FT on the French and flirtation, me on consent

Peggy Hollinger in the Financial Times writes about the French way of “flirting” and how successful politicians are “expected to have a powerful libido”:

Hollinger concludes in the right way: that underlying the wink-wink-nudge-nudge of French politics, there is misogyny.

But I have questions.

Is it really so hard for somebody with a “towering intellect” to understand that he doesn’t get to race around grabbing people in the US? I mean, it’s supposedly common knowledge all over France that us yanks are all puritanical and uptight. So he’s smart enough to run the IMF, but not smart enough to have his assistant hire a sex worker for the night? It’s New York. It’s not like there aren’t any number of really available call girls.

Or is it that he was unprepared, given the genuflection and admiration he normally receives, that even Ghanian maids have the right to tell you to keep your g-d hands to your g-d self once you’ve been told to?

A truly seductive man who respects women doesn’t have to act this way in order to satisfy his powerful libido. Sex is still fun when it’s consensual. Really. Even an unsubtly seductive man doesn’t have to act like S-K appears to have. Has anybody other than me ever noticed that Hugh Hefner–even after all this time–has never had women complain or sue him for being nasty to them? If he has, I’m not aware of it.

Either he has the best nondisclosure agreements ever, the best hush money (because even Michael Jackson couldn’t pay everybody off), or his relationships with women aren’t as exploitative as they might be given the context–ie, they know what they are doing, he’s honest with them, the boundaries of the interaction are set, etc.

What’s so hard about consent?