Professor R. Kaffenberger
February 2, 2015
Elaine Sciolino is the author of “Operation Seduction.” She is also a Paris correspondent and a former Paris bureau chief for the New York Times. “Operation Seduction” is an interesting article which Sciolino was telling about her first experience in France.
In Elaine’s writing, the opening scene places her colleague, Roger Cohen, and herself with an account of President Jacques Chirac kissing her hand during a meeting in 2002. A baisemain, the kiss of the hand, was such a beautiful ritual and a traditional ceremony to convey a man’s courage and politeness to a woman as Sciolino described. Yet, it is still practiced nowadays.
The way Sciolino detailed her baisemain was beautiful and respectful with a little of romantic. As a woman, I would love it if there were one doing that to me. However, beside those good senses is also a mix of vague and uncomfortable feelings that Sciolino has had. Sciolino believed that President Chirac was bringing in a personal dimension to their meeting and thinks that she would like it. Whereas, she assumed that occurrence, the exercise of seduction, would totally not happen in the United States. She was incredulous, indeed.
When the word “séduction” is mentioned, most of us, and Sciolino particularly, would assume it as a negative word, which concerns with sexual. Nonetheless, Sciolino has rejected that misconception after. After a period of time living in France, she has explored that the meanings of seduction are more than what people over the world had believed. Apparently, that term in French language does not always associate with sex like we used to think. It plays a vital role not only in how the French capture each other’s attention, but also in how they do business, enjoy food and drink, participate in debates, elect legislators, and enterprise power over the nations. Besides, the verb “séduire”, as the author points out, a flexible one. Sciolino had initially intended to use the seduction theory only to spice up a dull lecture. Sciolino brought up the “seduction theory” topic to stir up the studying atmosphere, hence the readers engaged in the…