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Francois Hollande’s Gayetgate in Perspective

The French don’t care much about the Hollande-Gayet scandal because they don’t care about marriage and family values anymore.

by
Michel Gurfinkiel

Bio

January 23, 2014 - 11:15 pm
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Julie Gayet at the gala premiere for Blood Ties at the 66th Festival de Cannes. May 20, 2013 Cannes, France. Photo by Featureflash / Shutterstock.com.

The French tend to glorify their open-mindedness in these matters and flatter themselves by comparing their values to French perceptions of those “puritanical” Americans who still pay so much attention to traditional marriage and traditional family values. And while they may be dead wrong — one should not make too much out of historic parallels – it’s worth considering some earlier precedents.

Take Old Rome, for Instance

Roman marriage was originally a religious ceremony known as confarreatiojust as until very recently religious marriage was an essential part of French family life. A Roman marriage took place in front of priests and ten witnesses. Husbands were supposed to enjoy full authority (manus) over their wives, but abuse of power — like selling one’s wife into slavery or prostitution — was deemed to be criminal. Divorce procedures were lengthy and costly; some husbands could be requested to give away half their assets and money to their repudiated spouse.

Over the years, an alternative marriage known as coemptio was devised: husbands bought their wives for a copper coin in front of five witnesses. From the Romans’ perspective, this was a purely civilian ceremony, and was performed without priests — a fact that allowed for the wife’s almost complete emancipation in most private and financial matters. But even that proved too much: common-law marriage, usus, eventually prevailed. Spouses were now free partners living together for their mutual benefit and entitled to separate at will.

The rationale behind the gradual loosening of Roman marriage was concern about the low birthrate and depopulation — the unintended and inevitable consequence of greed and hedonism among the elite and large-scale slavery. Religious or even full-fledged civilian marriage was burdensome; moreover they could not take place between aristocrats and plebeians, or between free men and slaves. Usus, however, was feasible whatever the circumstances. From Augustus on, it was increasingly backed by government and law. In contemporary France, Hollande-style informal partnerships have gradually become the norm and even the legal norm for similar reasons: in order to reconcile sexual freedom and chaotic social or economic conditions with the need to produce at least a few children.

Roman usus was of little help. Depopulation went on, compounded by pandemics and other health disasters. The Roman Empire turned to a last option: to let foreign nations in as auxiliaries of all sorts. The Arabization of the eastern parts of the Roman Empire was already a fact in the third century, more than three centuries before the rise of Islam: Queen Zenobia of Palmyra (Zainab in Arabic), a Romanized Arab ruler, almost carved for herself in 271 BC a new empire encompassing Eastern Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt. The Germanization of the Roman West started at about the same time and was completed during the fifth century, when barbarian kingdoms substituted for a collapsing Western Roman Empire.

Likewise, the decline of marriage and family in contemporary France (and most other European country) is evidently linked to an ever growing immigration from non-European countries, including staunchly Islamic Arab and African countries.

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Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.

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All Comments   (20)
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EJO1 : I don't understand your question... And I'm French.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
EJO1 : I didn't understand your question... But I'm French
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
And regarding my other question, basically I was wondering what you and the other French groups you listed (specifically Generation Identity) felt about the massacres of Christians conducted by the French Revolutionaries and promoted by the likes of Rousseau and Voltaire beforehand? I want to restore France to being the "Sister of Rome" as a Catholic, get rid of Rousseau's dark legacy, which still is persecuting many of us Catholics (I don't care about restoring the monarchy, however, just making sure Catholicism regains the dominance in France that Rousseau's teachings destroyed). Here in America, at least, the French Revolution is lauded by some of our teachers (who incidentally several also hated the Catholic Church, one of the teachers, anyways) as being the best thing since sliced bread, and compared it to our American Revolution, ignoring or otherwise downplaying the blatant anti-Christian nature of "viva la revolution"
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://www.histoire-pour-tous.fr/histoire-de-france/3456-revolution-francaise-et-religion-3.html
During The Revolution, most of privilèges were for Clergy (and the Royal Family), revolutionnaries thought . We made so that the revolutionaries believe that all their problems came only from the religion and they wanted to create another religion of the Being Supreme. It was necessary to find a culprit! And nowadays, France and Europe are trying to do the same with Catholics ! Just to please in their very numerous and powerful Muslim voters (Qatar) because they are almost the only ones to vote for the left which gives them more and more "reasonable" settlements. All this to keep(guard) their place ! For example : They rewrite our History and even replace some subjects by the History of African tribes (in History Schools books)! They have a dangerous ideology : at the end no more European people but a melting-pot of everything and nothing...
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Okay, I'll try to rephrase what I was trying to ask: There was an event in your country known as May 1968, which is to France what the Hippie movement was to us Americans, not only in regards to protesting Vietnam and the current government, but also wanting to promote free love and effectively establish anarchy. One of my video games, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, has a character by the name of Cecile Cosima Caminades. Her overall character is sultry, and she attributes her overall personality as stemming from the events of May 1968. During the tape, she implies that every single female in France by the time of the game (1974) was effectively a harlot just like her thanks to May 1968.

