Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 44: “There’s no need to be feminist in my generation”

Before I get to this Carla Bruni-Sarkozy stuff, did anyone else thoroughly enjoy the Vanity Fair story about the current French president, François Hollande, and all of the drama with his former partner Ségolène Royal and his current lady, Valérie Trierweiler? Go here to VF to read the full story online – it is epic and scandalous and very, very interesting. From what I can see, the French people voted for Hollande for a variety of political and personal reasons, one of those reasons being that his private life was seemingly drama-free, especially in comparison to Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarko, upon taking office in 2007, divorced his wife and then just a few months later took up with Carla Bruni, a very scandalous and controversial woman. But at the end of the day, however scandalous Carla was before she met Sarko didn’t really matter, did it? As soon as they married, Carla seemed to enjoy the first lady role, and she spent her last months as first lady being pregnant. It seems almost quaint!

Well, there was a point to all of that quaintness. In a new interview with French Vogue, Bruni talks about her priorities as a woman and a mother, and how she has no need for feminism. Sigh.

France’s former first lady Carla Bruni thinks feminism is outdated.

“There’s no need to be feminist in my generation,” she said in an interview with the French edition of Vogue for its December issue.

This view comes seemingly at odds with her image as an independent woman who forged careers in both fashion and music before settling down with her husband Nicolas Sarkozy.

Now she says she is happy at home with her two children, baby girl Giulia, and son Aurelian, telling Vogue, “There are pioneers who opened the breach. I’m not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I’m a bourgeois. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day.”

It’s not the first time Bruni has sparked controversy on the subject. Last month, Bruni said that her successor, Valerie Trierweiler, should marry her partner, President Francois Hollande, and ditch her career as a journalist.

“I think it is simpler to be the legitimate wife of the head of state rather than being his partner,” she said in an interview with the French edition of Elle magazine. “For my part, I felt a real easing of the general concern about me when I married Nicolas.”

Also in the Vogue interview, Bruni opens up about her view on legalizing gay marriage in France. She says she disagrees with her conservative husband and supports a plan to allow gay marriage and adoption.

“I’m rather in favor because I have a lot of friends — men and women — who are in this situation and I see nothing unstable or perverse in families with gay parents,” she said.

France’s Socialists are pushing a bill that could see gay marriage legalized early next year. Though surveys have found that the majority of French people favor gay marriage, there has been a vocal backlash from religious leaders, voters in rural areas and ex-President Sarkozy’s own UMP party.

“My husband is opposed for reasons linked to his political vocation, because he sees people as groups of thousands rather than people we know personally,” she told the magazine.

[From Page Six]

I do not understand why some women associate feminism with somehow being against families or whatever. Feminism is not antithetical to nuclear families or blended families or motherhood or any of that. Feminism is saying that women are in control of their own political, social, sexual, reproductive, economic and personal destinies, and that they are equal to men in all and every way. You can be bourgeois AND feminist.

As for the other stuff Carla is talking about… I actually kind of agree with her regarding the situation between Valerie Trierweiler and President Francois Hollande, and I get what she’s saying. She’s not saying (or at least I’m not taking it this way) that Trierweiler must marry because of societal norms, etc – Bruni is just saying that in her experience, it got easier to be a public figure when your role was already defined. As for the gay marriage thing… she twisted herself in a crazy knot to defend her husband’s position, didn’t she?

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

 

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131 Responses to “Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, 44: “There’s no need to be feminist in my generation””

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  1. Incredulous says:

    I assume she doesn’t give tuppence about the issues, considering she’s been his wife for a few years and seems to know very little about it. Also, her explanation of his reasons for being against gay marriage are terrible “My husband doesn’t see them as people”.

    • Really? says:

      She didn’t mean it like that, she meant it in the “can’t see the forest for the trees” kind of way, or in this case, “can’t see the trees for the forest.” He’s looking at the mass, rather than the individual. He’s a politician, what do you expect. But it is not at all that he doesn’t see them as people.

    • dang says:

      What a skank. Ho bag all around, latch onto a limp dicked politician and then say that femininism isn’t relevant in her generation? This cow exemplifies everything that’s wrong with some relationships. Were she an “ordinary” looking woman, she would not have attracted any “politician. ” Her sole claim to fame is that she screwed Jack for years. Otherwise, she’s just an old has-been. STFU already.

  2. mln76 says:

    Honestly I doubt she’s ever been a feminist simply because she’s famous for her looks and has hooked up with some of the most infamous womanizers out there. She’s lived an interesting life and the interview is probably a good read but she’s not my idea of a feminist icon.

    • LAK says:

      Carla may not be a shining paragon of virtue BUT she’s an example of feminism at work.

      She went out and worked. To quite spectacular results. Something that would have been impossible to do pre-feminism. Using her looks for same is also a triumph of feminism because her only career choice would have been marriage pre-feminism.

      It seems that people forget this very basic tenet of feminism.

      • Cazzee says:

        She’s an heiress. Posing for pretty pictures has always been a ‘career’ option for well-connected rich girls.

        She is not a feminist and has never needed to be – she is rich. When you’ve got enough of it, class privilege trumps gender oppression. Rich women have always had opportunities, privileges, and freedoms that poor and middle-class women can only dream of. Feminism, formal education, equality of opportunity…these things are for the poors.

      • LAK says:

        I know her background. And rich vs poor inequality has always existed. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about her right to exist as a free woman without requiring permission from the males in her family.

        How she chose to use that freedom is once again the freedom that feminism gives us. She didn’t choose to go work in the mines or start a petition, but instead used her looks. She’s free to do that. THAT is what I am talking about.

        However, even with rich privilege, only a handfull of women were able to break free of the anti-women bias and in the end were vilified for either being some kind of changeling ie not human or were in league with the devil for having the temerity to be as good as men. Most rich women could only exercise any kind of progress whilst concealed and by right of their husbands. Not in their own right. History is posthumously rehabilitating many women and it’s appalling that for entire history of humanity women, even the privileged ones, have had to apologise for existing and to only live their lives the way men would have them live.

        So as I said, Carla may not be the best example of moral virtue, BUT her career and simple fact of being able to express herself freely is a feminist act.

      • mln76 says:

        While all that you say may be true in theory LAK her feelings seem to align more with Cazee. She doesn’t see herself as a feminist and apparently was not motivated by feminist ideolgy. Oh and I am not judging her from a moral standpoint at all im simply not surprised by it.

