Belles from La Belle Province
1. They speak French. No, I’m not joking. It’s a whole subculture, and unless she’s one of the lucky bilingual Canadians, chances are English is not her first language, which means that she might need your indulgence as she expresses herself.
2. They love to kiss you on the cheek. Unlike English Canadian women, French Canadians tend to be more affectionate with friends and will often greet friends with a kiss on the cheek.
3. French Canadian ladies love to have fun.
4. They love beer.
More than cocktails and fancy wine, most French Canadians are beer lovers.
Québec is replete with micro-breweries and Québecers generally drink to enjoy the local brew, but let’s admit they like to enjoy the effect as well.
5. These ladies are among the most creative you will meet.
They love fashion, culture and the arts in General. In fact, Québec has a huge artistic industry of its own.
Québec is actually famous internationally for some of its most creative talent like Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion and Just for Laughs to name but a few that span the sectors of circus arts, music and comedy.
6. French Canadians are not French.
So, this seems to contradict #1 but actually the distinction here is not linguistic, it’s cultural. Quebec is not France, and French Canadians generally do not identify as French, but rather as Francophone.
7. French Canadian women are ethnically diverse.
Sure many of them are pure Québecers, but there is also a lot of immigration in Québec, account for a very diverse population, especially in urban centers.
8. Some are sovereignists, and some are not.
Québec may be part of the Conferederation of Canada, but unlike other provinces many women in Québec see themselves as having their own distinct culture.
They have varying opinions on whether or not Québec should be part of Canada and how.
You will find them all over the spectrum in terms of whether or not they identify as Canadian. But one thing for sure, they generally agree on the fact that they don’t bow to the Queen!
9. French Canadian women have very modern approaches to dating.
They may be very forward and approach a man if they think he is too shy, or they may even initiate intimate contact or take the reins of the relationship.
It’s not that they need to be in charge, it’s that they come from a more egalitarian perspective and don’t believe everything should be done according to gender roles.
10. Many French Canadian women from Québec are Roman Catholic.
They may not be actively practising religion but that hasn’t prevented it from leaving a mark on them culturally.
Among other things, Québec has its own selection of swear words stemming from religious expressions and references, and many attitudes remain from Roman Catholic influences.
11. Marriage is not very prevalent in Québec, even among people who are cohabiting with children.
Laws for common-law couples give women in Québec the same benefits as being married, so many of them choose to remain with long term partners unmarried, which is not considered shocking or offensive in Québec.
12. The French Canadian women’s movement has had its own current over the past century and while women have acquired the vote last (as late as 1940), the women’s movement is strong and vibrant and very independent from the rest of North America.
Women in Québec have managed to acquire accessible daycare programs and benefit from
13. The food is quite different in Québec than in the rest of Canada, and while there may be women in Québec who are interested in wellness and body image, that doesn’t stop them from eating! French Canadian women generally love traditional Québécois dishes, chief among which is of course the internationally acclaimed poutine!
14. French Canadian culture is big, which means these women are probably into a lot of local Québec artists.
Québec has its own national cinema industry, French radio stations and television stations.
While this is mostly consumed by Québecers themselves, their media is also consumed by French Canadians outside Québec (yes, of course they exist!), and some high profile artists are known all over the world.
15. French Canadian women are very progressive and more socialist oriented.
This means that they are more likely to value human causes and believe in public programs than favour private enterprise.
While high earning positions and higher social status was often reserved for English Canadians even in Québec (and this has started to change since the 80s), this has left some tensions in English-French relations in Canada and left many French Canadian women somewhat suspicious of losing their cultural heritage… so if you’d like to get to know her, it would be a good idea to take interest!
by Maria-Hélèna Pacelli