mâle allemand


I am trying to work out what the last part of this sentence, particularly the "mâle allemand" part. I have found that it means "male", which would fit, but I just thought that it was a bit weird not to use "Allemagne masculin". Here is the whole sentence, and my attempt

Le mérite de Buisson est de l’illustrer finement par un des aspects les plus surprenants de son enquête : la thématique de la France féminisée, victime consentante du mâle allemand.

Buisson’s merit is that he cleverly illustrates this through one of the most surprising aspects of his investigation: the set of themes about feminised France as the willing victim of the German male.
  • JiPiJou

    Senior Member
    Sorry ! My previous message was just the beginning of my explanation and, for some msyterious decision of the computer (or my faulty use of the keyboard), it got saved and displayed on the site. As such, it was ambiguous and did not correspond to what I meant. Here is my full text.

    I have doubts about the real meaning of the sentence. Is it that the French governement has the same attitude towards Hitler as a submissive woman towards her dominant master ? Or is it that, French men being in large numbers in prison camps in Germany, the country had become statistically feminised (meaning : a majority of women in the population) and has therefore become a sexual haven for German soldiers (what has been called "the horizontal collaboration"). But, if this is the meaning, it seems very excessive -- even plainly wrong -- to imply, in what is said to be a serious study, that the whole female population ("la France féminisée" ; the wording allows no exception) yielded to German troops !!!

    What causes the ambiguity is that there is a discrepancy in the "couple" mentioned in the text : "la France" and "le mâle allemand" (a country / a person). So are we talking about governments or about the population ? I don't know.

    In the more political sense, I would say :
    "la France féminisée, victime consentante de la mâle Allemagne".

    In the other sense, I find the possible translations rather unsavoury.
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    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    Does your sentence perhaps say la mâle Allemagne ? Otherwise, as others said, it doesn't make much sense.

    Assuming that, there also is a vocabulary distinction in French that English doesn't make

    EN male = FR masculin, mâle
    EN female = FR féminin, femelle

    mâle and femelle are specific to the gender of animals, and not applied normally to people (or countries of people). Unless you want to make them animalistic.

    Without the two words in English, you need to be somewhat creative in translating. My try:

    a brutalized France which is the consenting victim of Germany the brute


    Senior Member
    but I just thought that it was a bit weird not to use "Allemagne masculin".


    la thématique de la France féminisée, victime consentante du mâle allemand.
    Please do not make the confusion between :
    Allemand, allemande (adjective) : German
    Allemagne (feminine noun) : Germany.

    "Mâle" is not only an adjective (invariable in gender) , it is also a masculine noun meaning "a male animal", just like "homme" means "a male human being".
    Likewise, "femelle" is both an adjective (invariable in gender) and a feminine noun meaning "a female animal".

    In "le mâle allemand", the noun is "mâle", and the modifying adjective is "allemand".
    in "l'Allemand masculin", the noun is "Allemand", the adjective is "masculin".
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    Senior Member
    American English
    I would say that the author is using "le mâle allemand" to refer to the German people in general as a singular. The author is also taking a swipe at the Germans by lowering them to the level of animals.


    Senior Member
    This is what I find about Patrick Buisson and his book (most probably the one subeam2009 is quoting) : "1940 - 1945 ; Années érotiques -- Vichy ou Les infortunes de la vertu" (reference to a book by Marquis de Sade).

    So I fear the second meaning I had shunned is the one to be retained.

    « Travail, Famille, Patrie ». Que reste-t-il de ce triptyque qui devait symboliser la "Révolution nationale" de l'Etat français lorsque, comme Patrick Buisson, on regarde la vie de la France occupée sous le prisme de la sexualité ? Rien, en vérité. Ou plutôt, une incroyable somme de contradictions.
    La première divise les équipes dirigeantes de Vichy où deux courants ne cessent de s'affronter : d'un côté, la droite conservatrice et cléricale désireuse d'en finir avec la démocratie républicaine ; de l'autre, un courant fasciste, fasciné par le modèle allemand, souvent encadré par des personnalités venues de la gauche socialiste et communiste. L'ordre moral des premiers ne parvient pas à cohabiter avec l'ordre viril des seconds.
    Contradiction aussi entre une France vaincue et humiliée et l'atmosphère de fête qui règne dans pratiquement toutes les villes et, en particulier, à Vichy et à Paris.

    P. Buisson's biography makes interesting reading to put the document into perspective :
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