My favorite find at the Strasbourg post office (La Poste) was a book of stamps devoted to women. I am not sure if these images constitute French feminism or a reactive response to it or something else entirely. But they’re sexy, strong and oh so French.
My friend Allison (who I just visited in France) helped me translate them for your reading pleasure. I’m quite sure something is lost in the translation for several of them.
Top left: Woman of being
Top right: I am the vowel in the word “punk.”
Bottom left: Man is the past of woman.
Bottom right: The masculine takes it away, but where?
TL: Woman of the head, spirit of the body.
TR: Attaining everything but desire.
BL: I didn’t let myself come undone.
BR: Better than nothing isn’t enough.
TL: Let’s be happy in waiting for happiness.
TR: I believe in the eternal feminine.
BL: It’s the time of the bitch.
BR: “To pick the desire of life.” (Note: Allison said that this quote is based on a well-known–in France at least–16th century poem that talks about “Picking the rose of life.” This stamp makes a play on words with the word for “rose” and the word for “desire” sounding alike. Ahh, word games in another language!)
P.S. Speaking of plays on words, here’s a random photo from France. This is a book store in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. The shop’s name is a play on “Mona Lisa” meaning “Mona was reading” in French.
The Marais was historically a Jewish neighborhood. Today in the Marias, there is still a strong Jewish community, there’s a growing Muslim Middle Eastern community, and there’s a thriving gay community, too! What a mix!
The Marais was also home to the most delicious ice cream I’ve ever had…Amorino’s served it up pretty:
With this Italian gelato, the Middle Eastern falafel stands, Jewish bakeries and delis, and French sidewalk cafes, the Marais is an international gustatory delight!