      • irishserra says:

        @LAK: Hhhmmm… I think maybe I can see where you’re coming from with the comment “Using her looks for same is also a triumph of feminism because her only career choice would have been marriage pre-feminism” but at the same time I can’t help but feel that the very fact that her appearance had anything to do with her progression is absolutely contrary to idea of feminism.

        Oh! I just read your second comment and I see your point. :)

    • melior says:

      WendyNerd, that was beautifully stated. I agree with you on many points. I was also a teenage feminist in a Protestant environment not more open to feminism at the time that its Catholic counterpart. But there’s something I would like to add to this. I think a revert to classical patriarchy is still very much a threat today especially in America and it is so because, for all its strong points, feminism has failed to provide positive answers for a HUGE societal issue : family. Family is still a patriarchal stronghold (which explains the sway the Republicans still hold on their electorate today). For all its faults and the discrimination it promotes, patriarchy has managed to hold men and women responsible towards their progeny (sometimes, against their will, I allow it). And that’s what kept families in place. Today, the myriad of coupledom and family options has led to dispersion, confusion and high rates of divorce. There’s no shortage of ‘specialists’ to link this society crisis to feminism. I don’t know what to say about this. I know that for me feminism has meant a huge leap foward but as a Christian I didn’t let it transform me into a power-hungry, selfish irresponsable creature. Yet, there are a lot a women today who fit the description. Any thoughts on this? Is our lack of discernement and responsability turning a positive historical event like feminism into a shallow pretext for more selfishness?

  3. LAK says:

    Oh carla. I read a partial translation of this interview yesterday and was really hoping it was sopmething lost in translation. She just killed my boner for her.

    On a different note. It seems Kaiser, that very few of us left to beat the feminist drum. Clearly something has been and is frequently being lost in translation there too. Just like the fight against co$, please keep beating this drum so people will realise that being feminist is not a negative nor does it diminish them in any way nor is it an abusive term against men.

    • Amelia says:

      +1.
      I think we need to increase the size of the feminist drum to a feminist gong.
      I refuse to be paid less simply because I don’t have a dong.

    • Viv says:

      Thank you. Feminism needs support. I am so tired of having conversations with young women who say they are not feminists. Are you not a woman? Do you not want to vote, decide what to do with your body and make the same money for the same job as a man? Then you are a feminist- and that is not a dirty word or mean that you have to act self-righteous all day. The times where your husband could decide if you were allowed to work at all are not that long-gone and here we are- still making less money, college educations and all. If you are a woman and don’t want to be discriminated for it, you are a feminist! And no, it doesn’t mean that you don’t want a man to hold open a door for you or lend you a jacket, that is called politeness. And yes, you can be a housewife and a feminist, what a shocker. It drives me mad. Carla is a lost case in so many ways.

    • bluhare says:

      I agree too. What Carla forgets is that without feminism, she would have been sitting at home with mummy, waiting for the next debutante ball in order for her to snare a rich and titled husband.

    • poppy says:

      “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” Gloria Steinem
      basic and simple.

    • WendyNerd says:

      I was a teenage feminist in a Catholic School. You can imagine the Hell. I remember telling another girl I was a feminist and she was like, “Oh, so you love women and hate men?” A lot of girls had that reaction. But then I’d show them things in the feminist lit I read. I remember the first pages of Leora Tanenbaum’s “Slut: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation” It was a table made up of four lists “Positive words and terms for sexual women”, “Negative words and terms for sexual women” “Positive words and terms for sexual men” and “Negative words and terms for a sexual man” The female negatives were the longest list by far,followed by the male positives, then the male negatives and the shortest, at two terms, were the female positives. I’d show it to the girls I went to school with, and their reactions were “that is so true”.

      The media loves to paint feminists as angry, man-hating radicals who don’t shave their legs, and want everyone to treat women like Gods. Even in shows with strong female protagonists, there always at least one episode with a woman or group of women who are feminists who hate men, act like assholes, and usually pull some bullshit like faking a rape or committing some crime and trying to justify it in the name of feminism. That, and this perpetuated bullshit about everything being totally equal now is the message my generation is getting.

      I hear and read so many comments about how “feminism is sexist” and that shit, and when I ask these people how much feminist lit they’ve actually read, it’s usually “None, but I’ve met some feminists and they hate men!” “Oh, who?” “Ummmmm…. Here are some Andrea Dworkin quotes I got off of 4chan!

      Andrea Dworkin, who was kind of let go from the mainstream feminist movement.

      People keep saying feminism is obsolete and sexism doesn’t exist. And yet I still go to gender classes and when we’re asked to think of traits for each gender, guess which ones I heard about women? Emotional. Manipulative. Weak. High-Maintenance. Obsessed with shoes. Materialistic.

      Yep, sexism is definitely over. Those old notions about women are definitely long-gone.

      “Oh, but in custody battles, the mother usually gets custody!” Yeah, and in the majority of said custody battles, the man usually gets the arrangement he wants.

      And don’t get me wrong, I’m more than aware that men have to deal with bullshit. Gender roles suck for men AND women. Gender roles are extremely rigid for men, but the bullshit they get for not following them is in fact steeped in misogyny. It’s okay for a girl now to do things like wear pants because those are male things and male = good and better. But if a man does something “feminine” it’s bad or degrading because female = bad and crappy. As silly as this sounds, the intro to Madonna’s “What it feels like for a girl” is pretty damn apt.

      I’m a feminist. Does that mean I think women are entitled to special treatment and should be allowed to exploit men in any way? No. Whenever I hear some story about some female gold-digger, my reaction is usually revulsion and it’s based on feminism because my thoughts are “Bitch, feminism exists, you can make your own god damn money.”

      Sexism extends in so many areas. Homophobia. Racism. Discrimination in the justice system and in the workplace. Medical discrimination. Upbringing. Think sexism is over? Go to a toy store sometime. Girls get dolls, dress up, babies, playhouses, ponies, beauty sets, shopping, and princesses. Boys get tools, science kits, sports, cars, weapons, firemen, policemen and bugs. And the commercials? A ton of boys’ products
      are marketed as “you can scare or gross out girls with this!” Seriously, I remember tons of water gun commercials featuring boys spraying down some unsuspecting girl, who proceeds to put her hands on her face and scream like June Celaver seeing a mouse. Or throwing their creepy crawlers in a girls’ hair. Or them wearing shark-mask goggles in a pool and scaring a girl with them.

