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French minister stirs controversy with Playboy magazine cover

11:57 AM | 4 Apr, 2023
French minister stirs controversy with Playboy magazine cover
Source: Marlene Schiappa (Instagram)

Liberty, freedom of expression, and supporting feminism are all positive traits but to pose for the cover of a notorious magazine to make a feminist statement may not sit well with everyone, even the West. Shocking the world with her out-of-box idea, a French government minister appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine and stands by her decision despite much public criticism. 

Marlene Schiappa, a 40-year-old feminist cherry picked from obscurity by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017, is acquainted and immune to controversies where she triggers rightwingers, and defends her decision to appear — although fully clothed — on the front cover of Playboy.

Apart from local backlash, Schiappa even had the prime minister and leftwing critics raise a brow and believe that she made a mistake with her latest stint. Schiappa's intend to pose for the magazine was to draw attention to her 12-page interview on women's and gay rights as well as abortion.

"Defending the right of women to do what they want with their bodies: everywhere and all the time," Schiappa wrote on Twitter.

"In France, women are free. Whether it annoys the retrogrades and hypocrites or not."

Schiappa's stunt has vexed some of her colleagues in the government office who are already marred by the unending strikes and violent demonstrations against plans to raise the retirement age by two years in France.

The news of Schiappa wearing a designer dresses for the infamous magazine was not only viewed as a wrong message but also leading many people to believe it was an April's Fool prank. 

According to multiple media outlets, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the second woman to occupy the position, told Schiappa to tell her that it "was not at all appropriate, especially in the current period."

Greens MP and fellow women's rights activist Sandrine Rousseau, an outspoken critic of the centrist government, also reportedly said, "where is the respect for the French people?

"People who are going to have to work for two years more, who are demonstrating, who are losing days of salary, who aren't managing to eat because of inflation?" she told the BFM channel discussing the controversy on Saturday. "Women's bodies should be able to be exposed anywhere, I don't have a problem with that, but there's a social context."

Defending itself, the magazine, Playboy, will definitely publish the issue in its French-language edition.

Schiappa was the "most 'Playboy compatible'" of government ministers "because she is attached to the rights of women and she has understood that it's not a magazine for old machos but could be an instrument for the feminist cause," editor Jean-Christophe Florentin told international media outlets.

"Playboy is not a soft porn magazine but a 300-page quarterly 'mook' (a mix of a book and a magazine) that is intellectual and on trend," Florentin added, also admitting there were "still a few undressed women but they're not the majority of the pages."

On her professional front, Schiappa is a regular on French TV talk shows. She is accredited with bringing in legislation outlawing catcalling and street harassment while serving as equalities minister in 2018. The mother-of-two was also prolific author and blogger highlighting the challenges of motherhood, women's health, and pregnancy. Schiappa also aunthored a book that offered intimacy tips for the plus size people which critics viewed as propagating stereotypes, in 2010.

The writer is a staff member.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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