The French presidential candidate François Fillon, already beset by scandal, has been lambasted for sexist remarks after suggesting a leading French journalist was unsure of her brief because she had been on maternity leave.

During the candidates’ last major television appearance before France’s closely-fought first round vote on Sunday, the respected France 2 journalist Léa Salamé pressed Fillion for details on his plans to revolutionise France’s social security system.

“I understand why you’re asking me this question, because you have been absent for a while and I congratulate you, but I have already answered that question 20 times, including on this programme,” he said.

Co-hosting the show 15 Minutes pour Convaincre or 15 Minutes to Convince, which gave the 11 candidates a quarter of an hour each to defend their positions on Thursday evening, Salamé pushed Fillion to clarify his position. “It’s extremely clear,” he said. Laughing, he added: “By asking the question again, it is you making it less clear.”

Critics immediately branded Fillion’s condescending and misogynist.

The journalist Thibaut Pézerat tweeted: “Am I dreaming, or did Fillon just accuse Salamé of not following the campaign because she was pregnant?”.

Thibaut Pézerat ✌️
(@ThibPez)

Je rêve ou Fillon vient d’accuser Léa Salamé d’avoir mal suivi la campagne car elle était enceinte ?


April 20, 2017

Another Twitter user, Sascha Gabizon, tweeted:

Sascha Gabizon
(@SaschaGabizon)

#French presidential candidate #Fillon – another #sexist remark: the journalist could not understand his program because on maternity leave pic.twitter.com/r9SzSU9mbn


April 21, 2017

The journalist Caroline Franc tweeted: “Fillon’s allusion to Salamé’s maternity leave is typical of the man’s misogyny. I feel sick.”

Caroline Franc
(@CaroFrancDesage)

l’allusion de Fillon au congé maternité de Salamé résume toute la misogynie du mec. J’ai la nausée.


April 20, 2017

It is not the first time Fillon has faced accusations of sexism. In 2009, he told the junior minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet that she would not be promoted to a full ministerial job because she was pregnant. The rightwing candidate shrugged off the comment, saying it was clumsy and a bad joke, and that he had apologised to her at the time.


Source link The Guardian

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