      I remember being called a boy in fifth grade because I had Dragon Ball Z action figures.

      But SEXISM IS SO OVER.

      The problem is that these days the messages young people get is that sexism is over (even though it isn’t by any stretch), that it only happens to Muslims and people in third world countries, and that feminists are angry man-hating trolls who hate anyone who wears make-up. That we just burn bras (even though that’s a myth), refuse to shave our legs, fake rapes, and spout off man-hate.

      Was the feminist movement perfect? No. But it’s multi-faceted and is given a lot of bullshit.

      I blame the media. Not MEN. The media. And patriarchy. And by patriarchy, I don’t mean all men. I mean the system that has been in place for eons that was built by bigoted men and is now perpetuated by bigoted men and women alike. The one which sets rigid gender roles and a ton of bullshit in place. One which is being fought by men and women alike as well.

      What’s funny is, there are male feminists. Don McPherson. The Dalai Lama. Joss Whedon. And feminism has a hell of a lot to offer men. Just as much as it has to offer women. Hell, one of my old male sociology professors said that the women’s movement did more for men than women and he definitely was not a feminist.

      The problem is the same problem that has plagued every generation since the dawn of time: ignorance.

    • Addison says:

      Women who say there is no need for feminism or deny being feminist do so because they are ignorant of the meaning of the word. Sigh…

  4. hannah says:

    I refuse to believe that’s what she said/meant. She is a very smart woman and everything I know about her screams feminist. Plus the press hates her, they are always trying to make her look. And then there is the whole lost-in-translation thing, of course.

  5. Amelia says:

    -_-
    This just makes me sad. Why do people think feminism is incompatible with having a family?
    And Hollande can bugger off too. When the English Channel dries up, then you can increase the EU budget. Until then, sod off.
    And that’s my Eurozone rant done for the day :)

    • j.eyre says:

      +1 – not only is it compatible, feminism STARTS in the home. My daughter will believe herself equal because her mother is treated (and treats others) equal.

      Also, Feminism is the choice to work or not, have children or not, speak out or not – seriously, from which rule book are these women reading?

      I need to go kiss my photo of Gloria Steinem.

    • Jollytr says:

      I wish there was more unity and compassion within the female gender itself … I have experienced more judgement and prejudice from fellow women than from any man I’ve ever known. I have a university degree, I had a successful career … and then I had kids. You’d think I committed the worst crime against women and feminism because I CHOSE to be a sahm while my kdis were little and then to work part time once they hit school. Feminism says it’s all about freedom of choice for women but that hasn’t been my experience. I can’t tell you the derision and condescension I’ve experienced – from women – because of my choice(“Oh, you just work part time? Must be nice” or “What about your career? – What a waste”. One day feminism will be what it espouses … but right now there are many who have felt the sting of its backlash and therefore reject it. Imho rejecting feminism outright is throwing the baby out with the bath water … gender equality is a good and honourable goal which simply hasn’t been fully realized yet. I must admit, when I hear the word “feminism” I have to remind myself not to jump to conclusions: modern feminists are not all judgemental militants – true feminists celebrate not just the right to choose, but the diversity and the individual’s happiness with their choice.

      • melior says:

        Agree! I wish we could find balance but that can only be found if judgement is done away with, both on the part of the stay-at-home moms and on that of the professional women. I don’t get why they can’t hang out together. I guess it’s because they feel they’ve got nothing in common but that’s not necessarily true.

  6. mari says:

    And what the hell has she done to her once beatufull face!

  7. Syko says:

    After some of the stuff that happened during the recent presidential campaign, how can you NOT be a feminist?

  8. kw says:

    eh. I’m not a feminist either. Black feminist? yes. And I really like womanism. But feminist? You couldn’t pay me.

    • Amelia says:

      So you’d be perfectly happy if someone ripped away your right to vote and told you to shut up, sit in the corner and make babies because that’s all you’re good for?

      • kw says:

        please google black feminism and womanism, then come back to me.

      • Amelia says:

        I apologise for jumping on your comment like that (I wasn’t actually aware of black feminism or womanism), but would you mind if I asked what exactly makes (for want of a better word) ‘regular’ feminism so unappealing to you? Seeing as you ‘couldn’t be paid’ to be part of it?
        I see why people would associate as being a black feminist or womanist, but I’m a little confused why you would reject feminism so vehemently.

      • kw says:

        because feminism is lead by upper class white women, who regularly silence and ignore the voices and lived experiences of Women of Color. For example the slut walk thing was not something WoC wanted to associate with and feminsts ignored our concerns. 2008 Dem pres primary when WoC weren’t interested in backing Hilary white feminists lost their shit. Basically feminism is about white women gaining equality with their white male counterpart within he system of white supremacy. Black feminism and womanism take into account the intersectionality of race and gender,and the goal is to dismantle white supremacy in our society.

      • Amory says:

        KW, what you describe is exactly right but it has also been very well-documented and discussed in classic feminist literature. In any movement, there will be disagreements about how to handle things, and I have no doubt that race could be a more central consideration in the feminist movement. But I don’t think splitting into smaller camps is the solution, nor is bashing feminism as a movement. Feminism has evolved and will continue to do so.

      • Soporificat says:

        Ya know, I’m a white feminist, and I was not very happy about the “slutwalk” events, nor were a number of my white feminist friends. “White feminists” are not a monolithic group, just as “black women” aren’t either.

    • kw says:

      See what you did right there. How you were dismissive of very real concerns and problems within the movement. That’s why most WoC don’t associate themselves with feminism.

  9. Chellez says:

    Feminists and feminism have done a terrible PR job the last couple of decades.

    No one likes the F word.

    The bra burnings and hairy armpits of yesteryear have come against women like Cameron Diaz who dress in lingerie or SnM getups. Both screaming FEMINISM. It’s decades of confusing mixed messaging. I mean, really, who identifies with either anyway?

