Sunday 18 February 2018

Grace Dent: Let's hear it for France's new Première Dame. She's angry – and she has every right to be

Francois Hollande with partner Valerie Trierweiler
Francois Hollande with partner Valerie Trierweiler

AS the partner of François Hollande, Valerie Trierweiler, the brand new Première Dame of France, moves her make-up bag into the Elysée Palace, I confess that already I'm smitten. Statuesque, self-accomplished and a strident feminist, Trierweiler fired a verbal grenade at her Paris Match colleagues over their recent front cover where she was belittled as "François Hollande's Charming Asset".

Valerie was disgruntled. One Masters of Advanced Studies in political science, three kids, 22 years interviewing the top brass of international politics and suddenly one's on the cover of one's own magazine portrayed as a delightful fragrant bauble. (I wanted to type "as a glorified cock-holder" here but I'm still new to this page and want us all to remain friends.)



"Bravo Paris Match for its sexism..." Valerie tweeted, "My thoughts go out to all angry women." Oh, yes, did I mention, Valerie tweets. Imagine, the first lady's own unfettered, complex thoughts pinging live from her own account? Women thrive on Twitter: they're noisy, spiky and delightfully uncensored. I hope greatly that the chuntering powers-that-be behind François Hollande don't succeed in clipping her wings. Another story about Valerie Trierweiler is that reportedly she once slapped a sexist colleague, earning her the nickname, predictably, of "The Rottweiler".

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