To get straight to the point, what I want to know is if it was actually true that a vast majority, if not all of France's females during that time actually did become just like Cecile (since the game strongly implied if not stated that all of them did [specifically, "I'm [Cecile's] no different than any other Parisian women. Not since May 1968."].)? I might also need raw data to verify it as well.

Since I've never actually visited France, never was born there, and I'm not even of French descent (unless you count Canadian from my dad's maternal side of the family), I have absolutely no way of knowing anything myself, that's why I need to know from someone who's French whether this was indeed true. It also doesn't help that this article implied that 3/4ths of France supported that amoral upheaval: http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/bhistoryb-france-is-still-torn-over-its-revolution-forty-years-on/2008/04/28/1209234751594.html
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks. The article seemed a bit confusing, though (though that might be because I'm using Google translator). I'm not sure if it was speaking out against May 1968 or if it was actually praising it. The last paragraph sort of implied that it supported the desecration of religion and morality with its claim of "blowing a lid of [sic] Puritanism and an outdated moral order." And in either case, I'm not sure it answered my question of whether the claim that all women turned out that way in that time period was true or not.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Zenobia was 271 A.D., right?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
my roomate's sister-in-law makes $88 /hour on the laptop . She has been without work for seven months but last month her payment was $12416 just working on the laptop for a few hours. site here......
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43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
This I am married and have a mistress or I have live in lover who is lover #4 is sooner or later going t lead to polygamy or its' functional equivalent.

So the whole it is private and nobodies business is pure bunk. To support the women, the children and the lifestyle, ... to support the next young thing, they are going to need sugar as in $$$ money $$$. of course these guys are all inventors, innovators or skilled engineers. NOT! so where are they going to get the money?