    And I’m sick of women saying we are equal to men in every way. We are not. We should be treated with equal respect and fairly, but that does not mean I am identical to a man. There are things he may do better just as there are things I may do better. It is the ego that says “anything he can do, I can do better” So sick of this stupid PC notion that “we are all the same and equal” when we are not. It is the differences between the sexes that make us amazing. Why is being equal but different bad? This is why more nuanced discussions of feminist issues is necessary. Whining about aversions to feminism doesn’t win anyone, certainly not this woman.

  10. Micki says:

    “Carla Bruni thinks” is an oxymoron!

    She says whatever suits the situation.
    It’s so easy to be petit bourgeous when your father and stepfather are rich and you don’t really need to work. It’s easy to be indiferent while making continuously feminist decisions: education, career, indipendant life, relationships of your choice.
    If she trully lived non-feminist life she’d be on the baricades.
    Her ignorance is distressing, more so because it comes from a First Lady.

  11. Riana says:

    I think there’s something that got lost in the way feminism became represented to younger generations.

    To be a feminist and believe in your rights, to stand up for them and be independent was wonderful. To be called a feminist was a dirty word though.

    I am not saying it was, but when I was younger I also got the sensation that feminism was the anti…mother, wife? I still get that sensation from comments at times. I’m not gung-ho about becoming either, but when someone suggests they’re content to only do either they’re sneered at.

    If women can fight for their rights and the rights of others and keep up the struggle I can live with them not wanting to be called feminist. Still, I think the fear of the term comes frm misinformation.

  12. LadyJane says:

    “I do not understand why some women associate feminism with somehow being against families or whatever. Feminism is not antithetical to nuclear families or blended families or motherhood or any of that. Feminism is saying that women are in control of their own political, social, sexual, reproductive, economic and personal destinies, and that they are equal to men in all and every way. You can be bourgeois AND feminist.”

    One of the best paragraphs ever written. I want to emblazon this idea behind the eyelids of my children.

  13. TwoHearts says:

    The meaning of the word femanist has been distorted in recent years and people now associate it with ‘femi-nazi’. Militant, man/family/child-hating ball buster. I think Carla Bruni’s statement suggests she has made the same mistake. She’s not silly or stupid or anti-woman, but I think she is misinformed.
    Personally, I prefer the term equalist. No one should be given advantages based on gender, race, sexual orientation etc just as no one should be disadvantaged based on those things either. Judge the person on their actions alone, nothing else.

    • Regina Lynx says:

      ˄ THIS. My biggest problem with contemporary third-wave (or is it fourth wave already?) feminism is that it seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the things first wave feminism was all about, not at least over here in the North. From where I come from, all public feminist figures are taking turns in coming up with the nastiest, filthiest, most derogatory attributes they can describe men with, and like kw said in the upper comments, could not be less enthusiastic about the basic rights of women of colour (which, in my country, stands for immigrant women from usually openly misogynist countries/families).

      Another problem I have with feminism is the term itself – if you support equality and all its dimensions, why associate yourself so strongly with the other sex? If some guy said he supports equality and called himself a masculinist, I’d snort, “Yeah right.” That being said, I consider myself as an egalitarian.

      All in all, I think the term ‘feminism’ is outdated and loaded with negative connotations. The causes it represents, however, are not and never will be.

      Freedom goes hand in glove with alertness, and women especially can never be sure of their own freedom. It can be taken from us as simply as it was given to us. And THAT’S why I find Carla’s comments about feminism air-headed and downright insulting. “Oh, I have a pretty little nest here with my pretty little husband and our pretty little children, so yeah, I can’t see why I’d need feminism (read: fighting for same rights for both genders) for anything anymore, n’est-ce pas? Tee-hee!”

      Rant over.

    • Emily says:

      >> “Personally, I prefer the term equalist. No one should be given advantages based on gender, race, sexual orientation etc just as no one should be disadvantaged based on those things either. Judge the person on their actions alone, nothing else. ”

      Yes! Exactly!

      Also: these days men have just as problems and cultural pressures that they have to deal with, they’re just different from the ones that women face. I think both are equally important. (And when you factor in things like race/culture/religion/sexual orientation etc., it gets even more complicated.) I care less about feminism specifically, and more about general human rights and equality.

  14. Aud says:

    I’m not surprised by her views. From day dot, she has been a spoilt rich girl. She has never held a real job. She isn’t unlike the Ecclestone sisters. She was another rich kid with no real job or any real job experience to speak of and now she is a middle aged vacuous airhead with little substance. Even her music is pretentious and vacuous.
    In her mind, women are the trinkets of men.

  15. LadyAnne says:

    I used to like her and her music, but now I’m ashamed of that – the things she says now are so stupid and senseless. That’s terrible. She’s become a joke.

  16. Eleonor says:

    She is struggling to stay relevant. She loves the attention. After her model career was over she has tried with the music. The first album did good, the second one bombed. After the music she has become the French first lady,and now I’m not sure she will be Mrs Sarkozi for that long.

  17. Sisi says:

    *sigh*

    So much frustration in this thread :(

  18. Christina says:

    ”Sarko, upon taking office in 2007, divorced his wife”

    It’s more accurate to say she divorced him. Sarko’s last wife famously ran off with a French businessman to New York (whom she later married) and had to be coaxed back to Paris for her husband’s inauguration. She openly admitted that she didn’t bother to vote and seemed rather bored by her husband’s political career.

    As for Carla Bruni, she is one of life’s lucky ones.

    She had the immense good fortune to be born into a fantasically rich family, with the kind of looks which would make her a top model able to attract a long list of rich and famous men. Now that her looks are fading (though she’d still be beautiful if she hadn’t destroyed her face) and she can no longer play the rock chick game, she’s trying to change her image. She’s telling us she’s no longer the high-class groupie who two-timed rock stars. Now she’s a dutiful political wife, happy at home with the kiddies (or so she tells us) and generally aspiring to dullness and mediocrity.

    Bruni knows that she’s not the hot babe who can ensnare glamorous rich men anymore, so she’s consolidating her gains and being ultra smug about it.

  19. aims says:

    We need to always hit the drum. If it wasn’t for the brave women before us, we wouldn’t be where we’re at now. We have been given the gift of choice in our lives. We are allowed to follow are own paths, to have our own destiny. Countless women before us didn’t,and so many fought daily for us to be here now. And feminism isn’t anti family, i think it’s pro family. It’s saying, you don’t have to be married at sixteen and have three kids by the time you’re 21! You can go to collage, get a degree and start your own life. Instead of going to collage to find a husband,which is what used to happen. I am a proud feminist, and i am so thankful to the fearless, loud,balllsy, smart women before me, whos hard work has allowed us all to have the life that we have now.

