French minister's Playboy cover shoot sparks backlash | 5 things to know | World News - Hindustan Times
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French minister's Playboy cover shoot sparks backlash | 5 things to know

By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
Apr 03, 2023 02:51 PM IST

The magazine's French edition will feature Schiappa, dressed in attire and her 12-page interview discussing topics such as women's rights and LGBT rights.

French minister Marlene Schiappa has sparked controversy after appearing on the Playboy magazine cover. The magazine's French edition will feature Schiappa, who describes herself as a "sapiosexual," dressed in attire and her 12-page interview discussing topics such as abortion, women's rights, and LGBT rights.

French secretary of state for social economy and associations Marlene Schiappa.(AFP)
French secretary of state for social economy and associations Marlene Schiappa.(AFP)

The move has drawn criticism from her political colleagues, including French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

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"Defending the right of women to do what they want with their bodies: everywhere and all the time," Schiappa said in a tweet roughly translated from French. “In France, women are free. Whether it annoys the retrogrades and hypocrites or not.”

Schiappa is reportedly the first female politician to appear on the front cover of Playboy France.

Who is Marlene Schiappa?

-Marlene Schiappa, 40, is the current Minister of Social Economy and French Associations. President Emmanuel Macron plucked her from obscurity in 2017.

-Schiappa, a feminist author, has long been an advocate for women's rights and was named the country's first Gender Equality Minister in 2017, according to CNN. During this time, she successfully advocated for a new sexual harassment law that allows for on-the-spot fines for men who catcall, harass, or follow women on the street.

-While serving as equalities minister in 2018, Schiappa introduced legislation outlawing catcalling and street harassment. She was also regular on French TV talk shows.

-Before entering politics, the mother of two was a prolific author and blogger, writing about motherhood's challenges, women's health, and pregnancy. She also wrote a book in 2010 that offered sex tips for the overweight which some criticised for perpetuating stereotypes.

-According to Le Parisien newspaper, the minister was photographed for the cover wearing a long white, one-shoulder dress in one image and a voluminous bow-tied white dress in another, with the headline "A liberated minister."

Reactions to Schiappa's appearance in ‘Playboy’

Marlene Schiappa's decision to appear on the cover of Playboy France has received backlash from some government colleagues, who argue that it sends the wrong message during a time when France is experiencing strikes and violent demonstrations against plans to raise the retirement age by two years. Some have even questioned if it was an April Fools' joke at first.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who is only the second woman to hold the position, reportedly said that Schiappa's appearance in the magazine was not appropriate, especially given the current period.

However, Jean-Christophe Florentin, the editor of Playboy France, defended the decision, stating that Schiappa was the most compatible government minister for the magazine due to her advocacy for women's rights and her understanding that Playboy could be an instrument for the feminist cause.

(With AFP inputs)

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