Sarkozy Compares Breastfeeding To ‘Slavery,’ Rejoices In Being A Lazy Ass
Cultural differences abound as French president Nicolas Sarkozy spent all of 30 minutes with his wife Carla Bruni and their newborn daughter Giulia. And even though poor Carla has been dying for a cigarette or a drink in the last months of her pregnancy, she has nevertheless dedicated herself to breastfeeding little Giulia. But Sarkozy has described the practice as a “slavery” that he is relieved to not be a part of.
Sarkozy recently attended a family benefits agency in western France and when chatting with some young mothers, he shared how great it is that Carla wants to breastfeed. Yet, he never so much as lifts a finger himself to help her:
“Carla is feeding the baby. I think it’s much better for protecting against allergies and illnesses. But the woman, it’s both a joy and a kind of slavery. However it does free men of blame because we don’t have the problem of bottle-feeding. You don’t have to get up at night, although out of solidarity, I do open one eye…But you know, she is worried about not having enough milk.”
I would attribute some kind of inappropriate translation here for such a gross misstep, but make no mistake about it. “Esclavage” in French directly translate to “slavery.” While I can parse out the President’s reasoning in coupling both joy and extreme frustration in feeding a newborn, his word choice is pretty clumsy and obscenely offensive. And whether he meant his line about opening an eye in solidity to be cute or not, the image of any mother tending to her screaming infant with a partner who never helps isn’t exactly hilarious. Forgive me if I don’t chuckle.