Why Do Americans Hate The French

Dislike The French

I have always wondered why we, Americans, dislike the French so much. I have always thought of myself as lucky to have spent a considerable part of my life there. So I’m more than a little baffled why we are always putting that country and its’ inhabitants down.

Let me start with something as simple as streets. In France, the streets are pretty much immaculate. All the main arteries and most of the side streets are hosed down every morning. What’s wrong with that? And then there’s the mail. It gets delivered seven days a week—even on Sunday. That’s pretty good isn’t it? And of course there’s the food. OK, the dreadful McDonalds arches are more and more prevalent, but overall, you can always find a swell meal in most restaurants or bars. If they didn’t serve great food, they’d soon be out of business, and everybody likes a good meal, don’t they?

Speaking of food … the French take their time. Lunch is a big meal and can last a minimum of two hours. What’s wrong with that? The French also have not only a great interest, but a great tolerance about making love. Their presidents have mistresses and passels of illegitimate kids, and the French don’t get in snit about it. In fact, they feel the bedroom is off limits and nobody’s business. Why do Americans find fault with that?

If you’re a culture maven, France maybe the best place in the world. Take museums—you could put a dozen metropolitan and national museums together and they wouldn’t come close to the Louvre. You could spend months in that great institution and be surprised every day—because around every corner you come face to face with a masterpiece. And that’s just for old masters. There are wonderful museums for impressionists (a totally French phenomenon), and modern museums all over the country that are superior to The Modern in New York or LACMA in Los Angeles.

Enough of culture. France is a treasure trove of sights. At St. Tropez, every other beach is clothing optional, which in most cases is a very nice sight indeed. Even if there are some fatties, there is always the 18 year old girl (or boy if you are so inclined) that could make your day—if you’re lucky. And in France, you have much more of a chance at being lucky than most places on earth. And who doesn’t enjoy making love?

Then there’s the politeness thing. Americans think the French are haughty and rude. I’ll give you the haughty because they got a pretty nice place with lots of pleasures and culture, and there are lots of chances at feeling good which can make a dude feel kind of haughty. But about the politeness—the French, I say sadly, are a lot more polite and gracious than we are. And that’s because they are forever acknowledging your presence. Take French elevators for an instance; get in one and the inhabitants in that conveyance are not looking at the floor make believing there is no one else in the contraption. I’ve always found it endearing that when a French man or woman or child for that matter gets in to the conveyance, he greets everyone with a Monsieur—Dame. And the greeting is most always seconded. It’s nice having people recognize you as a fellow human being … you got anything against that?

What I have just mentioned are some of the minor or major glories of France. So, they didn’t do so great in WWII; they don’t agree with us at the World Bank; they don’t commit their youth to endless conflicts; and they think Americans are hypocritical and prudish about sex (we are). The Eurozone is going through difficulties but France will survive. And on top of that, they will continue to eat better, have more chances at love, have better schooling, and a culture that goes back 2,000 years. Plus, they invented the bikini and motion pictures. Picasso also lived there, and now so does Johnny Depp.

So why do we, Americans, find the French so unappealing, even hateful? I’ll tell you in three words.


I am an American. Most of the time I am proud  to be one … but as we mature as a nation, we could do worse than adopting some aspects of the French way of life. If we did so, our streets would be cleaner, we’d eat and love better, we’d be more friendly and less rushed, we’d have more chances at making love, we’d get our mail delivered every day, and we’d say hello to each other on elevators. What’s so bad about all that?

2 Responses To  “Why Do Americans Hate The French”
  • Jeremy Perry

    Insightful as always, Mr. Kaldor.

  • Robert Patrick Lewis

    I spent my last college semester studying abroad in Amiens (an hour south of Paris) because I knew I was leaving for the Army as soon as I graduated (I signed up for Delayed Entry the first day recruiters were open post-9/11.

    During my time as a Green Beret in Afghanistan some of the fiercest fighters I met were French Foreign Legion in Tagab Valley and Logar Province…..Americans are very misinformed about the French; sure, some of them are horrendous wastes of space, but so are some of us.

    The food is great, the country is gorgeous, and the language is music to the ears (I spent a lot of time in North Africa and speak French)….once you get outside of Paris, the French people are actually quite nice as well, just as Americans outside of New York City or Los Angeles!!!!

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