Women make better politicians than men, claims French finance minister
Published 11/10/2010 | 16:09
Women make better politicians than men because they are not prisoners to their libido and testosterone, Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, has claimed.
Mrs Lagarde, said that her 30-year career as a high-flying lawyer and the world's most powerful female finance minister left her convinced that men's sex drive, testosterone and ego made them prone to taking decisions personally and humiliating people.
Most women in power, on the other hand, were less ruled by their libido and thus able to make more cool-headed judgments, she said.
Mrs Lagarde, in the running to be France's next prime minister, said: "Women inject less libido and less testosterone into the equation.
"It helps in the sense that we don't necessarily project our own egos into cutting a deal, making our point across, convincing people, reducing them to a partner that has lost in the process," said the world's 43rd most powerful woman according to Forbes.
"It's probably overgeneralised what I'm saying and I'm sure there are women who operate exactly like men.
"But in the main ... I honestly believe that the majority of women in such positions approach power ... in a slightly different manner."
Mrs Lagarde, 54, made no mention of her boss, President Nicolas Sarkozy, who allegedly kept the Queen waiting during a trip to Windsor Castle in 2008 while he made love to his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.
Jonathan Alter, an American journalist, claimed that the French first lady had told her US counterpart, Michelle Obama, earlier this year that she was having sexual intercourse with her husband while a "senior head of state" was left embarrassingly kicking their heels. Press speculation mounted that it was the Queen.
Nor did Mrs Lagarde refer to the recent Freudian slip of Rachida Dati, the former justice minister, who mixed up "inflation" and "fellatio" in a radio interview.
Mr Sarkozy, often described as the ultimate alpha male President, has been criticised for being impetuous and personalising politics more than any of his predecessors.
Mrs Lagarde, voted Europe's top finance minister by the Financial Times last year for her handling of the global financial crisis, is renowned for her self-control. The former national synchronised swimming gets up at 6am every day for a morning yoga session, and does not drink, smoke or eat meat.
She took a sevenfold salary cut when she gave up her job as chairwoman of Baker and McKenzie, the international law firm, to become external trade minister in 2005 before Mr Sarkozy picked her as the country's first ever female finance minister.
The perfect English speaker also has a decidedly un-French self-deprecatory streak. On her office wall hangs a satirical cartoon of herself dressed in leather cracking a whip to tame wayward bankers.