The ‘#MeToo’ hashtag spread across borders and social media like wild fire last autumn, denouncing sexual assault, harassment and sexual misconduct.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron and his gender balanced cabinet are working to rid France of its ‘macho culture’

The intention is to make street harassment, including wolf whistling, a criminal offence. According to Macron, French men are just too ‘manly’ and women don’t feel safe enough on the streets to dress as they wish or walk where they please.

So where does flirting stop and harassment start? When does a compliment become a threat? Is it just a French thing?

Well, or course not….but in a recent poll on the rudest people in the world, guess who came out on top? (no pun intended). Yes. French men!

They also come first, along with the Italians, as top of the cheaters.

Historically, French culture has tended to be more tolerant of infidelity than Anglo-Saxon countries, and French men are traditionally very confident in their own sex appeal- but the-times-they-are-a-changing!

According to a survey by GoEuro, the online travel planner, British men have overtaken the traditionally sexy Frenchman for charm, gentlemanly behaviour and general ‘lady-appeal’.

Personally, as a middle aged woman, I rather like a gentle reminder every now and then that I havent become totally invisible since I arrived at ‘a certain age’……but that’s just me.

So are French men too macho?
We thought they should have a chance to defend themselves.

Olivier, Maureillas
Je ne pense pas que les Français soient plus machos que les autres mais dans mon cas cela n’aurait pas marché car je suis marié à une machotte.

Useful Vocab
cela n’aurait pas marché – That wouldn’t have worked
car – because
machotte – made up feminine of macho

Axel, Maureillas
Certes, ils ont l’image de macho, oui, mais ce n’est pas vraiment une question qui a une réponse! Les français sont ils tous des buveurs de vins? C’est le meme genre de question

Useful Vocab
Certes – admittedly
buveurs – drinkers
genre – kind/type

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