Heard in Europe


International Women’s Day has a bit of a translation problem. In men-dominated France, it has long been denied any plural.

People call it “Journée de LA femme”, referring to the abstract idea of womanhood, whatever that is. “Women are concrete and real, but the woman is vague” as Najat Vallaud Belkacem, the education minister puts it. But for MEP Rachida Dati, a member of European Popular Party, who also is a mayor for the 7th arrondissement in Paris, la Journée de la Femme is not at all about women’s rights. It’s all make-up, jewels, beauty, and fitness related.

The mayor-MEP is organizing special events through the week, and even the poster (on the left) makes it clear about what a woman should be. It shows a woman running with high heels while bottle-feeding a baby. On the 8th of March, Parisians are invited to join Sarah Lavoine, a fashionista interior designer, who will discuss with a “look counselor” and a wine trader. Maybe to learn about throwing chic parties to support once’ husbands’ career ?

And at the same time they will be able to buy jewelry. Necklaces and rings always have been good friends of women- if not strong advocates.

And it’s not over. On Friday, a debate with 10 women living in Paris will speak about womanhood. And they should know about it: they all are nuns ! Being denied any sexual life or maternity or work experience is surely the best way to be an expert about empowering women.

On Saturday, to chill-out after all this heavy brain activity, a beauty workshop will welcome any dull skin. And on Sunday women should join a running team. That is, in case they don’t look slim enough to be really beautiful, even with all the jewels and make-up…

But let’s get it right: as an EPP communiqué underlines it on the 8th of march, the right-wing party has concrete solutions to fight for women’s right. No doubt they have !

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