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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
After moving to the United States from France over two decades ago, Guy Blaise was constantly faced with misogynistic attitudes towards women from American men. Having four daughters himself, he feared what future relationships they would experience. Why did French males value their spouses and the institution of marriage while American men followed the 'man-code' where mockery, degradation, and infidelity against their wives were normal practice? Using research, poll studies, personal stories, and his own observations, A Frenchman's Perspective on American Women, Love, Respect, and Relationships discovers the many different belief systems between the two nationalities. As French women have taken huge steps forward regarding pay equality and their demand for respect, what steps can their American counterparts take to ensure the next generation can experience life and a successful career on a more equal footing?
A Frenchman's Perspective on American Women, Love, Respect, and Relationships: Vive La Difference by Guy Blaise is an absolute must-read for any woman or indeed parents of daughters. The belief system of the 'man-code' was truly disturbing and although I was aware of the inequalities in the home and workplace, most of the attitudes held by men were deplorable. This is, however, not a book whose sole purpose is to dissect men's behavior; the author shares his optimistic views, very eloquently, on how this situation can be improved. I loved the chapter on the importance of finding shared values regarding children, finances, and domestic chores before marriage. His advice for women to empower themselves is quite insightful. Unlike French women who seem confident in their own abilities and have high self-worth, American women's attitudes are completely opposite. These attitudes definitely seem to hold the secret for change to begin. The interview sections of the book were very interesting and I especially enjoyed the female CEO outlining her experiences. All the information was backed up with poll results and research data. Although this book cannot be held as a blueprint for all American and French males, I feel it would make an excellent read for parents and students as a springboard for some important debates on the subject of equality. If parents can take the findings from this book and teach their children the importance of having high self-worth and respect for others, then the next generation may make some steps forward regarding gender equality.