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What the New French President's Win Means for Teens Like Us
This is what the newly-elected president of France, Emmanuel Macron's win means for our generation.
IMAGE Emmanuel Macron | facebook.com/EmmanuelMacron

We live in a generation that, while seemingly modern, proves itself as a time where racism, misogyny, and other forms of discrimination still exist. Case in point: when Donald Trump, anti-refugee policies and sexist remarks notwithstanding, won the US presidential elections last November. It's a state of mind that has become disturbingly common, as it also applies here in the Philippines. In clinging onto age-old notions, our society promotes double standards that entail catcalling on the streets, punishment for wearing 'distracting' clothing, or disapproval when women speak their minds. And who could forget Senator Sotto's recent "na-ano" debacle?

As Filipino women, we are undoubtedly in two minority categories, making our daily lives more difficult—whether it's working overseas as legal immigrants or being looked down upon daily as the weaker sex. But change just might be looming on the horizon, in the form of France's new president-elect, Emmanuel Macron.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably already heard of Macron, whose landslide win—along with the joyous cheers of thousands of flag-waving French—was broadcasted live to the world last Sunday, May 7.

Now that he's poised to take office on May 14, various news sites have begun painting him as a beacon of hope for French politics, the European Union (EU), and the whole world in general. But why?

To understand that, let's first introduce Macron who, at just 39, is the youngest French leader since Napoleon. His first bid as civil servant was in 2012, where he served as the Élysée's deputy secretary-general. In 2014, he was appointed Minister of Economy and Finance. But it was only in 2016 when Macron founded the independent, liberal, and progressive political party En Marche (French for "On the Move")—subsequently drawing criticism from the public, as well as then-president Hollande himself. On November 16, Macron formally declared his candidacy—and the rest is history. (via TheTelegraph.co.uk)

Although there were several politicians in the running, the race ultimately boiled down to two candidates: Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, with the latter being a traditional rightist against immigrants. It's easy to see why several thought that France would follow the path America did when it came to choosing between the anti-immigrant Trump and pro-refugee Clinton; however, Macron actually won, garnering 66.1% of the vote. This brings to light the aspects that differentiate Macron from other notoriously degenerate world leaders like Trump and Putin: his relative open-mindedness and willingness for change.

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Identifying as a centrist, Macron's ideologies are similar to that of Clinton's. Neither anti-capitalist nor anti-socialist, centrism strikes a balance between the two—subsequently allowing harmonious growth for both employee and employer. He advocates for minorities—for women and for refugees, and promises that France will remain in the European Union—a decision which will have positive economical benefits for all.

Identifying as a centrist, Macron's ideologies are similar to that of Clinton's. Neither anti-capitalist nor anti-socialist, centrism strikes a balance between the two—subsequently allowing harmonious growth for both employee and employer.

In this era of social media, sexism, and Syrian refugees, Macron's victory is refreshing—a sign of the changing times. His political stance and unbiased outlook support justice for the so-called "least" in society—the poor, the female, and the immigrants. Much like the win of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose social advocacies have received praise and support, Macron's victory is living proof that despite all the misogynistic and racist flak we often receive online, much of the world still believes in the greater good of equality for all.

In this era of social media, sexism, and Syrian refugees, Macron's victory is refreshing—a sign of the changing times. His political stance and unbiased outlook support justice for the so-called "least" in society—the poor, the female, and the immigrants.

Furthermore, Macron isn't willing to repeat the mistakes other world leaders have made before him, vowing in his acceptance speech, "I will work with determination and with due respect for everyone, because through work, school and culture, we will build a better future." Macron has promised to start anew for the fate of tomorrow, in a way that respects all types of people, and in a manner that can create a positive impact on the whole world. And that way of thinking is just the kind of light our generation needs to save itself from darkness.

"I will work with determination and with due respect for everyone, because through work, school and culture, we will build a better future." —Emmanuel Macron

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Caitlin Anne Young
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