The mere mention of the French in my office gets a hugely negative response.
Something about frogs and WWII.
And "the French hate us, so..."
why do people hate the French?
The mere mention of the French in my office gets a hugely negative response.
Something about frogs and WWII.
And "the French hate us, so..."
July 12th, 2007 3:04pm
There was a lot of propoganda from the right, especially Fox News (millions of viewers). Even to the point of boycott of french products.
That probably filtered down from the right to other democrats possibly.
My guess? A couple of things:
1) There's a perception - right or wrong - that the French look down on American culture, and think theirs is better and/or the best.
2) Up until recently, they've tended to vote for left-wingers, which of course, drives American right-wingers nuts, if no one else.
Everyone hates anyone who is too proud of their own culture.
Chinese, American, French -- they're all the same.
The French are particular chauvinistic. They have contempt for everything foreign and American in particular. But apart from that they're just human like most of the rest of us.
Locutus of Borg
July 12th, 2007 3:13pm
One other thing - the French haven't always backed America on foreign policy issues.
I mean, come on, it aint like the French have a right to their own opinion and a right to pursue what's in their own national interest. :-P
there is some history here.
I guess it all started way back when they folded in WWII and we saved their ass. American GI's then tagged mucho madamoiselles, which created some serious french on american animosity.
Everything calmed down for a while, but flames reignited when france opposed our invasion of Iraq. "Freedom Fries", indeed.
Overall, I think we resent the appearance of the cultural superiority that they project. Our tater tots and Walmarts are not quite escargot and Carrefore.
It all comes down to the red states, really :)
Because they beat us in the last World Cup's quarter-finals? AND in 1998's final? AND in 1986's quarter-finals? Damn French!
Oh, you were talking about americans? Well, then I don't know why. You don't even care about football...
July 12th, 2007 3:25pm
> I guess it all started way back when they folded in WWII and we saved their ass.
Somehow people conveniently forget how the American revolution would have been an american rebellion put down if it wasn't for french financing.
Hey, the French look down on Americans, so it's not just one way. We have no culture, no taste, no sense of style. Hard to argue with that.
>I guess it all started way back when they folded in WWII
>and we saved their ass.
Actually it started when the USA only existed because of the French...
The Iraq War - they were very against it from the very beginning for all the right reasons, so there was a huge anti-French outburst in the media.
They're easy targets, too- they can't answer back since they speak terrible English (they're the worst in Europe).
"Actually it started when the USA only existed because of the French..."
SoP, Colm... this may be true but it barely exists in american history textbooks.
Dude, we had a tea party and kicked some SERIOUS british ass.
> they speak terrible English (they're the worst in Europe).
A friend of mine did an internship in France. While he was there, he traveled through Europe with some of his new French friends.
He said that wherever they arrived, he would ask someone where was the bathroom, and then be the first one to use it, while his friends waited in line, just after him.
July 12th, 2007 3:45pm
French have their Napoleon, you Amercian have your civil war.
I'll say you guys are equally EVIL!
I am American and love the French.
I enjoy the way they do politics and group culture, and on an individual level I think they are more like Americans than any other set of Europeans.
I believe some Americans hate them because, on a political level, they have nearly as much hubris as we do.
Most common knowledge is wrong and that's a fact!
Everybody 'knows' "the french are rude", but have you ever been to France? Rude? Them? Are you fucking kidding me?
I, too, am a francophile.
I studied french for 4 years, still don't get the whole anger towards the french. I have never been there but they seem cool and everyone I have met with a chip on their shoulder against the french have been ignant.
The French in Paris ARE rude during the summer months when the city is overrun by tourists. However, if you have visited during the summer you can see why. The number of tourists is insane. The one time I've been there in the summer I left five days early because I couldn't deal with yet another pack of 18 year old kids from Orange County whose parents bought them a group tour (and a BMW 3 series) for high school graduate.
