Dear Miss Madame : Statistics? Not Scary!

Miss Madame PIC


 Fear not, sugar pop–you’re in good company.


Dear Miss Madame,


Just yesterday, I read a report published in the Washington Post that ranks European countries based on gender equality—and France was last! Not just second-to-last, but L-A-S-T. (Okay, Italy actually came in last, but with politicians like our orange friend Berlusconi, does Italy really count?)


As chance would have it, I’m smack dab in the middle of a huge choice: to move to France (specifically Le Havre, a northern port town) or Spain (specifically Valencia, a southern port town.) Two days ago, my mind was set on Normandy. Now that I’ve read this report, I’m getting cold feet.


How important do you think it is to live in a country that values women’s rights, and do you think there’s really a difference in the way women are treated amongst European countries?


Thanks, Miss Madame!


An Indecisive Would-Be Expat


Coucou, Indie Wet-Pat!


After a thorough search on the Internets, I eventually found your fear-mongering ‘report’. Forgive my French, but what a load of hogwash!


Dearest Indie, quail not. That report? It’s just the same old feminazi song-and-dance:


Scare Tactics and Statistic Manipulation.


‘Gap Indexes’? Who needs ’em! Don’t fret your pretty head about it. Let’s break it down together, shall we? You’ll see that the only thing to fear about statistics is the people who create them.


The first order of business tackled by this ‘study’ is economic participation and opportunity, which places a whole lot of importance on ‘jobs’, and, frankly, not enough emphasis on a woman’s true calling: child rearing.


Basically, Indie dearest, we can tell from the get-go that this whole book is cooked. Sure, French women make 26% less than French men. But you know what? French women ‘make’ the most babies in Europe! Which is a lot more ‘work’ than strapping on a necktie in the a.m.


The second part of this ‘study’ addresses educational attainment, and we can just go ahead and lump that into the fourth category, “Political Empowerment” (which is just about the silliest phrase I’ve ever heard!) As you can see on the blue chart, more French women enroll in tertiary education than their male counterparts. (Which might cause one to believe women have one of those nasty ‘ambition’ complexes. Not! It has absolutely nothing to do with ambition. Studies show that women do better in school because they’re so dang good at obeying authority, sweets!) This surplus very nicely balances out the number of French female heads of state—which have been more or less none, ever. (Newsflash! Too busy making babies! Hello!)


Then we’ve got a few more percentages and graph charts about … ah … zzzz …





Oh, whoops, sorry, dear. Just feeling a little dozy there, what with these big long numbers and all.


Anyhow, you get my point. These ‘statistics’ aren’t scary—they’re BO-RING!


Moving on!


In more important news, I have a bone to pick with you. As you mentioned, the two cities you listed (Le Havre, France and Valencia, Spain) are both port towns.


I am shocked at your choices! Shocked!


Your Health is Your Wealth, my dear. This is not a statistic, this is an adage. One tends to be more accurate than the other. (See also: A string of facts does not add up to the truth.)


Let me repeat: Your Health is Your Wealth. My Dear.


Indie my sweet, both of those cities are revolting in terms of pollution. Really, you can hardly go to the beach without being asphyxiated by a stray trash bag (I know this from experience!) Why not scratch the lot and move to a country that protects your ovaries as well as your rights?


As they say, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything. Not even the right to wear pants (more on that next time!)


Until then,

Your ever faithful,


Miss Madame



image credit Taylor Erwin


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