Stereotypes are everywhere. For ages, Americans have had certain notions about the French. Often seen in caricatures, those stereotypes have been perpetuated for years. There’s the one about French hygiene. That one gets passed around a lot. There’s another about wine and cheese. Then there’s one about weakness, specifically about French men being weak.
The stereotype that French men are weak when the going gets tough, however, has been obliterated this week, as the entire world has watched the French, and French President Francois Hollande, respond to the horrific ISIS attack on their homeland with an impressive display of solidarity, poise, anger, and action.
Now, with a certain jealousy of French toughness, Americans have watched as Hollande declared war against ISIS and put the French war machine into motion. The French wasted no time in dropping bombs on ISIS heads, either. As early as Monday, French bombs were away, falling toward ISIS strongholds.
When ISIS attacked France on Friday, French soccer fans were filmed singing their national anthem as security was escorting the throngs out of the national stadium, where suicide bombers attempted to kill fans. The singing was loud and boisterous, almost welcoming the attack on their country in a ‘bring it on’ kind of spirit.
That same spirit carried over to this week at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Again, the French soccer fans were not going to be silent, intimidated, or inconvenienced by ISIS’ attempt to disrupt their lives, and the British joined them in solidarity.
Wembley even displayed the French national motto “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) on the exterior jumbotron of the stadium.
And in another display of solidarity, the British and French players and fans all joined in and sang the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” at the opening of the game. Fans lifted signs in blue, white, and red, to display the colors and symbol of the flag of France. It was an impressive display of strength and resolve, and resounded with the anger that is sure to be unleashed on ISIS.