half. Meanwhile, more women remain sexually active for longer than previously: nine-out-of-10 women over 50 are sexually active today, compared to just 50 per cent of that age group in 1970.

How “predatory”.

Except in rare cases, men tend to be sexual predators, and women tend to be their victims, although young boys also appear in several cases. These guys do not typify men, however, but are influenced by pathologies of power, misogyny and anger that are rooted in extreme definitions of manhood and patriarchal violence.

So it’s important to keep that in mind when reading the article from the Telegraph:

“Are women just like men?” asked Le Nouvel Observateur yesterday, which released extracts of the Study on Sexuality in France, a 600-page tome that brings together 12,000 in-depth interviews with people of all ages conducted during 2005-06.

One of the biggest changes in recent years, according to the report, was that male and female sexual behaviour had become increasingly similar.

Okay, get it? Men are inherently “predatory” in their behavior. That gives them license to rape and abuse women. Women who don’t feel like being in a committed relationship and want to enjoy sex are doing so at the expense of emasculating male sexual power.

I could continue to count the ways in which this article is fucked up, but you’re intelligent people. You work it out. Meanwhile I’m gonna grind my teeth.

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