Woman tipped to replace DSK at IMF is a CBA

CBA – my sister’s initials, but also, a handy acronym for Complete Bad Ass.

The CBA in question is Christine Lagarde, the trailblazing French Minister of Economic Affairs. Lagarde, a lawyer by training, is the first woman to hold that post, and the first woman to helm a G8 economy. Before that, she was the first woman to serve as chairman of the renowned international law firm Baker and McKenzie, where she practiced international and anti-trust law. A few years ago, Forbes ranked her seventeenth among the world’s most powerful women.

She is also a former member of the French synchronized swimming team, but that probably won’t help her secure the post as the new head of the IMF. What might help her is the fact that she is a woman, and right now, the IMF has serious woman trouble. According to the New York Times:

Another of Ms. Lagarde’s selling points, though, may be one not listed on her résumé.

“What’s happened with Strauss-Kahn underscores how great it would be to have a woman in the role,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a former I.M.F. chief economist who is now a professor at Harvard University.

If she gets the post, Ms. Lagarde would be the first woman to run the I.M.F. — or any large international financial institution, for that matter. But Mr. Rogoff indicated gender was only part of her appeal.

If she is installed as Strauss-Kahn’s replacement, Lagarde would be the first woman to hold the post. Of course, Rogoff was quick to note, Lagarde would be qualified regardless of her gender. Rogoff describes her as “enormously impressive, politically astute and a strong personality.”

This is all important, of course, but I know what you really want to know about Christine Lagarde: what does she look like and how does she dress herself? Don’t worry, the New York Times, in a story about the person most likely to become the next head of a massively powerful and important international economic organization, has you covered: Lagarde is “tall and stylish, with a shock of silver hair and a penchant for Chanel jackets.”

Well thank goodness they included that detail, otherwise we might not be able to properly assess Lagarde’s suitability for the role! There are lots of men mentioned in this article, but we don’t get to find out what colour hair they have or what kind of jackets they wear – shocker, I know. Seems like nothing, not even being one of the world’s most powerful people, makes you immune from this rubbish. It’s bittersweet to know that while being a woman might be a leg-up for Lagarde, she should still expect to contend with all the usual nonsense to which women in power are subjected.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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