Dear Miss Madame : Newsflash!!! Women Were Never Oppressed

My Dearest Doves,

Hoorah for another installment in my favorite series, IT’S FEMINISM’S FAULT!!! Any readers with a highly developed sensitivity to baloney might want to skip the following letter (it’s a full-on baloney sandwich!) and jump straight to my reply.

Consider yourself bewarned, sweet chickadees!


Dear Miss Madame,

My aunt is a nightmare in a freshly-pressed Hermès scarf, coming straight from Versailles to my living room. We were having a perfectly non-combative family meal when she started shooting her mouth off.

“Women were never oppressed!” she said with a scoff. “That’s a stupid leftist myth!”

In spite of my bewildered silence, the onslaught continued. “Women are ruining the economy! We need to leave jobs to the men!” she said with a sanctimonious huff. “And get back to running a home properly!” (huff huff) “My son’s wife is a lazy slattern! Refuses to do dishes!” (huff huff) “Everything is going to hell, and it’s feminism’s fault!”

Dear Miss Madame, I swear to all that’s sacred, if one more person says ‘feminism’ like it’s dog poop that’s been covered in guano with a diarrhea sauce, I’m going to go straight to Versailles and shoot my aunt in the head.

But you would have been proud. I politely kept my thoughts (which were something along the lines of ‘Commawha?’) to myself.

HOWEVER. That was a one-time burst of stoicism unlikely to be repeated (it’s easy to be silent when you’re shocked senseless.) What, dear Miss Madame, should I do in two weeks, when I’m due to visit her Versailles McMansion? The topic is clearly one of her favorites, and I’d like to keep the peace. But even more than that, I’d like to keep my sanity.


Bewildered by Bigotry


Dear BB,

Oh, horseradish! I find your letter very worrying, my sweet. Here you are, living in France—that great country of cheese, wine, idolization of the impossible female ideal, country homes and starched linen—and you’re complaining about your poor aunt.

My first revealing and important question for you is this: who’s the one wearing Hermès? Hmm? I’m going to ignore my impulse to imagine you, seated opposite this exemplar of class, wearing hippie shoes and a maudlin expression. And yet.

And yet!

In my perusal of the online webs, I found many an exciting debate (most of them French, but that’s neither here nor there, dear dumpling) detailing this leftist myth-theory towards which you remain so skeptical.

In short, there are actual respected journalists (sweeties, really, one and all—I had Monsieur Zemmour over for luncheon the other day and he was simply CHARMING. Underfed and slightly unkempt, but when one agrees politically, appearances fall by the wayside, am I right? Which leads me right back to my excellent point about your aunt’s stylish neckwear…) who insist that the oppression of women never existed and that if anything, women are MUCH more oppressed nowadays with their silly jobs and time-sucking pastimes.

So, my dear BB, I must ask. Who are you in the face of all this expertise? You and I, we are simple ladies. We can read, we can write, but really, who has time for opinions when one could be wearing thigh-high boots and inspiring a sexy song by Serge himself? (Which is the kind of epic treatment we should be aiming for when living in France, after all!)

Your letter illustrates the time-honored friction between books and looks, and I am simply COMPELLED to remind you of your feminine duty; keeping your thoughts to yourself (bravo on that account!) and your corps well-clothed.

And since we’re on the subject of stoicism, here’s a little quote for you, grace à one Mr Epictetus:

“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.” 

EXACTLY! I am not disturbed by feminism, I am disturbed by the fact that it’s horrible!

But! As interesting as his first point may be, I found this one even MORE helpful:

“Is it not true that ‘women are common property by nature’? I agree, for the sucking-pig is the common property of those who are bidden to the feast. Very well, when it has been cut into portions, come, if you see fit, and snatch the portion of the guest who sits next you, steal it secretly or slip your hand over it and taste it, or if you cannot snatch any of the flesh rub your fingers on the fat and lick them. A fine companion you are for a feast or a dinner, worthy of Socrates indeed!”

Dearest BB, here is proof that life was better, not worse, back in the day.

(And it is also proof that, much like with the Bible, you simply can’t cherry-pick your quotes willy-nilly and as-you-please! For example, if you believe in Christ and his teachings, then you also must believe that homosexuals deserve to be slaughtered! Like pigs! You can’t approach faith like a buffet and heap on the Everlasting Life while leaving behind all the Murder and Mayhem for other people, my sweet.)

To summarize, how can that which is not free ever be oppressed? Isn’t it better to be shared (with good manners!) like a delicious pig?

All of this talk about suckling pig is making my stomach rumble, but all of this philosophy-and-oppression mumbo-jumbo is making my poor brain protest, so I will pour myself a glass of crisp Chardonnay and leave you with two thoughts:

  1. The so-called ‘oppression’ of women is a mean-spirited myth spouted by mean-spirited people who wear uncouth shoes and believe in the delusion known as feminism (and probably in Santa Claus, too!) This lovely group also has a tendency to try to kill you. In short, as soon as you see one of these unwashed detractors separate lip from lip, I advise you to gracefully exit in the opposite direction!
  2. Therefore, if you find yourself with a Lady who is wearing Hermès when you are not, take this as your cue to remember that we women are ‘born with two ears and one mouth’ and should listen twice as much as we talk!

Until next time, my dumpling!

Miss Madame


Further goodies (in French) : debate between Michel Onfray and Eric Zemmour, in which Zemmour (a best-selling writer who positions himself as the true voice of the people as opposed to an out-of-touch Parisian political elitist) states “Women were never mistreated. This is a myth…a caricature” around minute 57.


image credit Taylor Erwin

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