As the partner of François Hollande, Valerie Trierweiler, the brand new Première Dame of France, moves her make-up bag into the Elysée Palace, I confess that already I'm smitten. Statuesque, self-accomplished and a strident feminist, Trierweiler fired a verbal grenade at her Paris Match colleagues over their recent front cover where she was belittled as "François Hollande's Charming Asset".
Valerie was disgruntled. One Masters of Advanced Studies in political science, three kids, 22 years interviewing the top brass of international politics and suddenly one's on the cover of one's own magazine portrayed as a delightful fragrant bauble. (I wanted to type "as a glorified cock-holder" here but I'm still new to this page and want us all to remain friends.)
"Bravo Paris Match for its sexism..." Valerie tweeted, "My thoughts go out to all angry women." Oh, yes, did I mention, Valerie tweets. Imagine, the first lady's own unfettered, complex thoughts pinging live from her own account? Women thrive on Twitter: they're noisy, spiky and delightfully uncensored. I hope greatly that the chuntering powers-that-be behind François Hollande don't succeed in clipping her wings. Another story about Valerie Trierweiler is that reportedly she once slapped a sexist colleague, earning her the nickname, predictably, of "The Rottweiler".
As a feisty, educated, ambitious female with a name within slurring distance of a well-known attack dog, it was inevitable she'd get that name at some point. She is "The Rottweiler". All female columnists are "Polly Filler". Louise Mensch is "Murdoch's whore".
There is nothing new to be said about determined women. I've seen the legend behind the First Lady's Rottweiler/Paris Match nickname re-told time and again with the tone being somewhat negative, like a historical hiccup she should fudge. A somewhat shaming personality defect she should iron out.
What a load of turgid gubbins. I want at least one First Lady to stay furious. Sorry Michelle Obama, thanks for the cupcakes and all the charity work but you're not quite cross enough. Tellingly, one of the pivotal moments of Sarah Palin's 2008 vice-presidential race was her "pitbull in lipstick" joke. Here was a gag that women seemed to empathise with – regardless of puzzlement over her belief about Creationism or the ability to see Russia from her house. The game-changer was when Palin evoked the image of a woman prepared to rip, chew and snarl in defence of her family.
Likewise, often I hear female friends referring to schoolgate disputes with the phrase, "When it comes to my kids I'm like a lioness." The idea that "I will be charming and affable and live within the boundaries of law, but if it comes to something I care about, I will grab you by the neck and shake you about like a Whitley Bay arcade gonk" does not seem to be one women are repelled by. Outwardly, maybe; inwardly, not at all.
"Anger is an energy," the great philosopher John Lydon once said. Personally, I'm constantly amazed women are so Buddhist about unfolding events. Only last month, when New York Times golf writer Karen Crouse protested at the Masters over being banned from the "jacket ceremony", I did idly speculate (to myself, in my own kitchen) whether we might make more progress in 2012 if we began handing out the odd ninja one-inch death punches, instead of e-petitions.
If Valerie is to be muzzled, please don't let it be before she visits Rome, where protocol advisers are already alarmed at the prospect of a twice-divorced woman with children accompanying a president and being treated respectfully like his wife when they're NOT EVEN MARRIED. "Surely Hollande will have to propose?" I've read, "and make an honest woman of her before they meet The Pope?"
I'm guessing Valerie, during her first two marriages, came to terms with pros and cons of legal marital unity versus "doing what suits us, thank you". If I was living with François Holland and the invite came from Rome, I'd be tempted to tweet Pope Benedict XVI's retinue telling Benny and the gang to get their own bloody house in order with regards to sexual indiscretions before they issue me judgement. But then I'm quite a furious woman, so I'll never be First Lady.
Keep these birds out of the theme park
As Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment talks of floating the company on the stockmarket for $5.5bn, here's one digital app goldrush tale I've a degree of faith in.
Angry Birds, now boasting 200 million users a month, is a wholly addictive, creativity-thwarting, utterly futile cerebral-sugar rush. I've had issues in the past, but right now I'm clean. Angry Birds must be stopped before, as a planet, it stops us. "Oh, hush," I hear you say. "It's only a harmless game where I slingshot irate rotund birds at a squadron of oinking pigs, who for some unexplained reason appear to live in precariously built glass-based fortresses! I'll download the app. What could go wrong?"
Many have said this. Many have found themselves weeks later in a house full of dead plants, final demands and Dear John letters. Rovio is now talking of ploughing funds into themed Angry Birds activity parks. Ah, theme park ownership, the last vestige of the earthly scoundrel. I've watched enough Scooby Doo endings to know the ilk of those who dream of owning a rollercoaster. They'll get away with it because of those pesky pigs.
Please – don't kill Frances's jokes
No one seemed more surprised than glorious Silk actress Frances Barber to see herself splashed on newspaper fronts yesterday with the headline, "I am saving up for a facelift". I watched the moment play out in real time on Twitter.
Frances, in real life, I can attest, is both excessively beautiful and roaringly funny. I imagine that facelift quip spilling out of her mouth in a deadpan, throwaway manner, and not as it was printed, like a woman with her face jammed down the back of sofa, searching for spare coppers to fund the all new Francesbot 2.0.
I hope there's only boiled sweets and lost Biros down the back of that sofa, as I like Frances 1.0's original face greatly.Reuse content