France: Homophobia and Booby-mania

by SOC Okenwa

France is a sophisticated European country with centuries of democratic history. The French revolution (1789–1799) became a radical turning point in the democratic evolution that had had a lasting impact on the French rich politico-social history and some knock-on effect on some European entities. Absolute monarchy represented by the executed King Louis XVI gave way for new ideas and principles like liberty, equality and fraternity to flourish. Old feudal, religious and aristocratic privileges and practises evaporated under sustained assault of the people’s power! Today, France is a fiercely-guarded open society, one of the ‘super powers’ of Europe behind Germany and the United Kingdom — in terms of military might and national GDP. It had colonized many countries from the middle east to Africa with her language spoken by millions of non-indigenes scattered across the lenght and breadth of the globe.

The Hollande presidency is tottering with very low opinion approval rating; according to the recent poll made public the man the “normal” president had beaten in the presidential poll of last year, Nicolas Sarkozy, would defeat Hollande if another round of election were conducted today as he comfortably leads in the opinion approval rating despite the problems he is having presently with the judiciary over his 2007 campaign fundings. Most French men and women polled said they never believed President Hollande knew where he was taking them to nor knew the enormity of presidential powers in his hands. Sarkozy had lost the last election because majority of French people felt he was hyper-active and had demonstrated the ‘know-all’ mentality in power.

For weeks and months running there had been a fierce protracted battle for or against the gay marriage legislation being debated by the legislature in France. While the ruling socialist party supported openly the move to legalise the homosexual marriage the opposition were lined up with the civil society and conservatives to oppose it without compromise demanding a referendum on the matter. Indeed it could seem undemocratic to try to bring about such a fundamental social change without holding a referendum to determine its popularity or otherwise. The proponents knew that any referendum on that would have brought about defeat since the majority were against.

In Paris (especially) million-(wo)man marches were organised by the nay-sayers and demonstrations had equally been held by the yea-sayers. Sometimes the rallies turned violent and bloody with street battles involving the opposition youth wing and the police. Grappling with the lowest popularity ratings of any recent French president as unemployment surges above 10 percent President Hollande and his ruling party are totally in support of the move with his Justice Minister Christiane Taubira defending same with vigour in parliament and receiving xenophobic attacks in the process. “Casse-toi Taubira, la France aux Francais!” (Get lost Taubira, France to the French!) they yelled amid tensions on the streets.

Like elsewhere the issue of gay rights has been a polarising one for obvious reasons. For those against the ‘homo-invasion’ the traditional family cycle (father, mother and children) should be respected since God never created Adam with Damian but Adam and Eve with a divine purpose for procreation and multiplication of mankind. By passing into law a legislation authorizing same-sex marriage the natural order of things as regards family and reproduction would be altered and the wisdom of Providence questioned as it were. What is intriguing enough is that people of the same sex wanted to be free to be married but they preferred adoption of children fathered by other people in obedience to divine commandment.

Last Tuesday members of parliament voted for the adoption of “mariage pour tous” (marriage for all) law which makes it legally possible for gays and lesbians to marry themselves in all legal comfort. By passing the gay rights law France became officially the 14th country in the world to do so. But the controversy generated by the debate over the propriety or impropriety of the legislation has refused to go away. Homophobia is gaining momentum as gay night clubs got attacked and gays themselves became targets of attacks on the streets in cities outside Paris. The opposition has promised to repeal the law once it gets back to power in 2017. Meanwhile they have headed to the Constitutional Court to test legally the constitutionality of the voted legal text. That is about the first challenge; other challenges to follow later.

With Soddom and Gomorah historically in mind this ‘homo’ nonsense must not break our resolve and will to live in a decent world inhabited by decent human beings capable of reason. The only plausible fear or concern worth raising here is that the Supreme Being might be pushed to want to severely punish the sins of the minority by visiting same on the majority. But since He is Omnipotent and Omniscience a way must be found to seperate the wheat from the chaff upon His anger getting to a boiling point. Yet we beseech Him to be clement and pitiful since the proponents of marriage between Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve may not know what they are doing.

In another related development (since it has to do with mammary glands) a French court sitting in the city of Marseille is trying an old man, Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of PIP (Poly Implant Prothese) whose company was accused of supplying thousands of faulty breast implants in France and other 65 foreign countries. The world-wide sale of the faulty implants caused a global health scare with an estimated 300,000 women in scores of countries directly affected.

Whilst the implant manufacturer was shut down in March 2010 after some non-authorised sub-standard silicone gel caused abnormally high rupture rates of its implants PIP was once considered one of the world’s leading suppliers of breast implants with over 42,000 women in Britain receiving the product, more than 30,000 in France, 25,000 in Brazil, 16,000 in Venezuela and 15,000 in Colombia, according to government statistics. More than 4,000 women have reported ruptures and in France 15,000 concerned women have had their PIP implants removed under instruction from the government while 5,000 women were registered as plaintiffs in the PIP trial involving Mr Mas and four other executives of the defunct company.

What one may describe as booby-mania is now the vogue across the global landscape. From mother Africa across the Atlantic down to the Asian continent the boobs’ phenomenon is let loose on mankind ‘threatening’ the natural milk culture babies ought to be exposed to upon their birth. While we acknowledge that many a woman see their sagging or sagged breasts as source of ‘shame’ or something amounting to ‘diminishing returns’ for their beauties it is something to bemoan, nontheless, that the new-generation women now go to dangerous lenghts to ‘improve’ their natural boobs through surgeries.

It is often said jocularly that every man is a suckler of breast from the cradle to the grave! It then follows that we are all our mothers’ pet (especially from the African perspective). Motherhood has mammary glands as its ‘symbol’ given that it is a natural process through which a life is nourished best. But the new-generation ‘cult of boobs’ has brought about another dangerous (albeit seducing) dimension to the sexual lives of homo sapiens. Every woman wants to be seen to be beautiful and desirable. And a ‘powerful’ boobs could be said to be one of the natural endowments of women of class.

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