Centrist Macron thrashes far-right Le Pen in French presidential election

I’m aware of that. I’m unsure what you think you’re cluing me into. Do you think I’m so ignorant?



Sexism exists. It doesn’t effect every decision, but it absolutely exists. No, I’m sure that’s not why she lost. Yes, it almost certainly affected some number of votes for or against, because people vote for lots of reasons.

You are likely correct in that there are broader conversations and drivers for the election. Fine. But you don’t get to discount the effect of sexism just because you want to believe it had zero impact. Unless you can poll every voter you cannot know this, but history says gender has played a role ubiquitously across society as a whole.

Any comments (from anyone, not singling you out) that suggest that it’s “wrong” to discuss gender as a possible contributing factor to this vote will very likely be eaten. If you disagree, than talk about it, don’t try to invalidate the very discussion in question.


You did have a look at the parliament, did you? The guy simply doesn’t have any party support. How he is going to do politics, at all, but especially domestic is quite beyond me.

I am still glad he won. But I have to work with realities.

The parliamentary elections haven’t happened yet, his party didn’t exist the last time they had them. Obviously it’s unlikely he’ll get a large number of seats, but he should be able to cobble together some kind of working government with whatever they do win plus deals with other parties.

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While I appreciate your optimism in regard to compiling a working government. However, the elections for the Assemblee National are in June already. Macron’s movement is not well established, campaigning will be difficult for them. My impression is he will be very much dependent on the established parties, and it’s far from sure he’ll get support for reforms: without proper backing, he is going to have a hard time changing political France.

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“None of the above” votes are very important.

When you stay home, you tell the ruling classes “do what you want, I am apathetic, I am happy enough not to care about the elections, I am not worth pandering to because I don’t vote”.

When you vote “nobody” you tell the ruling classes "I have a vote, I will do whatever it takes to get to the polling booth, and the first candidate who speaks to my concerns will get my vote".

The politicals have people doing the math. I know a guy who worked on the Obama campaign and they stayed up late for weeks doing the math. A “nobody” vote is a vote that candidates cannot take for granted, they have to speak to that voter, party loyalty isn’t enough.


[quote=“doop, post:129, topic:100557, full:true”]Maybe effectively, but please understand that the spike in uncounted votes was people who very much did not want Le Pen president, and who only did what they did based on the feeling that Macron was going to be president anyway.

My entire point (which has oblivious not come across, or else I wouldn’t have the responses I got) was that it it should be quite clear to anyone that the assumption Macron was going to win anyway and thus you could either stay at home or cast blank votes is horribly dangerous, especially with a voting system like the French, and the high voter mobilisation of the FN. It sums up to supporting the that horrible person and her neofascist agenda if you do the math.

If their political “feeling” was that she would loose anyway they haven’t payed much attention to the news lately. Or they friggin don’t care.


I just wanted to add that my general impression is similar to doop’s, but the “christian” motivation of voters in France might be a bit overstated in their stance. I don’t want to completely dismiss it, but the office of the president is viewed foremost in secular terms. The right-wing christians in Le Pen’s FN following did already vote for her (mentioned somewhere above already). I don’t think gender played an important part and (despite the Segolène Royal issue which was a horrible example to counter my point) my impression is that the French are even much closer to not giving much thoughts about gender in public offices than, e.g., Germans.


And Britons! As dumb as us and the English!

I knew I should have studied French instead of German in High School. But the French teacher had a creepy glass eye that rolled around independently like Mad-Eye Moody’s and I couldn’t stop staring at it.

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I do wish we had a “none of the above” option here in the states. Our politicians have no way of distinguishing between a “the status quo is fine so why bother” non-voter, “everything is rigged so why bother” non-voter, a principled non-voter, or a person who didn’t have time that day, or someone who was just lazy. With so little information available*, no wonder we have no idea what the people actually want, even right after an election.

