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“Let Them Eat Cake” – Amid Strikes, Blockades and Social Chaos, French Minister Marlene Schiappa’s Playboy Cover Ignites a Flood of Controversy

  Ever since Emmanuel Macron’s government decided to ram his highly unpopular Pension Reform without a Parliamentary vote, the situation in ...


Ever since Emmanuel Macron’s government decided to ram his highly unpopular Pension Reform without a Parliamentary vote, the situation in France has unraveled: multiple strikes, blockades of roads, food and fuel depots, countless popular protests and clashes with the security forces.

Now, the Republic has been shaken by another controversy, as it surfaces that minister Marlene Schiappa appeared on the April cover of Playboy magazine.

This prompted widespread criticism from politicians in the country, both in the opposition and in the Government base.

Business Insider reported:

“Schiappa posed for the April issue of the magazine wearing a white outfit. […] Playboy interviewed the French politician on women’s and LGBTQ rights, the outlet reported.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told Shicappa, who is the minister delegate in charge of citizenship, that posing for Playboy ‘wasn’t appropriate, especially during this period […]’.

The protest season in France broke out after the government of Macron and PM Borne raised the state pension age from 62 to 64 without a vote on Parliament by utilizing the controversial ‘Article 49.3’ of the French Constitution.

Millions of people have taken to the streets, in the largest popular protests since the pre-COVID ‘Yellow Vests’ took the country by storm.

Opposition leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon was one of the many politicians to criticize Schiappa, saying that her posing for Playboy was one yet another sign that France was “going off the rails.”

Minister Schiappa defended herself on Twitter, but was careful enough to disable comments on her post.

But Schiappa was not responded in a tweet on Sunday, saying that it’s a woman’s right “to have control of their bodies.”

“Defending the right of women to have control of their bodies, that’s everywhere and all the time. In France, women are free. With all due respect to the detractors and hypocrites.”

UK’s Independent:

“Ms Shiappa, who is the current minister for the social economy and French associations, has long campaigned for gender equality and spearheaded a French law banning cat-calling and the harassment of women.

[…] Green MP Sandrine Rousseau told TV channel BFM: ‘Where is the respect for the French people? […] Women’s bodies should be able to be exposed anywhere, I don’t have a problem with that, but there’s a social context.”

Opposition leader Jean Luc Mélenchon took to Twitter to criticize Ms Schiappa’s appearance in Playboy Magazine, and also president Macron giving an interview to children’s magazine Pif Gadget.

“In a country where the President expresses himself in Pif and his minister in Playboy, the problem would be the opposition. France is going off the rails.”

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