Should this be news?

Perhaps, I shouldn’t have, but the article’s content really irked me. The Guardian’s columnist Hadley Freeman today posted a “stirring” piece. Usually, I skip the Guardian’s opinion articles. Unfortunately, the headline caught my eye, so I read the piece.


It isn’t wrong to raise an eyebrow“. What Hadley Freeman’s is about: the age gap between the Macrons, how they met, how they met again, when their relationship started, when they married. In short: the kind of muck-racking one expects to find in and on the web-pages of the gutter press.

In Freeman’s case, she needed to show off her command of French. So her story is laced with faux French, implying a kind of “oh-la-la” fake shock which reminds one of Queen Victoria’s reign.

In case you have not heard it yet: French President Macron’s wife is older than he is. It’s no headline news – bar for the Guardian and gutter press.

Most people have heard a version how the couple met, met a few years later, fell in love and married. Unlike most journalists, Hadley Freeman is not even interested in checking facts, get these right, refrain from publishing fiction in what deems itself a quality paper. Fortunately, plenty readers rectified her on the Guardian’s website.

The fact remains that Ms Freeman – and thus the UK Guardian – , have a problem with the 24-year-age-gap between the French President and his wife. They also have a problem with how they met and married.

Why? For the age-gap between Donald Trump and his wife is greater.

Emmanuel Macron and his First Lady so far gave the impression they will be a far abler couple, certainly a far more abler president, that what the US ended up with. Yet this apparently, does not matter to Freeman and the Guardian.

Ms Freeman, who claims to be and expert on fashion, clearly has no problem whatsoever with an older man marrying a much younger woman. No articles by her to be traced, muck-raking on the Trumps like she does in today’s eyebrow-raising article. Seems Hadley Freeman is a proper and prim Miss Prissy.

And that with Trump on tape bragging about truly gross behaviour towards women and telling the world, women need to be dumped once they turn 35, and worse.

The Macrons seem to be a happily married, decent couple. But of course, this is of no interest whatsoever to the “quality paper” the Guardian claims to be – or the gutter press the world over.

Why Hadley Freeman’s article doubly irked me? Like Trump, my father married a far younger woman, though the age-gap was less than a quarter of a century. Ms Freeman’s take on things brought up memories of primary school kids asking me in the playground:  “Is that your granddad?” At that age, I was still too polite to hit them.

By now, I presumed the era where an age-gap mattered, had passed. That by now, we are aware that love and mutual respect – not age-difference – matters most. Seems I’m naive and remain a dreamer.

Guardian, Hadley Freeman: It isn’t wrong to raise an eyebrow
Vogue Donald Trump comments

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About Kate

Multilingual blogger, columnist, writer, translator. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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