Monday, June 27, 2011

How Americans see the French

Over at Harper's, John R MacArthur wrote an interesting article a few weeks ago about how he, the son of a French woman, views American perceptions about the French, particularly in the context of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's current court case:

If America really respected women, we would follow the French model. Reducing economic stress tends to reduce stress on marriages and helps keep families together. I’ve been the direct beneficiary of France’s family/women-friendly policies — from the private hospital room that permitted me or my wife, at no extra cost, to stay overnight with our sick daughter to the Napoleonic Code that prevented my French grandfather from disinheriting my mother and my aunt. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that the French divorce rate is lower than America’s (43 percent compared with 49 percent, says Divorce magazine)...

Germany actually comes in at 41 percent.

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