Apparently some men will never take women seriously, even if those men are trained diplomats and the woman in question is the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power:
Here is what happened, according to Osnos’ story: Gérard Araud, the current French Ambassador to the US and at the time French ambassador to the UN, sent Power a text one day while they were on the Security Council that read, “On behalf of the French delegation, I want to tell you, you are very beautiful.” The source for this story is Araud himself.
That’s right: Araud, in his capacity as diplomatic representative of France, not only sent an obnoxious text to the US Ambassador to the United Nations, while they were in the Security Council, but later bragged about it to the New Yorker, saying that “As a Frenchman, I’m not condemned to be politically correct.”
Araud also told Osnos that he’d expected Power to be an “NGO girl” before he met her, but was pleasantly surprised by her ability when they worked together — a remark that’s a contender for the back-handed compliment hall of fame.
Guys, les gars, if it wouldn’t occur to you to say it to an unfamiliar man, don’t say it to an unfamiliar woman. That rule holds whether you’re America, French, Guatemalan, or Atlantean. And, look, I’m actually not a trained diplomat, but wouldn’t sexist prejudice presumably be a hindrance on the job? How hard can it be to understand these things?