Other times of the year, I've found Parisians charming and often go out of their way to help me figure out where I was trying to go. Granted, I haven't been there since 2000 and perhaps attitudes have changed since George Bush / 9-11 / Iraq fiasco.
>Everybody 'knows' "the french are rude", but have you ever
>been to France?
>Rude? Them? Are you fucking kidding me?
Not especially, but I can see how they could be perceived that way. They're certainly more stand-offish than Americans.
My brother spent a week in Paris, and loves the city. His only complaint was that the staff in the hotel he stayed did not speak English with him.
He first thought that they couldn't speak English, but when he was leaving, the recepcionist wished him "bon voyage"... in English. :)
July 12th, 2007 4:16pm
My father vividly hates the French. But that's because of globalization: Saint Gobain (*) bought his company and downsized him.
Which is, of course, the reason so many hate Americans. Ah, irony.
(*) A company founded way back when by Cardinal Richelieu during the Sun King's reign.
> American revolution would have been an american rebellion put down if it wasn't for french financing.
Not just financing. Troops too. Yorktown was a conventional battle won because of the large number of conventional French troops (the British had the best conventional army at the time and the Americans avoided direct confrontation for most of a decade). Dumb French - they should have taken the east half of the Mississippi Valley. Or, Canada back.
So it's genetical?
July 12th, 2007 4:48pm
"Somehow people conveniently forget how the American revolution would have been an american rebellion put down if it wasn't for french financing."
French fighting. They did the bulk of the fighting, while the Dutch put in a lot of money.
Then, we almost went to war with the French in 1798.
Then, we sided with them during the Napoleonic times.
Then, during the Civil War, they opened a second front in Mexico to keep the Canadians from intervening on behalf of the South. The Civil War was a terrible slaughter, it's hard to imagine what would have happened had the Canadians invaded us too. That would have surely gotten the Irish to fight.
"The mere mention of the French in my office gets a hugely negative response."
That's because your coworkers are ignorant yahoos. I'll bet not a one of them has ever been to France or even knows a French person personally.
Remind me again why you work there. How can you stand them?
This is the norm in Chicago, in my personal experience.
I told them of my French Canadian heritage, and they just assumed I meant Cajun French, and poo-poo'ed my background. I jokingly told them I was offended about their attitude toward the French. I really was just kidding. But I went on to say that in history, the French proved tolerant of elite black folks in the arts so my personal perspective is a little skewed.
I got this in response:
"Awww geez. I'm Polish, he's German, and so is he, and you don't hear us complaining because people disparage Nazis."
So it goes. I can't complain about their attitudes toward the French, period. Otherwise they will come down hard especially if I mention the French were more open-minded than Americans in some specific cases.
I have never experienced anything other than these kinds of attitudes from the majority of people I work with, with one or two exceptions.
July 12th, 2007 5:27pm
I'm sure you can find some rude French if you look hard enough. But rudeness far less common there than in most other cultures, particularly the US which is one of the rudest cultures in the world, if not the rudest.
The problem americans have is they go to france and act like they are the world's most superior race. French people find this sort of swaggering behavior distasteful. They also believe that if you are visiting France, you should have at least spent 10 minutes looking at a phrasebook. So they will cheerfully ignore you, which is nothing compared to the way americans treat people who don't speak english who are wondering around asking questions.
French people do believe in standing their ground. So when you go up to one and act superior and start INSULTING him by doing unacceptable, horribly rude stuff like *expecting* him to speak some other language while in his own country, then his ire will be raised. And then, if you are overtly rude to him, yes he will remember how to learn english long enough to tell you to go fuck yourself!
But the french people NEVER start these things. They merely respond to people who are being deliberately rude by slapping them.
Americans are actually some of the politest people in the world. Americans in France are a different story. The French consider Americans in France "rude" when really it is a form of being a dumb hick in a cosmopolitan place.
The cities with the rudest people are all in Asia. Hong Kong, Bombay, Singapore, Taipei... The people there actually hate you for being a big stinky foreigner.
