Emmanuel Macron hit back at critics of his May-December relationship with wife Brigitte Trogneux—who at 64 is 25 years his senior.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, the new French President cited a culture of misogyny, homophobia and “traditional, homogenous” views as the mindset underlying in comments against his unorthodox marriage, the Independent reports.
“If I had been 20 years older than my wife, nobody would have thought for a single second that I couldn’t be [an intimate partner],” said Macron.
To those who spread rumours questioning his sexuality, he cited that people who fabricated this had “a big problem with homosexuality.” He claimed that rumor mongers had “lost their sense of reality” in thinking that being gay was a “stain” or a “hidden disease.”
The 39-year-old politician lamented that “there is a big problem with the presentation of society and [how they see] the place of women,” and that rumors were most damaging to those closest to him.
Macron and his wife met when he was her theater teacher in high school. He was only 15 and she was 40, and they fell in love as they rewrote a script for a school play. Trogneux was already married with three kids.
He declared that he would marry her at age 17, but his parents kept the pair apart. Eventually, Trogneux would get a divorce and the couple married in 2007. While they have no children, their family includes Trogneux’s children from her first marriage and seven grandchildren who openly accepted Macron.
Meanwhile, women who voted for Macron viewed his marriage as favorable, considering that it broke gender stereotypes in a society that accepts relationships between men who are much older than women. Macron is also known to speak on gender issues such as wage inequality. Niña V. Guno/KI INQUIRER.net