- Posted January 17, 2014 by
Hollande: "Président Normal" is a typical French cad
Valérie Trierweiler is still in the hospital being treated for depression and low blood pressure. It has been reported that she "can't even stand up" from the shock of the betrayal by her partner, French president François Hollande.
Her partner might be the president of France but we women all know exactly how she feels. What woman hasn't been dumped at some time in her life? Valérie is devastated. You can tell from all the pictures of them together that she trusted him. She felt secure with him and from the way she held his arm, looked at him, held his hand, reached out to kiss him, every woman can tell--she liked him-- which shows an even deeper love. Yes, she definitely loved him, warts and all (the warts on his character, his career, his face and who knows where else).
It's no wonder she checked into the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, where she can get professional help, avoid the paparazzi and plan a strategy for her future. She's no dummy and this was a brilliant move. The strategy is already working--Hollande comes off like an adolescent -- a pot-bellied sneak, riding on the back of a scooter to some sordid rendez-vous with an actress (we'll talk about her later) at a friend's private 2 million Euro crash-pad.
Hollande's campaign promise to France was that as president, he would be "Monsieur Normal," meaning that he was promising to be a regular guy just like everybody else--unlike his gold Rolex-wearing predecessor, Sarkozy, who was known as "le président bling-bling."
At least one of his campaign promises has been fulfilled. He rides around on a scooter and cheats on his partner just like a regular French guy.
He waited a week to visit Valérie in the hospital. To women, this is proof that he is "Monsieur Normal" all right--he is behaving like a typical French cad. He's acting like what we French women call "un goujat." Hollande has no official access to her medical dossier under French privacy laws and she has the power to broadcast any message she wishes to any source she wishes. She has the power to mold the story from her point of view and everyone knows it--especially François, her horny, smug, dismissive and two-timing partner. Check mate, Monsieur Normal!
Valérie has not only lost the affection of her man; she is having the red carpet pulled out from under her in the most violent and public manner. She is suddenly losing all of her status. He was reportedly "cold" when he announced to her that he was having a relationship with another woman. We know what that means. He wasn't on his knees begging for forgiveness. He was announcing that his sexual attention, and everything that goes along with it, was going to be directed elsewhere.
There is something very retro-sexist and pre-feminism about this story and the way France, in general, is handling it. It seems like France hasn't moved forward beyond the pre-revolutionary ways of the monarchy where sexual proximity to the king granted temporary access to incalculable power. France, the cradle of the feminist movement, is still a sexist country and all the Valérie bashing is at odds with the current social views on gender equality.
French feminists need to stand up now and call out the anti-feminist slant in the press. Valérie didn't embarrass us, he did. She was strong enough to hold her head high as an unmarried partner to a president in a socially evolved country. That's a big step for feminism--the right to not be married and still command respect.
I think the people who are trashing Valérie in the press and in the halls of the Elysée Palace are not thinking. They're acting like schoolyard bullies crowding around the victim, laughing nervously, knowing that this type of humiliation could happen at any time to any one of them.
And it will.
Valérie is a tough cookie and when she does make a statement or give an interview, it will have the psychological effect of a guillotine.
For the moment, her silence is already working in her favor. As she gets stronger, all the king's men (and women) must struggle to control the message on the brink of "frisky François' " trip to visit Obama in Washington. Personally, I can't wait to see Michelle Obama's eye-roll at Hollande, when he stands like a small, guilty hamster in between Michelle and Barak for the press photos. We all know Michelle would have knocked Obama's teeth out had he been riding around in the middle of the night to hook up with an actress. But Obama would never do that--he's got too much class and he respects his wife.
In any case, Valérie's absence in Washington is a disgrace for Hollande. It makes him look like a cheat, a liar and a wimp all at once. His trip is already ruined. Even Paul Krugman of the New York Times has called Hollande's management of the French economy a "scandal." In America, the press won't be such ass-kissers like the French press were at Hollande's recent press conference/yawn-fest where he blew stinking hot air at his royal court of sycophant/journalists.
Now let's talk about the new girlfriend, Julie Gayet. She's an actress. She is suing the magazine that exposed her affair with the president for "invading her private life." She makes a living exposing her private parts in scenes about private moments for public consumption. In fact, the more the public sees of her private parts in scenes about private moments, the more successful and happy she is.
The fact that Hollande can't keep his pants' zipper up makes him the ultimate Monsieur Normal.
Carole Raphaelle Davis is an actress, singer/songwriter and the author of "The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife." She is French-American and blogs for the Huffington Post US and France on animal rights. She is a frequent animal rights commentator on CNN and the West Coast Director of The Companion Animal Protection Society.