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What’s Emmanuel Macron’s problem with big families?

The French President’s comments on women having large numbers of children have been met with a Twitter campaign

October 17, 2018

12:41 PM

17 October 2018

12:41 PM

It’s hard not to notice that French president Emmanuel Macron’s wife is past the age of childbearing. Brigitte Macron is more than 25 years her husband’s senior. Good for her for not letting that stand in her way, of course. But it is odd that her husband is so judgmental of alternative family choices.

During a speech at the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeeper Summit at the end of last month, Macron said ‘one of the critical issues of African demography is that it’s not chosen fertility,’ adding ‘I always say: “Present me the women who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.”’

However, this prompted a Twitter trend, #PostcardsForMacron, mostly from American moms.

For instance, Catherine R Pakluk, who has a PhD and master’s degree from Harvard and who has eight children by choice replied, ‘PhD Harvard (2010), AM Harvard (2002), BA UPenn (1998). Eight children by choice. Keep it going ladies, add your own #postcardsforMacron’.

As did Karen Santorum, wife of the CNN commentator and former Republican Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum: ‘Pray for Pres. Macron. He has no idea what he’s talking about. I feel sorry for him. He’s missing so much joy in life. Karen Santorum, RN, BSN, JD, New York Times best-selling author, but my best title is MOM! I wish I had more kids!’.

Before she was a wife and mom of seven, Mrs Santorum was a qualified nurse and lawyer. (Cockburn can also testify that she makes a delicious pecan pie.)

The bigger problem with Macron’s comments, of course, is that they betray the typical tendency of Western leaders to assume that Africa is in desperate need of ideological colonisation of the ‘progressive’ variety.

This Nigerian activist, however, disagrees:

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