Controversy in France: the Secretary of State posed for the new edition of Playboy

Marlene Schiappa. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes (GONZALO FUENTES/)

Secretary of State Marlène Schiappa is under scrutiny in France for posing and giving an interview to the erotic magazine Playboy, considered “inappropriate” in the current context of social conflict.

Schiappa, 40 years old and responsible for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life, poses sensually in a light white outfit and the numbers 49.3 can be seen on her skin, alluding to the rule Macron used to bypass Parliament’s approval of his pension reform. She talks about women’s rights, politics and literature in the adult issue of the magazine, which appears this Thursday.

”Defending the right of women to dispose of their own body is done always and everywhere. In France, women are free.”tweeted the official media over the weekend, also the author of erotic books and very active on social networks.

The photos illustrate a long twelve-page interview with Schiappa, who was Secretary of State for Equality during Macron’s first term (2017/2020) and later Deputy Minister for Citizenship (2020/22).

Marlene Schiappa - playboy
The cover of the magazine “Playboy” that generated the controversy.

For the magazine’s editor, Schiappa is the politician “most compatible with ‘Playboy'”, because she is committed to women’s rights and understood that Playboy is no longer a publication for old macho men, but can be an instrument of the feminist cause.”

However, the Prime Minister Élisabeth Bornecalled her on the phone to tell her that he considered “totally inappropriate” His appearance in the erotic magazine, in the current context of tension over an unpopular pension reform, according to his entourage.

BFMTV commented that many heavyweights in French politics thought it was an April Fools’ joke and declared that “it’s heartbreaking”. This outrage also includes personalities from his own political party, The Republic On The Move, which is led by President Emmanuel Macron.

For his part, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, defended Schiappa. “You won’t make me say anything bad about Marlène Schiappa (…). Being a liberated woman is not that easy,” he pointed out.

Schiappa, 40, is responsible for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Pool
Schiappa, 40, is responsible for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Pool (CHARLES PLATIAU/)

France registers massive protests against the delay of the retirement age from 62 to 64 years by 2030 and the increase of the contribution to 43 years by 2027 to collect a full pension, which the liberal president Emmanuel Macron adopted by decree.

The left-wing opposition thus criticized the government’s communication strategy, after Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt appeared in the LGTBI-oriented magazine Têtu and Macron spoke with the children’s magazine Pif Gadget.

“We are in the midst of a social crisis (…) and I have the impression that there is a smoke screen between Têtu, Pif Gadget and Playboy”, lamented the ecofeminist deputy Sandrine Rousseau on the BFMTV network. “France is going off the rails,” according to leftist leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

(with information from AFP and EFE)

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