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My French Life: Breaking the Law in France

 Trousers in Paris

Until just a few years ago it was technically illegal for a woman to wear trousers (pants if you’re American!) in Paris. The Government just overturned the rule. Phew… we can all rest assured now that if we go to the capital we won’t end up in jail if we wear trousers. I expect the model in the photo above, taken at the Balmain fashion show in Paris in 1951  will have worried needlessly for years about that one having broken the law in front of the whole world. Mind you perhaps an arrest is in order for dying the poor dog the same colour lilac as the suit – both of which are a fashion crime surely…

Now, I personally think that there are probably much more important things that Government Ministers should be looking at than fairly pointless laws like this but it did make me think about odd laws in France.

There is an urban myth – very widely believed I might add, that it is illegal to call your pig Napoleon in France! Well I promise you, I have researched this extensively and I cannot find anything that substantiates this “law”. Seems to me if you have a cochon and you wish to call him – or her – Napoleon that’s up to you. And you won’t get thrown in prison for it.  I’d better add, I cannot be held responsible for the actions of others and you should check facts first before you go ahead and call your piggy Napoleon – just in case I’m wrong!

Whilst I was researching I found some more weird laws. As to whether they are factual or not I can’t confirm. But of course I welcome your feedback if you are an expert on any of these matters.

It is illegal to kiss on a French railway. I’m thinking this one may well be true, it’s just off the wall enough to be an old law. And I can imagine in the early days of railway a sombre dude wanting to put a stop to anyone carrying on in such a disgraceful way! I say – True!

It is illegal to sell dolls with alien faces – they must have human faces. Non! Surely not. What about Transformers and ET, Star Wars dolls and the like? True or False – got to be false surely!

Between the hours of 8.00 and 20.00 70% of the music played on French radio stations must be by French artists.  True. It goes back to the French Government trying to stop the English language infiltrating the French language and watering it down.

It is illegal to fly a spaceship over, or land it in a vineyard. Erm… I think if this is real then the person thinking up this law and the person who validated it were both drinking plenty from said vineyards. True or False? Actually it’s true – it’s illegal to land a spaceship in France!

Friendly police in France

It is illegal to take photographs of gendarmes or their vehicles. I’ve taken plenty of photos of gendarmes and police in France and their vehicles. They are always happy to pose, smiley, friendly when I ask. But never take a photo without asking…

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