There has been a lot of ink spilled lately regarding the various symptoms generated in French intellectual, cultural, and political life by a malady diagnosed as the triumph of neoliberalism and American consumerism at the end of the Cold War. In recent years, some French scholars afflicted with the disease have revisited and revised well-worn political models, and others returned defensively to the tradition of French secular republicanism as an antidote to “multiculturalism” and “communitarianism” (what Americans would call identity politics), which French authors often envision as American imports. This defensiveness on both the French left and right responds to the apparent exhaustion of nationalism, of revolutionary ideals, and of French identity. Joan Scott's recent book on The Fantasy of Feminist History does a particularly incisive job of revealing the various investments in secular republicanism as themselves forms of sexism and racism or nostalgia, especially on the right. She cites a discussion in which Mona Ozouf, Phillipe Raynaud, and others argue that the particularly “French” form of “seduction” and heterosexual coupling encourages men to exercise dominance through gallantry if they want to win over women. Gallantry civilizes society by using sexual difference as armor against an imagined leveling and sameness represented by those who cannot understand seduction as a means metaphorically of reconciling the differences that inevitably arise in democracies—feminists, “militant homosexuals,” and Muslims who refuse to play by French rules. Here the play of difference relies on a rigid gender difference—and the subordination of women—that sells itself as natural and quintessentially French.