From crony capitalism. How do you pull that off successfully? by being in government
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi Dizzy31, I'm curious; are you French or have you lived in France for a lengthy time? I'm wondering because I hope you are right. And we shouldn't be looking at the French with any air of moral superiority, either. They are just further down the stream - the same way we're headed.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, I'm French and French people don't feel Superior ! It's just a prejudice. Most of French people remember what we owe to you since your help during the 2nd World War... The French media is the only culprits if some of French are still critical towards this Americans and it is still the media wich maintain this established fact !
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Sister of Rome" France was definitely equivocable in terms of moral superiority to the Vatican of Rome. Unfortunately, thanks to the Enlightenment and people like Voltaire and Rousseau, France lost that from what I've heard. Is there any way to have the French regain Christian dominance?
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
NO the French people are not without morality and without faith! Unfortunately the Power (Hollande's Government) stole them their dignity and their power to say of what they think !
Our media system locks completely the French opinion. Therefore, the media want to persuade us, supporting polls(soundings), that it is normal to deceive his spouse, and that the French people pay no attention to what takes place on the Elysee. Yet, inth real life, the French people speak only about that and they are shocked by this boor's attitude of the President. 97 % of the journalists are left-wingers! In France, we have no more the way to rise against the Government: it should be for the media, the 4th power, to make this work. There is a gap enter the way they treated the former president and that this! The people are not fooled anymore: Hollande lied to everybody and all the time!
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I feel for you, DIZZY31. Pravda-type media is a growing phenomenon throughout western Europe and North America. The Internet and other media outlets have made a dent in it, but not enough. I hope that the French develop their own form of the Tea Party and UK's UKIP. I'm not sure that the National Front in France will be a solution, but I could be wrong. If you're still out there, DIZZY31, I'd like to know more of what you think.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes We have several media of re-information on the Internet as :
Riposte Laïque
Nouvelles de France
Boulevard Voltaire
Résistance Républicaine
Génération Identitaire...
They do a tremendous job to convey the truth about many problems in France. Issues related to policy or Holland/Sarkozy, Europe of Brussels, immigration, education, etc.. and denied by our politicians and the media who licks politicians' boots. They are often in lawsuits against organizations such as SOS Racisme CRAN or that do not support the French can be informed ans attack them! And yes, most of these re-information medias think that National Front is the answer for most of problems, as I.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your reply DIZZY31. I hope that we'll see more comments from you on PJMedia!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
France has created their own form of those groups, actually: It's called "Generation Identity." I don't know if they are intending to take France back to before the French Revolution, though, when France's Catholic Church was very much strong.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks EJO1 for the info about Generation Identity.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
DIZZY31, you seem to speak as someone who is either a Frenchperson or living in France for a very long while. If you are either, I have a bit of a question for you: What is the actual percentage/population total of females in France who basically became sultry since May 1968 (which is France's equivalent of our hippie movement) from personal experience and/or tallied data? The only reason I'm asking is because in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, there was a character named Cecile Cosima Caminades who overall was very sultry, and she in a briefing tape claimed this was the result of May 1968, and implied that all women in at least Paris, if not the entirety of France, turned out exactly like her. I'll supply the transcript:

"[SNAKE]

You seem like a very... how do I put this... uninhibited woman.

[CÉCILE]

You think so? I am no different from other Parisian women. Not since May 1968.

[SNAKE]

May 1968... The general strike that almost brought down the president?

[CÉCILE]

Right. But it was more than just a strike. It started with the student movement at Strasbourg University in '66. They did not want anything from the country, but instead sought reform at the school. That helped ignite a fire in the hearts of scores of dissatisfied young people, and the movement spread all over France. It was more than just opposition to Vietnam and the de Gaulle administration - people also called for free love and the breaking away from other old values. Looking back, I'm not sure what the main goal really was. But whatever the case, it was more of a young people's movement than a strike or a protest.

[SNAKE]

So... It was like the hippies or something?

[CÉCILE]

In some ways, perhaps. But we weren't blinded by mysticism, nor did we seek a return to nature.

[SNAKE]

I see. So while they wanted to retreat to their closed communes...

[CÉCILE]

We tried to change the world. And in doing so we learned that when everyone comes together, it can be done.

[SNAKE]

You had a lot more success. In America hippies have just become a social problem, while I hear Japan's student movements crashed and burned.

[CÉCILE]

I wonder what was different.

[SNAKE]

Good question. I'd like to know myself."

I tried asking quite a few French women about this, but they weren't able to answer this question, and considering this source, as well as a world news site implying that France is 3/4ths supportive of the disastrous, very amoral event, this doesn't bode well if Cecile was indeed being literal and not exaggerating (saying "I'm no different than any other [insert group here]" pretty much states that literally everyone in that group is like you).

Also, what are your contemporaries' views on Rousseau and Voltaire, as well as the French Revolution, especially its gory acts and their destroying Christians? I want to know, because for some reason, they're being glorified, at least here in America. I also hope you guys (if you guys are French, I mean) also throw out Sartre's teachings.

France used to be a very religious country (enough that the Pope initially considered relocating the Vatican to France from Rome), but right now, especially from what I've read up regarding May 1968, the French Revolution, and others, it seems that religion is basically downplayed and almost persecuted, and amoral behavior is promoted. I pray that's not the case. I'd rather follow the Sister of Rome that France once was than follow the Liberal Bastion it currently is purported to be right now.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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