For the French speakers among us, cherchez la femme is a phrase that is veiled in mystery, just like its origins. The phrase, literally translated to mean look for the woman, first appeared in the 1854 novel The Mohicans of Paris by Alexandre Dumas (father). Dumas also used the phrase in the 1864 theatrical adaptation of the book, which reads:
Il y a une femme dans toutes les affaires; aussitôt qu’on me fait un rapport, je dis: ‘’Cherchez la femme!”
There is a woman in every case; as soon as someone brings me a report, I say, “Look for the woman!”
From a cliché of detective pulp fiction to a phrase used daily, we are always looking for the woman in every situation. Whether it’s a crime of passion or the far more mundane promotions or layoffs at the office, quarrels between friends, property disputes or politically motivated decisions, there is always a strong woman implicated somehow.
Women have the subtle ability to enact change worldwide on the highest levels. Yet, we often let our voices be drowned by the lower-pitch male tones. We have the strength and the emotional intelligence needed to distinguish between personal agendas and more altruistic motivations. Yet, we often take a back seat to “more qualified, more experienced, and more outspoken’’ members of society. We possess the true grit to not only conceive policies, laws and initiatives that can bring on lasting change in our crumbling planet, but to also go through with them, sticking to our ideals and not get swayed in the process.
Yet, we don’t. It’s time to stop hiding and be heard, be seen and be found. Women are at the core of the sweeping change the world needs today – without us the futuristic dystopia we often see portrayed in the cinema, is inevitable.
This platform is the culmination of the hopes, dreams, passions and frustrations of its authors at the unchallenged status-quo, the incorrect beliefs and the inaction we are collectively experiencing on a global level. It is for strong, modern chicks who want to have their voices heard while helping make an impact on important issues, including but not limited to the environment, sustainable growth, gender equality, eliminating famine, disease and poverty, empowering developing nations, combating human trafficking, domestic abuse and sexual discrimination, and countless other topics that we, women, can tackle together, now.
Cherchez les femmes, find the solution.
Editor’s note: Some of the stories on Seek la Femme are entirely fictional, others are inspired by true stories and yet another kind are completely true. The criteria for publishing pieces on Seek la Femme is that in them can find references and examples that speak to our experiences as women, validate the way we feel and somehow help us in making sense of the sometimes hostile world we live in. Please contact us if you’d like to contribute.