A woman poses provocatively, wrapped in a cloth in the colors of the French flag. She is the protagonist of one of the four photos that will occupy the entire pages of the magazine issue Playboy which will be released on April 8th. The news made those frequenting the palaces of power in Paris jump because the woman who gave herself to the lens, while tensions and violence against the pension reform continue to explode in the streets, is not a traditional model. But the Secretary of State with responsibility for the Social and Solidarity Economy, Marlene Schiappa.
Who decided to open up with the magazine founded by Hugh Hefner, in an interview based “mainly on women’s freedom but also on feminism, politics and literature”. Twelve pages, in which various topics will be discussed: from violence against women and within the family, to the solidarity economy, passing through ecology and global warming. «Marlène Schiappa is the only minister able to answer the questions of a magazine like Playboyshe is also the first politician to deal with it», boasts those around her, according to what she reports Le Parisien. And the reason for this is to be found in his outside-the-box personality.
Who is Marlène Schiappa
Unlike the majority of French politicians educated at ENA, the national school of administration, Schiappa comes from civil society. She was born in Paris in 1982, the daughter of a historian and a deputy principal, she grew up in a multiracial communal estate north of the French capital. Her own origins are mixed: Corsican and Italian blood flows in her veins (her grandparents were from Bergamo). You studied geography at the Sorbonne for a year, but then you graduated in communication at the University of Grenoble. Her political commitment has proved to be as constant as it is precocious: already in 2001, she presents herself on an associative list during the municipal elections of Paris. Subsequently, in addition to working for a few years for the Euro RSCG advertising agency, she nurtured her passion for writing, devoting herself to writing articles for various newspapers and blogs.
He also gave birth to entire volumes: essays on the reconciliation between family and work, but also a biographical book on the love between his great-grandmother and an Italian diplomat, and some erotic novels signed under a pseudonym. The year that marks a turning point is 2008, when the name of Schiappa begins to be known thanks to the creation of his blog Maman is working. A sort of forum for working mothers, which was so successful that it subsequently transformed into an association to relaunch various proposals on equality between men and women and on improving the balance between professional and private life.
The rise to power
The commitment to gender equality will be one of the hallmarks of her political commitment, which continues to bear fruit in parallel: in 2014, she was nominated Deputy Mayor for Equality in Le Mans (city to which, in the meantime, she moved). You therefore go through three governments: in 2017, with Edouard Phillipe, you are appointed Secretary of State in charge of equality between women and men. During her term of office, she made the law she promoted (the homonymous “schiappa law”), aimed at punishing street and computer harassment, as well as expanding the definition of rape in articles 222-23 of the penal code national. It was 2018, the same year in which she made her decision to donate locks of hair to an association that produces wigs for women with cancer talk about her.
The same hair which, together with other aesthetic characteristics, triggered the comments of the media at the time of his election. And his consequent indignation: «When I read the first portraits that spoke of me, I was stunned. It began with my long hair, makeup, clothes: women first look at the physique, then at private life and only after the competence”. She then decided to switch to the chignon, “to be taken seriously”. Three years later, in July 2020, she was appointed Minister for Citizenship, together with Gérald Darmanin, in the new government of Jean Castex. Two years later, under the government of Elisabeth Borne, comes the role that she still holds today, that of Secretary of State in charge of Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life.
In these shoes (metaphorically), he decided to pose for Playboy: the rumors speak of politicians on a rampage. Although the minister’s office has pointed out that Marlène is “dressed and wearing a long white dress” in all the photos, local newspapers report some clips of the conversation. “It doesn’t matter the dress, it’s inadmissible!”, a ministerial adviser allegedly snorted. The latter fears that his choice will damage the government’s image in the midst of the ongoing social crisis.
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