  20. sauvage says:

    Some people misinterpret the academic wave of today as the voice of feminism. It’s not.

    A successful feminist revolution won’t be the result of a theoretical construct (Butler, anyone?) but the result of hard work in the real world. Campaigning, educating, acknowledging. Dealing with men on a respectful basis might also be required.

  21. lambchops says:

    Oh really, Carla? Let’s just let those men look out for us in government and in business. It’s their top priority, I’m sure. Feminism is about choices, if hers is to stay at home, good for her, but thanks to feminism, that’s not our only choice anymore. Get in a time machine, go back to the 1950s and see how great it was for women before feminism. I am a feminist stay at home mom, but I’m glad I am not shut out of other options, thanks to feminism. More women should embrace feminism without being afraid that it labels them as extreme.

  22. carrie says:

    1:François Hollande’s private life never was drama-free(he had an long affair with Valerie T when he was with Segolene and when Valerie T was married .Segolene R dropped him the night when she lost the presidential elect )
    2:Carla Bruni was a feminist when she was single because she’s at ease to be sexually active and a manizer(she had many many boyfriends and she was not monogamous)
    3: our generation needs feminism because you’re sexually active,you’re named “slut”,because the women are less paid than the men for the same job,because some men think the rape doesn’t exist or the excision is normal,because if you wear a short skirt and you parties late,it’s an invitation for a rape….
    because when you’re a strong fierce woman with opinions,you’re a “bitch” whereas a guy will be a leader…because in several countries,if you’re a girl who want to go to school,several guys want to kill you!

  23. XOXOTX says:

    “I do not understand why some women associate feminism with somehow being against families or whatever. Feminism is not antithetical to nuclear families or blended families or motherhood or any of that. Feminism is saying that women are in control of their own political, social, sexual, reproductive, economic and personal destinies, and that they are equal to men in all and every way. You can be bourgeois AND feminist.”

    I don’t have anything to add, this was just awesome so I wanted to repost it as a tribute.

  24. Aubra says:

    I think somewhere along the way “sisterhood” (which is a huge smelly pile of bs in my opinion)took a turn to mean something other than “let’s break the glass cieling, have as many abortions as we want, and work outside the home”. As long as there are those that are “out loud in your face, slut walking, etc” types, I am not totally on board with it either. I hate that women who WANT to stay home and choose to influence their children as a parent/mother and put their marriagies as an accomplishment are made to feel like their not important or take a back seat to what feminism has come to mean in the last several years or so.

    This is coming from a single, 35 year old career girl! :)

  25. Lisa says:

    What’s the big deal about this woman? As far as I can tell, she’s only idolized because she’s French, thus ~exotic~ and classy to Americans.

    • Christina says:

      Actually, Bruni is Italian. Although she’d been living in france since childhood, she only took French citizenship after marrying Sarkozy.

      And in her modelling days,she was very striking. Maybe not beautiful in the classical sense, but with very photogenic, feline features – you could certainly see why she was such a highly paid model. Sadly, she’s completely destroyed her face and now looks plain scary.

  26. Diana says:

    It seems to me, that when it comes to feminism, celebrities often get it all wrong and that’s why they end up looking as the opposite and quite ignorant also. Carla here, is no exception.

  27. Fofototto says:

    I know very few people my age (19) who identify themselves as feminists. They’re not women haters by any means, they just think that everyone should be treated equally. Whenever feminism was presented to us, all we took it to mean is that men should be knocked down a few pegs and women should jump over them. More a branding problem then anything else really. For what it’s worth, I think the feminist movement was a victim of it’s own success.

  28. mk yarwood says:

    Feminism = choice. Period. Wanna be a bourgeois? Great. Good for you. That’s your choice! “Feminism” is always evolving but, at the end of the day, it should just be about our freaking gender being allowed to be whatever they want to be without the ghost of what they’re ‘supposed’ to be lingering around.

  29. Sweet Dee says:

    Oh Jesus. Read through the comments on this post. How many different definitions for “feminism” do you find? Very many.

    I think that’s the problem. Or, as the Spaniard Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride would say, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    • Riana says:

      Lol, I was just thinking the same thing scrolling down.

      To every person decrying feminism or sharing a differing opinion the response of ‘Do you even know what feminism is’ each person offers a different definition.

      Confusion in the definition has always been part of the problem, especially as time went on.

      • spinner says:

        Was thinking the same thing going thru the comments. It kind of ends up:

        Feminism = profound confusion????

      • LAK says:

        It gets a different reading because it’s a multifaceted ideology that was introduced and developed at different rates around the world. And as we know the world is also developing at different rates globally so what is important to women in America is not for women in Afghanistan etc. Feminism itself isn’t a static idea. it keeps changing as the needs of women change. Women are different from each other and with different needs depending on geography, age, life stage, economic and social needs etc. The other thing feminism has to contend with is race, religion, culture etc those are many, many things that affect how feminism is read.

        If only it were as simple as women got the vote. the end. mission accomplished.

        That’s why the answer seems so different with every woman but the basic unchanging tenet is the same. Women are free to be human beings in charge of their own bodies,affairs, economies, thoughts etc without recourse to men.

  30. Elle Kaye says:

    Perhaps her views on marriage are different from mine, but a “legitimate wife” does not preclude one from being a “partner” in a marriage. I’m sorry, but I do not view marriage as a dictatorship. If she chooses to be a mindless drone, it is her choice, but that is just nonsense to me. She chooses to be a kept woman instead of thinking for herself.

    • busy ramone says:

      “Legitimate wife” is a slippery slope considering she wasn’t Sarkozy’s first wife. Some religious folk would consider her nothing more than a legitimized whore.

      • LAK says:

        ‘Legitimate wife’ was refering to a near diplomatic incident when she was first with Sarkorzy when they had to pay an official visit to Britain and there was alot of hand wringing about The Queen meeting the ‘girlfriend’ of President Sarkorzy. The foreign office made noises about how unseemly it was for the Queen to be subjected to this when she doesn’t even meet her own families’ GFs/BFs unless marriage is on th cards or they have been in place for a long time etc. Carla and Nicholas quietly married to shut every one up.