*this problem also applies to the two party duopoly and its lack of choices, leading to the enormous amount of divination of the peoples’ will required even immediately after an election, when logically we should have the most information possible.

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The closest thing we have is spoiling a ballot line or leaving it blank (I’ve been told that writing in a candidate on a provided space is not effective, but that putting a line through such is). Election returns officials do tally up undervotes, and while they’re not as emphatic a statement as “none of the above” they can still send a message.

Your point was perfectly clear, but in my opinion over simplified. The abstainers I talked to were easily the most politically passionate people I came across here. They understand the risk full well. But they’re not willing to be bullied into making a choice they don’t want to make. And furthermore there’s a more profound risk that you didn’t mention: if you examine how your thinking has worked out in America, it has narrowed the political spectrum until even the left leaning choice (Hillary Clinton) would have been a Republican (right) candidate from years prior. And the Republican choice is extreme right compared to the past. There hasn’t been a truly leftist major candidate in America for a long time, if you look at only the two front runners, precisely because everyone jumps to support whichever candidate is relatively to the left. So in fact, in their thinking, it’s people who use the argument you’re using who are ultimately supporting Le Pen in the long term.


In length.
If your friends were passionate, that doesn’t relive them from thinking and calculating odds.

[quote=“wrybread, post:166, topic:100557, full:true”] They understand the risk full well.

Oh. If that is the case, it’s even worse. That’s accepting to support neo-facism full willingly.

[quote=“wrybread, post:166, topic:100557, full:true”] And furthermore, if you examine how your thinking has worked out in America, […] So in fact, in their thinking, it’s people who use the argument you’re using who are ultimately supporting Le Pen in the long term.

First of all, the US has nothing to do with it. The US has a different political culture, political system, and political batshit. If you want to discuss that, talk to someone else.

Your implication that doing the math makes me a supporter of Marine Le Pen is not appreciated.

Let me simplify grossly.
If France had a population of 100, only 70 are going to vote anyway, and you can be sure about 30 of them are going to vote for MLP, than you have a number of six people who could swing the election.

If these can’t be bothered to look through their haze of pain and vote against MLP, their passion is wasted.

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Tusk felt like a genuine attempt at trying to make a good movie, and even though the result was a mixed bag, at least Smith put himself out there. But Yoga Hosers is a retreat into, “If you don’t like it, I just won’t even try” territory, resulting in an intentionally critic-proof movie that exists only to amuse a handful of people. It’s a very, very, very bad movie, but I’m not even mad that it’s awful. I’m frustrated that Smith didn’t even try. Rating: D-

You can choose to ignore the lessons of the U.S. if you want, but that’s just sticking your head in the sand. People have been making the exact same argument you’re making here for ages, and it’s gone very badly for us. You can choose to learn from history or continue to over simplify by saying someone is supporting Le Pen when they very explicitly aren’t. I take it you’re in France? Presumably you’ve talked to some abstainers in person and accused them of being de facto Le Pen supporters? How’d that work out for you?


Where exactly did I say it does not?

This is the first line of my response to Mindysan33 on the subject of sexism in European politics

So why pick a random sentence and lecture me on something I have already stated, while ignoring the core of my argument about xenophobia.

My argument was and is (and a number of others who also appear to be based in Europe have made similar points) that this election in France was about xenophobia and racism. Gender played no perceptible role.

If you have evidence that Marine LePen was disadvantage in this election because of her gender please share it with us. Otherwise it would be good to focus this discussion on the fact that a xenophobic and racist candidate lost and an explicitly pro-European candidate who emphasised his commitment to France’s minority population won.

Let’s have the discussion on sexism where it really played out e.g. the treatment of Hillary Clinton in the US.

EDIT to add: As a woman who attended a US High School and University but has mostly lived in Europe I really do think that sexism is far more prevalent in the US.

I cannot imagine that a European country would elect a candidate who has been accused of assaulting women, who has admitted on live TV to assaulting women. The US currently has an elected President who is not merely a womaniser or a misogynist but a self-confirmed sexual predator and you had a female candidate whose treatment was on the level of misogyny which I think we would have to dig really deep into European history to find parallels to–Joan d’Arc maybe?

