Tags: Sarkozy | poster | wrath | feminism

Sarkozy Poster Sparks Feminist Wrath

Sunday, 21 Feb 2010 10:36 PM


She is pretty, pregnant and patriotic — and has become a figure of loathing to a broad range of French feminists.

A photograph of an expectant mother, used to advertise a €35 billion (£31 billion) loan that, it is hoped, will fund investment and stimulate growth, has been denounced across France. The image, accompanied by text saying that France is investing in the future, represents Marianne, the personification of the French Republic since the 19th century.

However, critics say that it reduces French women to the role of motherhood, undermining decades of liberation. Worse still, they point out that the woman in the poster used by President Sarkozy’s Government is clothed in white, the colour of both virginity and the ancien régime.

“The hand of the state should not be in my uterus, and certainly not to look for money,” said Le Féminin l’Emporte, one of France’s most influential feminist blogs. Detractors also said that the image evoked the slogan “Work, Family, Fatherland” used by the Vichy administration, which collaborated with Hitler during the Second World War.

Olympe, another feminist blog, said that the Government appeared to be “suggesting that a woman’s work is to have babies whilst the men handle the billions from the loan”.

Marianne has been portrayed in various guises over the years, including as a revolutionary leader and a warrior, and a wide range of real French women, including Brigitte Bardot, have served as models.

To read full London Times story — Go Here Now.

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