David, one of our longtime contributors and a fellow expat resident with me here in Paris, forwarded the link below, suspecting that I might find it fascinating.
He was right. France, home to both legendary male chauvinists and trailblazing feminists, is having what you might call an identity crisis at the moment: is it going to hold onto outdated, oppressive traditions, regardless of how sordid they might be? Or is it going to move forward with its other, grander tradition of embracing bold ideas, like equality and a woman’s right, not only to choose, but to also say No to a man without fear of reprisal?
All of the contradictions and confusion are eloquently laid out in THIS GUARDIAN ARTICLE by journalist Natasha Lehrer. She brilliantly captures some of the elusive, baffling, and frankly horrifying nuances of this often Rubick’s cube-like culture, which many find fascinating, and more than a few find disturbing.
So, you have been warned: this piece is not a postcard picture of Paris. It is the reality of life in France, some of it grossly unfair to women. That said, it’s an article that should be read by men and women alike, French or otherwise, as we continue to reach for equality for everyone.
Thank you, David. Much appreciated.
2 thoughts on “Moi Aussi…#MeToo in France”
Perhaps a more nuanced view would be that women’s rights are an international issue. Pointing to France isn’t very enlightening.
According to a source, affiliated with the UN (bit.ly/32BW6Dm), in 2006 the number of rapes per 100.000 population was five times higher in America than it was in France.
When one isolates one country and puts its dirt in one corner, to put it colloquially, it augments the issue disproportionately. Besides, the author’s mention of de Sade’s work is neither relevant nor productive, without understanding the historical context. In fact, at the time the work was written, slavery and abuse were still a normal thing in some Western countries.
In the end, unfortunately, for every Polanski, an Epstein can be named.
So true. I think we’ve made progress, but with a long way to go still. – BGT