I really don’t understand why US commentators here are so unwilling to accept that there might be differences in how these things play out on another continent.

Were people aware that there was a gender difference btw the candidates: yes.

Does gender play a major role in European society and are women disadvantaged: yes.

Is there evidence that Marine LePen’s gender played a significant role in the outcome of the French Election: if there is evidence no-one has pointed out here.


That’s just silly. People looked at and listened to Le Pen, and they perceived “a woman.” Of course that was a factor in how things went for her.

Though, since she’s rather skilled at manipulating such perceptions, her gender may have helped her as much or more than it hurt her. Either way, entrenched sexism certainly was a driving force, even when people recognized her cynical deployment of gender and fought or voted against it.

Although stopping short from presenting herself as a “feminist”, she has also tried to appeal to French women by looking and behaving in a more approachable way. She may have inherited the forceful voice and physique of her father, but she chose to change the party’s logo, a flame, for a blue rose. On the poster for the second round campaign, she very unusually wears a skirt, and smiles, posing in front of bookcases. The poster’s slogan, “Choose France” shows that she is trying to appear as the Mother of the Nation. In fact, she is deliberately tapping into the national unconscious: the French Republic is represented by a female figure wearing the revolutionary red Phrygian cap known as Marianne, and best remembered in the Delacroix painting. Every town hall and state schools in France has a bust of Marianne and every stamp and French euro coin show her face or profile.

Recently, Marine Le Pen’s strategy has been to particularly target working-class women who may fear their poorly paid jobs are at risk from immigrants. French women being represented in the service proletariat may feel particularly inclined to vote for the anti-globalisation and protectionist Marine Le Pen. Of course, some feminists, such as followers of the Femen movement, who are based in Paris, try as often as they can to call her bluff. They regularly ambush Marine Le Pen during public events, conferences or public speeches with, for instance, the words “Marine: Fake Feminist” or “Le Pen Top Fascist” painted across their chests.

The Femen and other French feminists insist that Le Pen is using women’s issues for xenophobic purposes, as a way to push forward an anti-immigrant agenda. In her 2017 political manifesto, Marine Le Pen develops 144 proposals in a 24-page long document. The word “women” only appears twice. For feminists, such fact is revealing enough.

In fact, as the skilled politician she is, Marine Le Pen has managed to use her gender to give the party a veneer of respectability, competence and modernity. If many French people can still see through the illusion, others, among them many women, have chosen to believe it.


Wow! Way to misread a comment.

What I actually wrote was that the election was about xenophobia and racism and that gender had no perceptible role in the outcome unlike in the treatment of e.g. in the Ségolène Royal who I also mentioned in the thread.

Obviously everyone perceived LePen is a woman just as they perceived that Macron is 39, We could also start a discussion on agism in French politics–even though there doesn’t seem to be evidence that Macron’s youth and inexperience hindered him.

The question here is not what people perceive, the question is how that perception has influenced their decision.

And we are still looking for evidence that LePen’s gender played any decisive role in her loss. The evidence from the article you quote to which I also referred to at the beginning of this thread is that her gender might have helped LePen in this instance.

On what planet did I suggest that people didn’t perceive her gender? Why would I?

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I just realised today that Marion Marechal Le-Pen isn’t her daughter, she’s her niece. I had always read her described as Jean-Marie’s granddaughter and just assumed she was Marine’s daughter. But yeah, she seems much worse than Marine, will be interesting to see what happens to the party now, is they do poorly in the legislative elections there’ll be a big push from within to draw them back further to the right, which will probably be a good thing overall as it’ll only hurt their electoral chances (one would hope). Though one of the things they are fighting over is whether to drop their opposition to the Euro, that seemed to be a big vote loser for them this time, so the might just tweak a few things and do better the next time around.

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