Adam Gopnik has a piece in this week’s New Yorker about the French “Le Fooding” movement. (Don’t ask.) While Michelle barely features in it—he refers to the White House garden—and we aren’t mentioned at all, but there is plenty of female objectification to be found! Here’s a rundown of all of the people Gopnik meets during the course of the article:
Raphaël Glucksmann: the filmmaker and human-rights activist (m)
Zoe Reyners: an exquisite, nervous blonde in white linen, with a distinct resemblance to the young Brigitte Fossey (f)
Alexandre Cammas: one of those passionately articulate young Frenchmen who speak with the relentless eloquence of French letters and philosophy, answering each rhetorical question as they raise it (m)
Marine Bidaud: [w]here Zoe had been an embodiment of fifties French beauty, elegant and tense, Marine was more in the line of the young Bardot (f)
Stéphane Jégo: had a black eye (m)
Anna Polonsky: a young Anouk Aimée as rendered by Modigliani (f)
Yves Camdeborde: [no description or identification] (m)
Notice a pattern? We do!
And Gopnik, while blind to his own pattern, does notice one. He asks one of the men what the deal is with the “astonishing glamour of the Fooding-istes.” The reply is that they find it helpful to have an alluring staff. No kidding. The acknowledgment, however, stipulates that they employ both good-looking men and women—despite having met both, Gopnik only described the appearance of the women at such lyrical lengths.
One wonders just how Gopnik could have gotten through this story if he had avoided reducing women to their appearance. Maybe Anna Polonsky is one of those exquisitely educated Frenchwomen who tend to quote Pliny when discussing the weather. Perhaps Zoe Reyners is passionate about politics—a Google search shows a Zoe Reyners who signed a petition protesting the sale of warships to Russia. Alas, there are no images of her online. We have only Mr. Gopnik’s assessment to go by.
“Le Fooding” may be a new trend that aims to shake up the gastronomic world, but “Le Sexism” is one dish we are sick of.