At Long Last, Walking Tall

Dear Carla,

Precisely on International Women's Day the rumor spread that you're involved in an affair with a young and unknown - here at least - rock singer, while your husband of two years, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is having an affair with his deputy ecology minister, who's also a karate champion. No doubt about it, that Nicolas is turned on by striking females.

Right away, I wanted to declare you my role model, or supermodel of international womanhood, but then a few questions came up. First, who started, Nicolas or you? If it was him, I can only admire you for paying that philanderer back in kind. We are thoroughly sick of all these women telling the media they are standing by their treacherous mates.

On the other hand, if you were the first to cheat, I could declare you the new role model for the post-feminist age, a title that I first considered giving you as soon as it was reported that you planned to marry a man significantly shorter than you. Nobody knows as well as I do that you need guts, highly trained neck muscles and strong knees to decide to go around in flats with your head bowed and legs bent wisely alongside a man jumping like a kangaroo to look taller. (As has also happened to ordinary mortals like Nicole Kidman and myself.) Or in your case, to walk perfectly tall, though in flats, alongside a man wearing platform shoes.

At long last, someone like us, the vertically challenged, the victims who must never cease apologizing to dwarves with giant egos for our magnificent genes (just ask Josephine the emperor's wife). A leader has blazed the trail. "You want to play the tall girls' field," you told Nicolas. "As far as I'm concerned, you can go grow tall yourself."

I admire you, Carla, because you are beautiful, as the photos of you show, despite the rumors that your intense life has made you age prematurely. If only all of us, women 10 years your junior, could look like you in your imaginary old age. I envy the wisdom you displayed in getting born to rich folks and growing up with two famous singers, as well as your luck at having been born Italian and living in France. There's also your ability to exhaust every iota of your beauty and talent to enjoy every moment egotistically - so very unlike Jewish women. And I envy your wealth, independence and freedom to choose for yourself the most thrilling lovers imaginable.

You are restoring to France the model of the femme fatale that seemed to have gone out of fashion even there in recent decades. But you are, after all, a new kind of femme fatale. You don't depend on any of your lovers. To one of them, the publisher Jean-Paul Enthoven, you gave a grandchild, fathered by his son the philosopher Raphael Enthoven. He and his son's divorcee, the daughter of the philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy, have written books about you. In your lifetime you have become a literary figure, no less famous than Madame Recamier.

This, however, is exactly where my problem with you begins. Out of all that post-feminism you have become the mirror image of the male chauvinist pig. Naughty, naughty, naughty. You serial man-eater. But between us, what's better? To be righteous, like us, or to have fun like you?