Three weeks before the first round of the presidential election, Marine Le Pen has more than ever decided to play the femininity card to conquer the ballot box. On her new campaign poster, no logo for the National Rally, not even the mention of her last name (Le Pen), just a radiant face and these few words: “Navy President, State Woman”.
Last December, Marine Le Pen already made the phrase “State Woman” a campaign slogan. During a trip to Mayotte, she defines it this way: “ A state woman is a person who takes the step to restore state authority. »
But exactly what is a stateswoman? And does Marine Le Pen have things? Decryption.
What is a stateswoman?
Connecting “woman” and “state” is thankfully no longer surprising these days. However, it is fairly new. The first occurrence of “stateswoman” dates back to the 16thand century under the author’s pen Brantome who wrote at the time of the religious wars: “In our League War we had Madame de Montpensier, sister of the late M. de Guise, who was a great woman of‘State. » For the philosopher and the feminist Elisabeth Badinter, the one who carried high and proud the figure of “stateswoman” is Marie-Thérèse of Austria (1717-1780). For more than forty years the latter, nicknamed “the Great,” was the leader of a great empire, inherited from the Habsburgs, and whose power was absolute. As a woman, she had to live her life on several fronts: she had to cope with three lives and take on three different roles, sometimes as opposed to each other: wife to‘a adored and hesitant husband, mother of sixteen children, sovereign over‘a giant empire “, writes the philosopher in the biography she dedicates to him (female power2016).
The queen’s two bodies
The philosopher, a specialist in the Enlightenment, shows in his book how Marie-Thérèse’s accession to power is a revolution in itself. For this, Elisabeth Badinter is based on the theory of “the king’s two bodies” by the medieval historian. Ernst Kantorowicz. The idea is that the sovereign was endowed with two bodies: a natural body subject to passions, diseases and death, and an immortal body policy which embodies the community of the kingdom. When a king dies, and therefore his natural body disappears, his body politics are transferred to his successor, ensuring the continuity of political power. But this conception of power did not include women. Their bodies were considered unfit to embody the symbolic function because they were supposedly facing a single end: reproduction. Maria Theresia of Austria’s symbolic power is to have known how to reconcile the two: ” Wife and mother, she masterfully combined femininity, motherhood and sovereignty. Not only was the natural body not an obstacle, but it proved to be a great asset in the establishment of one’s power. “, she writes.
Marine Le Pen, a stateswoman?
Those days are over where like the philosopher Condorcet in its manifesto On women’s admission to citizenship (1790), it was necessary to fight to convince women that they were suitable for political life. Nevertheless, to date no woman has been elected President of the Republic. The choice of Marine Le Pen would be heavy of opinion. But will she become a state woman? For the candidate who shows his desire to remove all family affiliations (absence of surname) and all political roots (absence of his party logo), it is “logical” to be a future stateswoman, almost a question of syllogism: “I am a woman, I want to be in charge of the state, therefore I want to be a state woman. “Is this still enough? We can reasonably doubt it and think that it would rather be a political maneuver. As a reminder, she has since 2012 tried to escape her father’s sulphurous image, and during this presidential election, her rival in her own political family is Éric Zemmour, whose comments about women are more horrific. far from the height we attach to a statesman or woman.So if the two premises of his syllogism are true, the conclusion is nevertheless false: a woman at the head of the state is not necessarily a stateswoman.