Philip Weiss is an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's. A controversial 2008 article, "The Affairs of Men," published in New York magazine, sought to explain why so many men pursue sexual variety. Weiss also writes the Anti-Zionism blog, Mondoweiss. He is the author of American Taboo: A Murder In The Peace Corps, and he's working on a novel.
Question: Should we be more French?
Philip Weiss: I think these things are hard to do and hard to be prescriptive about and there are reasons that we are not France and the two reasons are we are more feminist than France and we are more puritanical than France. Those are the two popular reasons. And yes, I think we should be more like the French in this respect. I think we should have been more like the French before the Iraq war too but with respect to-- The women in France I think have a little bit of a hard time. I’ve been told the wives have to put up with a lot ‘cause it’s the men who typically have a mistress and I don’t think that’s easy, but I think that one thing that we could emulate about the French is that the marriage is not quite so burdened with the sort of romantic and sort of passionate responsibility down over 20 years. There’s a little bit more of-- It’s more of a formal institution and I think that if people here came to see marriage as a little bit more of a formal institution they wouldn’t divorce at the drop of a hat and they would try to see that the marriage has great rewards financially, in terms of raising children, as- career-wise. I think marriage-- For me, my marriage-- Again I have a sexy marriage but my career is-- I would be helpless in my career without my wife and that’s something that I would just freak if I lost my marriage.