Thursday, August 26, 2010

The French and the Americans - Toujours Contraire

Recently, the media reported that young French women have quit going topless to the beaches of France. "It's passe," they murmur. "Only women of a certain age do that -- the old ones -- and who wants to see? No one is who wants to see!"

"I don't think they are paying enough attention to the UV and the sunburn, myself" said another thoughtfully. The young man at her side tried to be helpful -- "Ah, les topless -- they were the revolutionaries of the '70s!"

A poll declared that 24% of French women are now anti-topless and an additional 38% are anti-thong.

But, what ho? Here on the sands of Venice Beach, CA, recently, protesters gathered to demand the State of California rescind the ban on going topless! Among the 200 protestors were about two dozen who were in fact topless.

The bare-breasted advocates say that since men go topless, women should be able to do so as well. A group of Bible students argued back that men are different from women (one of those great "DOH!" moments in our proud history) and, further, that just because a man does something that doesn't mean that a woman has the equal right to do it, too.

Well, yes, welcome to Dark Ages Revisited, not a Disneyland ride.

About 50 male supporters of topless bathing donned bikini tops to show their solidarity with the ladies. Whether these men actually did support topless bathers or were just somewhat sun-addled transvestites was not known at press time. One later took his bikin top off. He said, "It's itchy! Now I know why you women don't want to wear them!" Clearly, not a transvestite.

The whole thing is tremendously funny to me. The French and Americans have paid lip service to each other all of these years - "But, America, you are wonderful!" - "Ah, France, notre belle France" - and no one meant it at all. They can't even get it together long enough to go the beach together. Still, it's fun to imagine the French on the beach with topless Americans... (sneer) "Look at zose idiots!" And guileless Americans asking the French women, "But like I thought everyone in France like went topless to the beach?"

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