Yes, everybody does hate you

A couple of French dudes surveyed the rest of Europe, asking them for 5 words to describe the French. Unsurprisingly, it apppears the rest of Europe hate the French. Money quote:

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as “chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless”. However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are “pretentious, offhand and frivolous”. The Dutch describe them as “agitated, talkative and shallow.” The Spanish see them as “cold, distant, vain and impolite” and the Portuguese as “preaching”. In Italy they comes across as “snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed” and the Greeks find them “not very with it, egocentric bons vivants”.

[My favorite] Interestingly, the Swedes consider them “disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty”.

I feel a bit better about my rather intense dislike of all things French (except for French bread, French toast, French fries, and shaved French women) since I now have proof it’s not an outgrowth of my ultra-right-wing, pro-America-damn-the-world, theocratic idealogy. If the Europeans hate the French, then it must be because the French have some truly detestable quality about them.

If I were to describe the French in 5 words it would be: prissy, haughty, ungrateful, shallow, and untrustworthy. Share your own if you want. I think this also calls for a new poll.

UPDATE: I posted a rather large comment explaining this post and responding to comments.

(via The Corner)

17 thoughts on “Yes, everybody does hate you

  1. So what is the difference between you and and I and Hitler? He hated Jews, you don’t like French, i don’t like … Racism is not a privilege to be proud of, regardless it is against blacks or whites. Some French are bad, some are good (even definition of good and bad is not clearly possible). I can judge only individuals, I believe.

  2. Arrogant, ungrateful, LAZY (uhhhh 36 hour work week and HOW many freaking holidays?), selfish, but good food and wine.

  3. I think there is probably creedence to having so many nations build comparatively similar opinions of the French. I have to say that I’m not particularly fond of the French these days, mostly because of their political stand on things lately, but I don’t necessarily hold any animosity toward the French. As to French people, I’d have to judge them on an individual basis.

    I always remind myself that in the past (specifically during the birth of our nation), the French were some of our stringest friends.

  4. Whatever everyone else thinks, on a few seperate occasions I enjoyed drinking with some of the French people when I visited. In fact on one occasion I got totally blitzed on the hospitality of some patrons and workers at a pub in Honfluer, Normandy. Maybe they were the exception that exists for every rule.

  5. Nah, Marvin. They’re not the exception. I’ve lived with wonderful French people. I’m wondering when, if ever, Steevie has met them ;).

  6. I guess I had this coming, but I’m surprised so many people didn’t take a more charitable interpretation of what I wrote. Let’s start from the top.

    Mo: The difference between you, me, and Hitler is that I have absolutely no desire to start a world war, invade countries, and slaughter millions of people I don’t like. Heck, I dislike cats, yet I still tolerate them — I even pet them! Comparing me to Hitler shows a lack of perspective in my opinion. I’m also not proud of any “racism” that I might have.

    Chris: Good points.

    Brandon: Points well taken, and I agree all Americans should remember France’s aid in our Revolution.

    Starvin: Yeah, some French people can be very nice.

    Kyle: I have met several French people, and I had a good opinion of all of them, except for that one French teacher who screwed me over by her own incompetence and then refused to admit to her mistake. She was nice before that though. Anyway, I also have no doubts that if I individually met every French person I’d probably like 90% of them, but I’m not talking about individual French people in this post. This leads me to my final comments . . .

    I thought it was rather clear in my post that I was referring to “The French” as a collective whole. In fact, I’d think you’d have to read into my words a certain amount of maliciousness to think I was referring to every single French person personally. My dislike for the French stems largely from their government that represents them and the way I perceive their general attitude as a whole. For example, Chirac’s dismissal of the martyrs for democracy in Tiananmen Square is absolutely disgusting, and I’m not aware of any condemnation of these betraying words by the French public.

    Furthermore, my descriptors of the French are based on my general perception of the French and, I’ll admit, some of the more common stereotypes of the French. And to head off any criticism concerning the stereotypes, it should be pretty obvious that stereotypes don’t spring up ex nihilio; there’s usually some reason they started. I’d also freely admit that my descriptors are on the harsh side, but I’d also say there’s a teasing element to them so they shouldn’t be taken so dreadfully serious.Besides, nobody complains when people describe Americans as boorish, arrogant, greedy, unsophisticated, and belligerent. To a certain degree, we deserve those descriptions, but does anybody really believe they apply to every American?

