Opinion Analysis

Friday 26 May 2017

Julia Molony: Macho mum's grab at ex-lover's assets is all a bit too blase

The former French justice minister's legal paternity row is a blow for egalite

Julia Molony

THOSE of us not intimately involved in the intricacies of French politics may best remember Rachida Dati as being 'The Woman Who Refused Maternity Leave'.

In 2009 she popped out a baby and returned to work within five days, dressed with impeccable elegance in a sharp black suit, busting balls before the stitches on her caesarean had time to dry. This, without doubt, was macho mothering at its most dramatic. As one of the totemic tough females in Sarko's cabinet, the former justice minister seemed determined to prove that the inconvenience of trifling matters like gestation and birth were not going to stop her keeping up with the boys.

After they'd stopped wincing, feminists all over the world kicked up a stink. Dati was accused of selling the sisterhood down the river, of setting the bar of post-natal recovery and productivity so high that it would undermine every woman's claim to adequate recovery and baby bonding time.

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