A week after 39-year-old political outsider Emmanuel Macron won the election as the President of France, his 64-year-old wife, Brigitte Macron continues to face misogynistic comments, quite similar to the ones like of during the campaign session, the comments mostly taunting the couple’s 24 years age gap.
The satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Tuesday published a cover with caricatures of the incoming French president and his wife, along with the caption: "He is going to work miracles!"
Though the text was a reference to Macron's optimistic campaign messaging in a divisive election, given the illustration - of the president-elect placing his hand on his "pregnant" wife's belly - it also was a clear jab at the incoming first couple's age gap.
Netizens slammed the magazine's cover as "sexist" and "ageist." Macron herself responded to the cover, tweeting: "All that is technically possible is not necessarily desirable or desired." She added the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, a slogan that became popular after al-Qaida terrorists ambushed and killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo's Paris offices in 2015.
Emmanuel Macron was 15 when they met, she was his high school drama teacher. At the time, she was married with three children. Two years later, he proposed her. Despite the age difference and the societal conventions, she eventually left her husband for him. "Love took everything in its path and led me to divorce. It was impossible to resist him," Macron told Paris Match magazine last year, according to the New York Times. She divorced her husband in 2006 and married Macron in 2007.
Their romance captured tabloid headlines during the French presidential campaign, but was not an obstacle to Emmanuel Macron decisively winning over far-right opponent Marine Le Pen last week.
Macron's win hasn't stopped some from attacking his wife on social media, calling her a "pedophile," among other insults. Those attacks, as well as the Charlie Hebdo cover, prompted many to stand up for Madame Macron - including her daughter from her first marriage, 32-year-old Tiphaine Auziere, who said it was "jealousy" that was fueling such hate toward her mother.
"I think we cannot remain indifferent to this, and now I do not want to give any importance to people who convey this kind of stuff, because I find it totally outrageous in France in the 21st century to make such attacks," Auziere told French CNN affiliate BFM TV. "These are attacks that we wouldn't direct at male politicians or at a man who would accompany a female politician. So I think there's a lot of jealousy, and that this is very inappropriate."