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Last updated at 11:30 GMT, Friday, 30 November 2012

Carla Bruni: no need for feminism?

Summary

30 November 2012

The former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, has angered feminists throughout France with an interview she gave to Vogue magazine. The singer said there was "no longer… any need for feminism". Her remarks have prompted a furious response.

Reporter:

Christian Fraser

Carla Bruni Sarkozy

Carla Bruni: "I'm not an active feminist".

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Carla Bruni never quite managed the transformation from diva to Première Dame. Maybe it's because she lives in a very different life to the voters she once encountered. In the interview with French Vogue magazine, she said women of her generation don't need feminism any more. "There are pioneers who opened the breach," she says, "but I'm not at all an active feminist. On the contrary, I'm bourgeoise. I love family life, I love doing the same thing every day."

The French group "Dare to be Feminist" has vented spleen, inviting people to respond on Twitter with the hashtag 'Dear Carla Bruni'. And there have been hundreds of messages. "Dear Carla, my generation needs feminism because there's no equality in salaries," said one. "My generation needs feminism," said another, "because 75,000 women were raped last year".

The MEP Corinne Lepage weighed in: "Dear Carla, there are no women on the board of the ECB". And, in a press conference today, government spokeswoman Najat Belkacem Vallaud said: "We need everyone to be feminist, so long as one sex dominates the other," which all goes to show that, outside Carla's bourgeois bubble, feminism is alive and fighting fit.

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Vocabulary

transformation

change

diva

a distinguished female singer

feminism

the political movement that seeks the same rights for women as men

pioneers

people who are the first to do something; innovators

breach

boundary, defence

bourgeois, bourgeoise

a male or female member of the bourgeoisie; the middle class

vented spleen

expressed anger

hashtag

the # symbol, used for internet searches via Twitter

equality

having the same rights

dominates

has power over

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