It’s been called a sex guide, but Pierre-Louis Colin’s book “Guide des jolies femmes de Paris” is actually a sightseeing guide…that is, if the sights are Parisian women. According to an article in France 24, Colin dismisses Anglo-Saxon political correctness and boldly states that the freedom to contemplate the beauty of women is a key part of French culture. “In this troubled century, while from America come the echoes of another moral order, the responsibility of the contemplator is immense: in his respectful courtesy depends a part of the survival of our civilisation of liberty, of gentleness, and of grace. May this guide contribute to the success of this high mission,” Colin wrote.
I’m all for admiring the beauty of women and the general appreciation the French have for “just looking” in general, but I’m not sure looking up women’s skirts as they go up a spiral staircase is really “respectful courtesy”. It seems more like the desperate measure of an awkward adolescent who is too afraid to actually talk to women (and having studied political science in Paris the same time as Colin, I can say that our classmates were/are not exactly the socially suave Parisian men that you might imagine).
But hey, I’m obviously thrilled to see another Parisian book about sex and pretty ladies. Maybe they’ll be looking for a publisher to bring out the English translation. 😉
(And if you’re curious what the French think…)