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Attitudes Changing in France?

Eleanor Beardsley reports for NPR, "Attitudes about the Strauss-Kahn affair have been changing on an almost hourly basis in France ever since the country woke up to the news that DSK, as he's known, had been arrested in New York for attempted rape and sexual assault."  The charges were shocking but the pictures even more so.

The second shock was when cameras inside the courtroom showed DSK being arraigned before the eyes of the whole world, like, said one commentator, a common criminal. Cameras are not allowed in French courtrooms, and those pictures shocked the French to their core, says Francois d'Orcival, of the newsmagazine Valeurs Actuelles.

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Gerard Carreyrou, an op-ed writer at the newspaper France Soir, says many people are criticizing the American system, but at least it treats everybody the same. The French system, he says, hasn't changed since Louis XIV, and he calls the criticism hypocritical.
Just as important is the attitude about sexual predation.

But the revelation that that code of silence may be enabling powerful men to indulge in unacceptable sexual behavior is starting to change attitudes.

On a popular television talk show Tuesday, male and female panelists spoke about how men who hit on women in France were protected by a sort of silence, or a "boys will be boys" attitude, and said that sexual harassment is not taken seriously enough.

In other words, France is where America was 30 years ago on this issue.  Some folks seem to think that whenever Europe and America differ, the Europeans are necessarily right and we are necessarily wrong.  No, not necessarily.  Not even usually.

Oh, and I especially like that "hasn't changed since Louis XIV" line, even if it is a tad of an exaggeration.  I'm pretty sure the current President hasn't locked up opponents in the Bastille and thrown away the key.

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