Women in politics: adornments and witches

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

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September 6, 2019

Women in politics: adornments and witches

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By Jan Lundius,

Some world leaders try to prove their alpha male status by presenting attractive and submissive wives as tokens won in virile scrambles with other potent stags. A recent example of such puerile machismo was exposed in a twitter battle between the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and his French equivalent Emmanuel Macron. Since taking office in January, Mr Bolsonaro has railed against what he considered to be foreign meddling in Brazilian environmental politics. Wild fires raging in the Amazonian rain forest have generally been blamed on a rampant deforestation said to be endorsed by Bolsonaro´s regime. Emmanuel Macron tweeted a photo of burning Amazonian forestland with the comment: ”Our house is burning. Literally.” Bolsonaro reacted immediately and accused Macron of supporting an international alliance intending to take control over Amazonia while treating Brazil like a ”colony”. Bolsonaro twittered:

We cannot accept French President Macron´s improper and wanton attacks on the Amazon, nor can we accept that he disguises his intentions.

Some days later, Bolsonaro expressed approval of a Facebook-posting by one of his supporters. It presented an unflattering photo of France´s First Lady, mocking her appearance and comparing her unfavourably to Brazil’s First Lady. The post declared: ”Now you understand why Macron is persecuting Bolsonaro” indicating that Brigitte Macron is not as attractive as Michelle Bolsonaro, who is 28 years younger than Brigitte. Emmanuel Macron is 24 years younger than his wife and in the opinion of chauvinist males this makes him less macho than Jair Bolsonaro who has a wife that is 27 years younger than him. Bolsonaro replied to his Facebook fan: ”Do not humilate the guy, ha, ha,” while Macron retorted by stating that Bolsonaro had been ”extremely disrespectful” to his wife, adding that:

It’s sad, it’s sad first of all for him and for Brazilians. Brazilian women are probably feeling ashamed of their president. Since I have a lot of esteem and respect for the people of Brazil, I hope they will very soon have a president who is up to the job. 

Click here to read the full article published by IPS News on 6 September 2019.

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