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Thirty-nine-year-old president-elect of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, has said those who keep wondering at the age difference between him and his 64-year-old wife are misogynists and homophobes.
A misogynist is a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women; while a homophobe is a person with an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
Critics of his marriage to a much older grandmother are of the view that the marriage is not just a smokescreen for his homosexuality, it also provides him the opportunity to live what they call “parallel life.”
In an interview with the Le Parisien newspaper, Macron addressed the speculations about his sexuality and a so-called “parallel lives” that people had attached to him.
He said misogyny and homophobia were to blame for assumptions that he could not be in love with his wife.
He noted that if his wife was younger than him, nobody would question the validity of their relationship.
“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),” he said.
“It’s because she is 20 (sic) years older than me that lots of people say, ‘This (relationship) can’t be tenable, it can’t be possible.”
Reports concerning his relationship, he claimed, were due to “misogyny” and people submitting to “traditional, homogenous” views about society.
Mr. Macron first met his wife, Brigitte Trogneux, when he was a 15-year-old drama student. They developed a closer relationship when they worked together to re-write a play.
The couple married in 2007, when he was almost 30 and she was 54. During the presidential campaign, Ms Macron has been a constant figure by his side.
The Independent says a new biography of the politician revealed that the teenager’s parents were shocked when they discovered he had started an affair with his married school teacher.
Brigitte had three children in her first marriage. They are now all grown up and work as an engineer, a cardiologist, and a lawyer. She also has six grandchildren.
Mr. Macron, who beat Front National candidate Marine Le Pen at the weekend with 66.1 per cent of the vote, also addressed rumours that he was gay.
He claimed there was “rampant homophobia” as people would accuse him of being a homosexual as if it was a “stain” or a “hidden disease.”
Mr. Macron said that people who peddled or accepted such rumours had “lost their sense of reality” and had a “big problem with homosexuality.”
“There is a big problem with the presentation of society and [how they see] the place of women,” he added.
The President said such rumours about him were also “destabilising” for those who were closest to him and he was “sad” that politics was not more “civilised.”