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Francois Ozon Believes That Many Women Fantasize About Being Prostitutes

by Melissa Silverstein
May 21, 2013 1:30 PM
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"Young & Beautiful"

You gotta love the news that comes out of Cannes. In between burglaries (they should check and see if the Bling Ring posse is still in town) you get some wonderful juicy tidbits from artists which cause you to wonder what the fuck are these people thinking.

Today's installment of "what the fuck" goes to director Francois Ozon whose main competition film The Young and the Beautiful  is about a disaffected teenage girl who turns to prostitution. Ozon said in an interview with a clearly perplexed reporter from The Hollywood Reporter, that most women -- though probably not American women -- have fantasies to "do prostitution" (I am wondering about the translation here.)

Here's the exchange and the push back from the reporter Rhonda Richford, who is a Paris based correspondent for the paper (so I'm guessing her French is pretty good.)

Ozon: ...But I think women can really be connected with this girl because it’s a fantasy of many women to do prostitution. That doesn’t mean they do it, but the fact to be paid to have sex is something which is very obvious in feminine sexuality. 

THR: Why do you believe that is a desire? I really don’t think that’s the case.

Ozon: I think that’s the case because sexuality is complex. I think to be an object in sexuality is something very obvious you know, to be desired, to be used. There is kind of a passivity that women are looking for. That's why the scene with Charlotte Rampling is very important, because she says [prostitution] was a fantasy she always had but never had the courage to do it. She was too shy. 

THR: How did you come to the conclusion that is a theme in women’s sexuality?

Ozon: It is the reality. You speak with many women, you speak with shrinks, everybody knows that. Well, maybe not Americans!

I really don't know what to say about this except the women I know have no desire to be an object nor have any desire for the passivity that he suggests. To be desired does not mean you are passive or an object. 

Dude. Get a clue.

Cannes: Francois Ozon Says 'It's a Fantasy of Many Women to Do Prostitution' (Q&A)- Hollywood Reporter

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  • thomas | July 22, 2013 10:12 AMReply

    I know so many women here in america with this fantasy. i (a man) share it as well and have done sex work via the internet despite the fact that im a pretty well paid engineer. ive also assisted women who wanted to dabble in sex work by acting as a sort of pimp. the idea that "most" women fantasize about it is not hard to imagine if i find so many that are willing to move beyond fantasy and try it.

  • Reed | May 26, 2013 10:32 AMReply

    Have you heard Polanski's comments about birth control at the Cannes fest? This year, some of the male directors exposed themselves as total sexist pigs.

  • Maria Giese | May 22, 2013 3:33 PMReply

    Of course women fantasize about being prostitutes, and so do men! If we are imaginative, we fantasize about myriad things-- everything. Perhaps as Americans, we are simply too repressed to confront these things consciously. I feel certain that we are less repressed in our sleep: thank God sleeping dreams may roam free of all these unfortunate puritanical constricts. I am glad that some women filmmakers are courageous enough to put these "revelations" on the screen. And I think Ozon is brave to talk so candidly to an American journalist who might benefit from a little Jungian analysis.

  • Maria Giese | May 22, 2013 3:38 PM

    I meant to say, I am glad some filmmakers are courageous enough to put this conversation on the screen, but I wish it be women filmmakers, too.

  • osera, osera pas | May 22, 2013 4:20 AMReply

    Soooo "Ozon: It is the reality. You speak with many women, you speak with shrinks, everybody knows that. Well, maybe not Americans!" = "[...] most women -- though probably not American women -- have fantasies to [...]" Indeed Melissa: WTF?! What kind of shortcut is that?

  • osera, osera pas | May 22, 2013 4:10 AMReply

    Allo ? Non mais, allo ? Ozon was talking about "fantasy", which the reporter limited to "desire"... What on earth is controversial about repeating that sexuality is a complex thing in which (unconscious) fantasies do play a role?! If Freud were to repeat today that men have fantasies such as castration (check-at least-wikipedia), that would get him 1000 of tweets/comments calling him a saddistic bucher! Still you may question why did Ozon targeted women in particular... well, that's the topic of his last movie.

  • Daisy Mae | May 21, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Americans don't know that or you can't talk to Americans about it?

  • Loren Chadima | May 21, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    I think its possible -look at how girls and women dress. Look at how our female icons dance i.e. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna etc - their dance and dress is very stripper quality. 20 or so years ago this kind of dancing and stripping would have been considered for strippers and prostitutes. The line between stripper, prostitute and sexy has become very very thin and so it doesn't surprise me at all.

  • No | May 26, 2013 9:22 PM

    You may have a point re the stripper, which including the pole dancing, and the scantly-clad clothing. This is something that's been going on in American culture. I don't know it it really has anything to do with a hooker fantasy, but there is something in air...

  • osera, osera pas | May 22, 2013 4:33 AM

    @Anita: great, now Ozon said that women secretly wanted to be strippers... aaah the Internet.

  • Blower Housing | May 22, 2013 12:28 AM

    Anita you're so fucking stupid I'm surprised you can breath. Lie to yourself like a good product.

  • Anita | May 21, 2013 10:19 PM

    Just because the way women dress is less conservative than 20 or so years ago does not mean women want to be prostitutes... it means that fashion has shifted and that what is considered acceptable dress codes have shifted. That is the result, largely, of media who portray women as sexualised objects who - like the stars you mentioned - behave in sexually provocative ways. That is a different debate. The fact remains that not all women, and by far the larger part of the female population - do not secretly want to be strippers.

  • Anita | May 21, 2013 5:25 PMReply

    Wow. That is so far from where I am at and where all the women I know are...and the fact that he believes that is scary, because guaranteed others will think the same. It reminds me of rapists who say 'but she wanted it...'

  • Anita | May 21, 2013 5:22 PMReply

    Wow. That is so far from where I am at and where all the women I know are...and the fact that he believes that is scary, because guaranteed others will think the same. It reminds me of rapists who say 'but she wanted it...'

  • Virginie | May 21, 2013 4:33 PMReply

    He's an asshole... With obviously no knowledge of women desire. He probably just saw Belle de jour one time too many...

  • osera, osera pas | May 22, 2013 4:12 AM

    maybe so... expect that he didn't talk about desire but fantasies (yes, that's a whole different)

  • Michael M. | May 21, 2013 2:49 PMReply

    Women love domination and passivity, it's an inherent physiological characteristic.
    Psh Feminists need to make up their minds already. Throw them equality and they cry "folly".

  • Michael M. | May 21, 2013 2:47 PMReply

    I think the man makes perfect sense.

  • JGee | May 21, 2013 1:36 PMReply

    Ozon sounds like a typically smug, French cretin.

  • osera, osera pas | May 22, 2013 4:54 AM

    @jgee: I am amazed by the rationality of your reasoning, in particular how you used reductio ad absurdum to deduct that Ozon was a French crétin (thôùgh yôù fôrgôt the àccènt) from the predicate that his interview sounds like typically smug... wow, chapeau!

  • JGEE | May 21, 2013 10:46 PM

    I'm not American, but thanks for playing.

  • Virginie | May 21, 2013 4:33 PM

    I might answer that this sounds like a typical, redneck american but I'm too polite and not racist enough for that...

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