        The current french president is living in the presidential palace with a girlfriend meaning diplomatic incidents like this will crop up unless he marries her.

  31. KellyinSeattle says:

    Sometimes I think people confuse feminist with anti-feminine. That is just wrong all around. A person can be a feminist, but it seems if he/she is, then they are thrown out to the lions, without people seeing them as whole people…to be labeled feminist, one gets flack both ways…I’m for freedom of thought either way. But being feminist does not equal not liking family, does not equal harsh woman, does not equal troublemaker.

  32. Jayna says:

    She doesn’t understand the definition of feminism then.

  33. SandyStrange says:

    The way I see it, women tend to be there own worst enemies. I will go on record as saying I don’t usually enjoy the company of other women due to the judgemental attitude women seem to like to take with eachother. Its that cattiness that I think is the reason feminism isn’t taken seriously anymore.

    • Aubra says:

      THIS!!

      I don’t particularly care for that statement “There is a place in hell for women who don’t help other women” from Madeline Albright. I understand what she meant by it, but the females that like to repeat/repost it don’t mean it in the same context, it’s another way for them to be aggressively pushy. If I don’t like what you stand for or feel supportive of it, I am certainly not going to sit there and give you a hard time for it just because I may not like or agree with it, I have no problem simply taying away, it’s way easier than putting somone down.

      • MaiGirl says:

        I hear what you are saying, and all of us need to take personal responsibility for our actions and choices, not just follow each other like sheep. However, the cattiness that was mentioned is a direct result of the patriarchy. Women judge other women because we are always made to feel not good enough by the patriarchy, and are always compared to each other. There are far to many either/ors in women’s lives that trap us still: virgin/whore, working mother/stay at home mother, traditional/liberal. It’s insane. Men simply do not have as much at stake in the same way.

  34. WendyNerd says:

    It’s easy for those who are as privileged as she is to act like things such as sexism and racism are over.

    What people forget about the days when all women were expected to settle down by age 19 and be homemakers and nothing else was that it wasn’t rainbows and sunshine. AT ALL. Yes, some women prefer family life but for those that deep down wanted more? Women then would often resort to heavy drinking, affairs, and just having baby after baby to try and fix things. There was a huge epidemic of women having mental and emotional problems as a result of living such restricting lives. That’s what “The Feminine Mystique” was mostly about. It wasn’t just Betty Friedan wanting to cause a social movement, the book was prompted by the epidemic of mental and emotional issues housewives were experiencing. “The problem that has no name.”

    Rigid gender roles suck and cause a lot of hardship for a lot of people. Men and women alike. Feminism encompasses far more than just “let women vote and have jobs”. Gender barriers effect us in all areas of life. What’s funny about this whole thing is that in this very same interview, she talks about an injustice that is, in and of itself, based on the sort of rigid gender bigotry that feminism is designed to erase: homophobia. Homophobia is essentially a very particular type of sexism because it’s telling someone what they’re doing is wrong (in this case, loving/having sex with/marrying a particular person) because of their gender.

    Have things gotten better? Hell yes. Does that mean things are as they should be? No. No no no.

    Yes, Carla, as a rich, upper-class, ultra-gorgeous white woman, things are probably easy for you. But there are countless women who still need feminism in their lives and still have to fight for equality for their gender.

  35. Jaded says:

    Carla Bruni’s only career has been to capitalize on having a rich family and a model’s looks. She is neither talented nor intelligent, and has only garnered fame through the famous men she has been involved with.

    For her to say something as idiotic as “there’s no need for feminism in this day and age” is a completely one-sided and insulting comment coming from someone who has never had to struggle. Clearly she’s not thinking about the millions of women drudging away in horrible factories making $24/month in intolerable and dangerous circumstances. Or how about the young girls forced into prostitution just to put food in their mouths?

    Equality for women starts with women like Carla using their wealth and position to attract attention to the heart-breaking privations so many underprivileged women and girls suffer, not bragging about the cossetted existence she’s living with her husband and children.

  36. I'm going to Guam! says:

    Feminism is for the privileged.
    What has feminism done for the disabled women and for “women of color”? African American women supported the women’s liberation movement, were right there fighting side by side with European American women.
    Now what have European American women done for African American women?
    Disabled women, of all colors, find themselves dismissed and their voices silenced again, and again.
    If feminism wants to be taken more seriously, it must be more inclusive of ALL women.

    I can even take this issue outside of America, let’s talk about the UK.
    Let’s go to London where little Somali girls are victims of FGM and where a Somali woman tried to end it but was told that “Those are cultural issues and therefor ok”.
    Now little girls are victims of “their” culture, a culture chosen for them, by their fellow countrymen.
    But feminists just close their eyes to that and focus on things such as “slut-walk” and other trivial, and quite frankly, stupid matters.
    How out of touch are you if you think all women have the privilege to “slut-walk”?
    Feminists need to be a lot more introspective if you want society as a whole to take you seriously.
    I, and many others, now prefer to call ourselves “equalists”.

    • WendyNerd says:

      You’re thinking of Egalitarian.

      Actually, there’s a lot of feminist work fighting FGM, and there have been protests by feminist groups all over the world to protest such things. Where have you been? Tons of of feminist groups discuss issues of racism and the plight of women in the third world. Part of the reason American troops are still in Afghanistan are due to pressure from feminist groups. You really need to pay more attention. There’s tons of feminist efforts for women of color and for the third world.

      This isn’t the sixties anymore. And the women who do slut walks don’t think everyone can do that or that that’s the more important issue.

      Seriously, when was the last time you networked with feminist groups?

      • I'm going to Guam! says:

        I don’t live in an English speaking country but I keep myself informed and talk with feminists daily. It’s funny you say “when was the last time you networked with feminists”. I live in THE most feminist country in the world. I can’t throw a rock without hitting a feminist.