Half the reason that the movie "Borat" was funny is because Americans are ridiculously polite and uncomfortably put up with his nonsense for much longer than he would have gotten away with in any other country.
+1 PE. The French are one of the original 5 countries to have nuclear weapons. The French have great wines. The French have great food. The French helped the Americans break free of Great Britain (some say, with so much money, that it led to the fall of the French Monarchy).
The French ARE a proud people, proud of their language, proud of their culture, proud of their tastes.
In some ways, they're VERY similar to the American pride in our country, our power, our culture.
So, it's almost inevitable that if either side tries to act all high-and-mighty toward the other, the other side will act all high-and-mighty right back.
There are very few democracies in the world that will stand up to an American and tell him "Our culture is JUST as good as yours. If you don't like it, go fuck yourself!" AND be able to make it stick. The Brits are too polite, the Canadians don't care that much, the Russians and Chinese are NOT democracies, and the Germans lost WW-II.
Plus, the French have shown that a much more Socialist approach than the US would EVER take can work, and work pretty well.
Thus, some conservative Americans tend to hate the French.
And for another thing, I think we've found out they were CORRECT about invading Iraq being a dumb idea, no?
"I guess it all started way back when they folded in WWII and we saved their ass. American GI's then tagged mucho madamoiselles, which created some serious french on american animosity. "
the french (and other continental folk) have actually done a fair bit for the bits of american culture that they considered valuable.
it wasn't for nothing that musical giants like Dexter Gordon and Ben Webster spent big chunks of their life here. They liked it. They got treated way better than in their own country. Their music was treated as high art, not some kind of circus shit to be exploited. They received respect and adulation.
But the perception that they just gave in to the germans out of pure cowardice shows so much historical ignorance it's just silly. Germany was way bigger, had been rearming for 10 years (to the point where they HAD to go to war to survive economically) and guess what, France is not an island.
Don't forget, France did NOT fold in the first world war. They lost huge numbers. And what happened after was essentially a continuation.
If the US had had a similar size and economy at the time, and had as much border to try to defend, I doubt things would have been much different.
>>> Hong Kong, Bombay, Singapore, Taipei... The people there actually hate you for being a big stinky foreigner.
Not a universal response. If you're trying to sort-of fit in, you generally get treated well - that was my experience in HK and Beijing. If you're an ex-pat type and spend your time drinking w/ the other ex-pats, then yeah, they probably figure you're useless.
July 12th, 2007 6:47pm
"The cities with the rudest people are all in Asia. Hong Kong, Bombay, Singapore, Taipei... The people there actually hate you for being a big stinky foreigner"
I have lived in 3 of the 4 cities you mention and did not find people to be rude. I did find certain businesses to be dishonest, and you want to avoid chain hotels and their prices, but the people on the streets were great. Got invited into homes for tea, socialized, made friends, and all this without a common language even.
"I think we've found out they were CORRECT about invading Iraq being a dumb idea, no?"
Oui, c'est vrai.
Interesting point too since the French have a shitload more experience dealing with Persians and Arabs than America does. Interesting their advise was correct.
One of my colleagues was leaving after work for Montreal and Toronto. I was like 'That's cool, you get to practice your French in Montreal', and a coworker, separately, was like 'you will love Toronto'.
July 13th, 2007 12:50am
Because you have a history of hate that goes way back. You can't escape your genetic predisposition to hate the French.
"France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes." – Mark Twain
"What I gained by being in France was learning to be better satisfied with my own country." - Samuel Johnson
"I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me." – General George S. Patton
"Germans with good food." - Fran Lebowitz
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." – General Norman Schwartzkopf
"You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn’t have the face for it." – John McCain
"They’ve taken their own precautions against al-Qa’ida. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house." – Argus Hamilton
"We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France" - Duke of Wellington
Q. What did the mayor of Paris say to the German Army as they entered the city in WWII?
A. Table for 100,000 m’sieur?
French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney
The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney. The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris , caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.