  7. To a certain degree, we deserve those descriptions, but does anybody really believe they apply to every American?

    A large portion of the world appears to right now.

  8. And I’m sure it’s all Bush’s fault too.

    Why do you think so many people including me and a “large portion of the world” are so irrational?

  9. I don’t think stereotypes are irrational. However, I think they lead to unnecessary violence that could be avoided if people refused to perpetuate them. I think they lead to fear. I think they lead to unnecessary judgments. I think they lead to poor decision making. I think they lead to mob behavior. And I think you are being disingenuous and know better. šŸ˜‰

  10. when you talk about “french” in general, it is racism. i know i don’t know you so i can’t judge you, but i can judge your post. i simply believe it is wrong. same thing for americans: lots of people hate americans, but i think we should judge them individually. and it has nothing to do with politics.

  11. Mo, it can’t be racism because racists hate people for their race. The French are not a race. I’m not sure they even classify as an ethnic group. They’re just a nationality, so maybe I’m a nationalist or something like that.

    I’m not sure I agree that it’s wrong to have a general opinion of a collective population. For example, is it wrong for me to think that the criminal population is largely deviant, immoral, and tend to be scofflaws? I don’t think so. I’m not judging each Frenchman personally, and, like I mentioned above, I’m sure if I met every single French person I’d probably like most of them. However, societies develop character traits just like an individual, and some societies have more negative character traits than others, just like individuals.

  12. stereotypes can often be helpful and/or fun. of course, they can also be degrading/untruthful. I believe i caught on to the “fun” in steve’s original post, and yet you all respond as if you didn’t get it. It’s kind of like the stereotype of people in kentucky are rednecks. It’s just for fun, but I also see the point that this could be degrading if taken seriously.

  13. Thanks Drew! I thought it was all in fun too. I’m not going to treat a Frenchman poorly because he’s French, just like I wouldn’t do that to an African American or a Kentuckian. (Although I did work with a guy from Kentucky who was a beligerent, drunken redneck. :shock:)

    I agree that with Steve about societies developing traits. For example, it is a general opinion (I believe) that Americans are fat. I’m not fat, Steve’s DEFFINATELY not fat, but overall, I would agree (and so would most Americans) with the stereotype that Americans have an issue with taking care of their bodies. Heck, it is all over the news’ special reports.

    So are the French lazy? :doh: That’s too easy.

    Mo, I see that you live in Canada. We (Americans) like to poke a little fun at Canadians especially on one of your favorite shows, The Family Guy. But in reality we like the Canadians and would never carry our little jokes over to seriousness.

  14. Actually, the hardest working people I have ever met in my entire life were French. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to work harder at my job than I did, but a French girl proved me wrong. She worked 80+ hour weeks on a cattle farm when she lived in France.

  15. Man the french fight like cowards and only fight when they know the opposing forces are unarmed and out numbered they should talk less and do more and FYI Aids really came from France:down:

  16. French work week is 35 hours signed into law as of January 2000. Anything over 35 hours they get paid overtime. They are required by law to have 40 days of vacation per year starting. If you get married you have 3 weeks of Honeymoon leave again required by law. Also if you have a kid you can have a shared leave of abense of 16 weeks called paid maternity leave. Again all of this is paid. Dude senior executives in U.S. companies that have been there for 30+ years only get 4 weeks of vacation that is only 28 days. 40 that is crazy! My uncles are farmers and they work around 70+ hours a week. Its a hard life, but it seems to me that being a cattle rancher or farmer requires long hours not the fact of your nationality. The fact is the French govenment is promoting less work. Why i don’t know. Are they lazy, who knows. Probably some are and some are not, just like americans. Do they get alot more free-time than Americans? Hell Yah they do!

  17. I would question why you would compare the more urban work ethic of France with the rural work of the United States. Conceeding that laws are applicable to all citizens; would a self employed farmer/rancher also take those allowances of leave the same as an urban professional leaving in Lyon or Paris?
    As far as Senior Executives, the vacation comes with retirement. Know what I mean.:wink:

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