        What I have seen is not very good. feminism has not progressed very much at all when it comes to women such as disabled women and “WOC”.
        There is a lot of talk, but not much else.
        Words without action is just empty talk and third and fourth wave feminists especially are very good at talking and coming up with “cute” slogans and you have to be introspective and ask yourselves why people are not taking you seriously anymore.
        You can’t blame media and patriarchy everytime.
        African American women for example, from what I have read and talked to people, they are the most vulnerable women and girls in your country. They are the victims of abuse and rape at a much higher rate than European American women and girls and the victims of HIV more so than any other female group in America. Also, they are targeted by the media a lot, and they public image is not very good at all, it’s hypersexualized and aggressive/violent.
        Disabled women are ignored and invisible.
        Again, there is a lot of talk and “protest”, but these issues are still going on every day. FGM continues. And no, I am not blaming it all on feminism, not at all, however I would like to see feminism take these issues more seriously because if they don’t,they will soon affect ALL women. I volunteer with these girls, I work with Somali girls, Iranian girls, Romani girls, Ukrainian girls, Russian girls. These are all children from ages 9 to 11 and they have no protection and I am ashamed of that as a privileged woman. i fight everyday for them and it’s not easy when feminists rather talk about pink and blue and how boys should be encouraged to wear pink and play with barbies, it’s really frustrating. They rather stick to “safe” subjects.
        I can go on and on.
        overall I would like to see feminist in the west take on more serious subjects and be more inclusive of all women and girls.
        The issues that occupy feminists minds today is that of 2nd wave feminists,we must move on and be more progressive.

      • francesca1 says:

        My impression of feminism is that it doesn’t extend to women who are dark, disabled or pre-born.

    • LAK says:

      I’m going to Guam!- i think you are confusing cultural problems with feminism. Cultural problems vary from community to community and are deeply entrenched. Education, and where necessary law enforcement, is the only way to eradicate some of the more questionalble practises and to free these women from their cultural prison. It’d downright ignorant where AIDS is concerned in some countries and all due to culture.

      The thing about cultural problems and their solutions is that as a result of colonialism, countries eg Britain are afraid of really looking at what is essentially abuse because they want to ‘respect’ the cultural traditions.

      In your example of Somalis, they are a recent immigrant group relative to other groups in Britain with very strong ties to their motherland, meaning they still hold very strongly to their cultural traditions including FGM. The practise of FGM has been known for several decades and work has been put in to try and eradicate it by many many feminist and government groups. However, in Britain the victims were not as high or as visible as when the Somalis suddenly emmigrated to UK in late 90s/00s.

      The shocking thing is that it is the women in somali communities who are perpetuating and carrying out this practise. I do know some schools have been warned to look out for the danger age when it is likely to happen and keep a closer eye on the female students and report anything that makes them uncomfortable and or if they suspect a child who is in danger or has had it done so parents can be arrested. we still have a very long way to go but at least it is more visible a problem rather than underground as it used to be.

      race problems are a different kettle of fish which i don’t think feminism alone can solve.

  37. vvy says:

    Katie Couric defines feminism as ‘The political, economic and social equality of men and woman’.

    Carla Bruni is one driven woman. I saw an interviewer here in Vancouver talk about her a while back, and she said she could tell Carla would go to high places….she had an agenda.

    Feminism is about having the freedom to do what we want with our lives, whether its staying at home or being driven or having an agenda or whatever. It says nothing about what our choices are…simply that we have them.

    • Ally8 says:

      Well said!

      Choices = civil rights. Some of our mothers couldn’t open their own bank account without a man’s signature. Most women didn’t get the vote until well into the previous century.

      These were hard-won rights, and like all hard-won rights, complacency will allow them to be eroded or taken back.

  38. Tiffany says:

    Carla’s oldest child was the result of a relationship she had with the son if a guy she was dating. Sarkozy could not keep it in his pants and still felt he was entitled to have his estranged wife at his inauguration. Both have said and done things that goes beyond youthful stupidity, so why should what she say matter now or shock anyone. On a superficial note, she started investing in alot of flats when she hooked up with him.

  39. Really? says:

    I think feminism is great, but don’t like when race gets in the mix, because highlighting racial divides only serves to further separation and division. United we stand, divided we fall. Skin color is pigmentation. Souls have no color, they have soul, experience, insight, intelligence, joy and pain that each and everyone of us are able to feel, it’s just that we can sometimes get lost in the translation, in the interpretation…i guess i’m a liberal feminist, and was surprised to see that there are conservative feminists who have somehow managed to find a way to erect yet another barrier to segregate the movement. No offense to KW. Just seems anti-productive to me. As do the ridiculous “slut” walks. I don’t know about that, and i don’t want to know. We women are united by gender, but at the same time, we are unique and not one of us is the same. By that fact alone, it’s hard to be truly “united.”

    I’ve seen Carla in person, and it’s strange, she looks much better and natural in person. It’s like her photogenic card expired or something. I live in France, and she’s generally accepted, haven’t heard any bashing, but i live in the south, not Paris.

    • I'm going to Guam! says:

      Well, here’s the thing, and I am by no means an expert on “race”, women of different “races”, experience different things.
      It doesn’t benefit anyone to ignore that.
      When European American women weren’t allowed to work, African American women were working…as maids, as nannies, as slaves.
      These are facts of life. African American women do not have the support of the men of their ethnic group to be as privileged as European American women who have the protection of European American men.
      So as you can see, you are coming from two different backgrounds, generally speaking.
      African American women didn’t have the privilege to stay at home with their children for example.

      • LAK says:

        The thing is, European women are not the only group that used/uses other ethnic groups or indeed their own race whilst pursuing lives of pleasure. African and Asian women of higher caste then and now still do it. Philipino workers are especially vulnerable to abuse in the middle east. These days we call all them collectively ‘domestic workers’ whilst ignoring the very real problems that a large section of them are going through.

        There is a charity group here in London called Kalayaan that works with many ‘domestic workers’ who are used and abused in this way.

        http://www.kalayaan.org.uk/

      • I'm going to Guam! says:

        LAK, do you realize you basically just dismissed it by saying “Well, they do it too!!”.
        It doesn’t make it right.
        And it just dismisses the very real concerns of WOC in America and in Europe for that matter.

      • LAK says:

        I am not dismissing it, nor do i think it’s right. Remarks like that always seem not to take into consideration African and Arab complicity.

    • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

      People don’t speak out if they’re satisfied. Kw’s views are shared by many and that they’re being invalidating by a decades-old moon-eyed kumbaya mentality that is frequently used as a reason to postpone taking this kind of disenfranchisement seriously. Defending oneself isn’t building divisions, it’s crucial. I don’t think you mean to, but in the face of a really, really gargantuan problem you have effectively said, ‘This makes me mildly uncomfortable, so I’m going to flip the script, blame the victim by mischaracterizing calls for justice as roadblocks to tranquility and get back to the business of championing fuzzily-defined imperatives that let me do whatever I want and call that a victory for all.’

      I don’t know if worshipping our own blind spots is what is meant by the spirit of blind justice and this isn’t about me trying to sermonize about who’s being ‘bad’, but it is a concern that has been derided many times here for various ‘noble’ reasons that don’t hold that much water outside of the realm of the theoretical. Whatever any of us say about anything else, historically, women of colour who have fought for the freedoms of her fellow woman within these Waves have fought for women of all colour. The same isn’t true of your Betty Freidans of the world. For all the good that they have done, how long are women of colour supposed to sit around and be good when the mainstream–a group for which they have given much–persistently ignores them?

      • Riana says:

        Absolutely brilliant, I think you covered so much of the issue.

        It is difficult to be a woman, it is even more difficult to be a minority woman.

        The issue will become what the feminist movement produces in the way that it doesn’t lose its minority support.

  40. Kellie says:

    If men and women are equal than stop asking your men to open a jar, put down the toilette seat, do heavy lifting, open doors for you and keep your maiden name.

    Oy Vey!

    • Jules says:

      Who are you talking to? You’re making a lot of assumptions about people you don’t know. Like a commenter mentioned earlier, being equal doesn’t mean being the exactly the same. I don’t understand how asking my husband to put down the toilet seat makes me unequal. While it’s true that I open jars, lift heavy things and kept my maiden name (do I have your approval?), I have no qualms about asking my husband for help. You just seemed to be pissed about something because your argument makes no sense.

  41. ruby says:

    Ugh this woman ! When you’re that ignorant, just don’t comment on issues you don’t understand. It really irks me how everyone thinks they know what feminism is and they start telling you their opinion and you realize they don’t have a clue.

    (Oh and her face is just repulsive. She’s transitioned into full on alien territory.)

    I’m a feminist, and I absolutely want children with my boyfriend once I’ve finished my studies. In no way do the two contradict.

    As for the whole voting thing, no I did not vote for François Hollande because of some silly speculation over wives and girlfriends. I hope there is more to politics than celebrity gossip. In any case, I based my vote on what I felt was best for my country.

  42. ewewew says:

    I love Carla Bruni and I think it took A LOT of ovaries to say this! Honestly, a woman known for being strong saying this, people are going to lose it and whine because of HER CHOICES! Oh but I guess now other feminists want to say she isn’t living her life up to code? This is basically what I’m seeing in the comments except for a few REALLY great comments like LAK’s!

  43. Chrissie Malcolm says:

    No, Mrs Sarkoszy, there’s no need to be feminist in your particular situation (rich). You are automatically afforded rights and have a voice – don’t take them for granted and try doing something about supporting the millions of women all over the world who haven’t got even the most basic of human rights.

    Try tuning into the real world!

  44. Lisa says:

    @fabgrrl: poke around on the internet long enough, and you’ll be surprised. Their statements are absurd, not mine!

  45. lolwut says:

    Gay marriage shouldn’t be a matter of “it is okay because i don’t see what is perverse about it.” it should be a matter of “there is no legitimate, not opinion-based reason that gay people should not be able to marry, so they should be able to marry no matter what biases other people have against them.” People should be free to live as they wish to so long as they are not hurting anyone else, not so long as others decide its ok for them to live in a way that is pleasing to them. Stupid.

    Also “there is no need for feminism in this generation”? Bitch, please…

  46. Ally8 says:

    Feminism is civil rights for women.

    Saying you don’t need it when you’re coasting on its gains is like thinking that any African-American person would say they don’t need their hard-won civil rights anymore.

    Coming from a woman born into wealth, who shagged her way across several continents, has had several careers, and is now more privileged than ever, it’s just clueless and stupid. A bit like Mr. Romney with his inherited wealth judging “takers” who didn’t have millionaire fathers.

  47. kimcheee says:

    I’d prefer EQUALITY without hate. The feminists I know have always bashed men and they seem to really hate them. I don’t like angry hateful women. (Yes, I’m a woman)

    • Chrissie Malcolm says:

      kimncheee – feminism is not about hating men, it’s about striving to be acknowledged as being worthy of the same rights as men. If your “feminist” friends come across as being “man-haters” they do themselves and feminism a huge dis-service. Ultimately their behaviour is self-defeating and feeds into the notion that feminists are anti-men extremists.

  48. ccp says:

    Just a clarification on the Treiweiler-should-give-up-her-career comment: Bruni is not making a general statement that women should marry and give up their careers for their husbands, that would be very hypocritical of her considering she did not give up her career when she was First Lady herself (she released an album and did some concerts). However Treiweiler’s career clashes heavily with her new status, as was clearly shown with the ‘tweet controversy’ this summer, anyone will tell you that. She is a journalist, but as the President’s companion she now has political standing. These two paths are incompatible and she should give up one of them, and I agree with Carla Bruni’s opinion that the First Lady role should take precedence. Treiweiler can go back to being a journalist when Hollande’s term is over.

    Also the French people did not elect François Hollande because of his personal life, this is ridiculous and insulting. We’re very much capable of differentiating between a presidential election and a reality show, thank you very much.

    As for the gay marriage comment, she simply meant that she and possibly her husband are for gay marriage, but he unfortunately has to follow his party’s line on the matter for political reasons. That’s all there is to it.

  49. Loulou says:

    Bruni will say anything. She’s an opportunistic ideologue who thinks she’s very cerebral yet has transformed herself physically through surgery to try to conform to an ideal which took the narrative to her looks, not her brain. Translation: she’s a fraud. She’s not bourgeois, she’s someone’s love child that her mother’s rich husband had the superior grace to treat as his own. She was socialist until she was romantically set-up when Sarko was fumbling to replace his wife who left him. Their baby was a ridiculous ploy to get re-elected. Hollande can rest easy.

  50. Tuxedo Cat says:

    I mean, she was the Paris Hilton of her generation, and the final straw that broke up Mick Jagger’s marriage.

    She was born wealthy, and hasn’t had to work.