A real media steamroller, the Time’s Up affair on the other side of the Atlantic, #BalanceTonPorc and #MeToo on this side, can leave no one indifferent, certainly not in the anti-capitalist, ecologist and decreasing movements. In the search for truth, epistemological caution is required here as elsewhere. However, it is essential to avoid what Orwell called « the comedy of orthodox behavior, » that is, howling with the wolves out of a pack reflex. Here, more than ever, coolness and critical distance are essential, without any pathos. Let’s start with a warning. We must listen to all the testimonies of the victims, without believing or affirming that they reflect a priori the reality of the facts each time. There can be mistakes, there can be slander and smoke without fire! And there can be unethical and legally condemnable facts. Perpetrators of harassment(1), and even worse, of rape, must be denounced, prosecuted, judged, and sentenced once their guilt is proven. This is a matter for the courts, not for social networks. However, this is not the only issue. Contrary to what neo-feminists claim, alerting that there is a risk of drift is not a classic macho reaction intended to divert attention from the accusations, it is to apprehend an announced reality. This drift can be seen in four phenomena: amalgamation, language terrorism, the return of Puritanism and the witch hunt, or rather the witch hunt in our case. We will examine here the worrying face of a social fact of which the majority prefers to see only the emancipating face and full of promises: « It was time that the word of the women was liberated », « Let us put an end to the oppressive and immemorial reign of the patriarchy », etc., assertions with which a majority of men can moreover easily agree, even if it is opportune to ask the question of the survival of the patriarchy in an advanced capitalist society…
Let’s start with the amalgams. Activists(2) and other right-wingers are the first to denounce them in the extreme right on immigration (« migrant = delinquent »). But, not embarrassed by their contradictions, some (many?) of them carry them when it comes to sexism. Orwell — again — noted that incoherence becomes the very nature of thought. When emotion is added, it is even worse. Between the guy who stares at or whistles at a woman in the street and the guy who penetrates her by trickery or force, there is more than a simple nuance: he who sells an egg does not sell an ox! The employee who tells a dirty joke to his colleagues (even if they are all male) during the break and the boss who blackmails his employees to get sexual favours from a subordinate and gets them, it is not kif kif, despite the devotees of #MeToo who say that there is no difference in nature, but in degree. So what? Even if this is the case, should we not introduce nuances in the degrees? We can count on Laurence Rossignol, former minister in the Hollande government and currently a senator, to « flush out sexism wherever it hides »(3) and pursue its complete and definitive eradication in all its forms, as she has publicly pledged. Nuances, exit!
The dominant media are getting into battle, abandoning their role of counter-power a little more definitively. In the witch hunt, France-Inter is in pole position. Not a day goes by without this porcine maccarthism eliciting enthusiastic and vindictive comments on its air when new (pig) heads have just fallen(4)or full of snark and sarcasm when a hundred women, courageous and partly clumsy(5)In this context, the authors use their freedom of expression to try to put some common sense back into this free-for-all.(6). Perniciously associated with the idea of emancipation of all from male domination, ideological, linguistic and behavioral normalization is underway. It goes through two channels, the most important of which is inclusive writing(7), which « the lobby » tries to anchor in the habits, before eventually resorting to the law if the first tactic fails. Then the fight against humor, which, it is said, distinguishes us from the animal. Our era is one of performative pathology: to say is already to do. To drop a sexist joke(8) would be, at the very least, to « reinforce and convey stereotypes » and even, let’s not be afraid to go to extremes, to encourage potential rapists to act out. Everyone knows that stereotypes are multi-determined (by the media, family, school, friends, etc.) and ultimately represent only marginal elements of reality. They are inevitable, they will not disappear. Therefore, when they appear despite everything, after education and the social climate have done everything to control them, it remains to make fun of them, in the second degree(9). This is the very essence of caricature, this right to caricature that, on January 11, 2015 after the Charlie massacre, millions of citizens defended in the streets of Paris. Let’s bet that a majority of them recognize themselves today in the #MeToo movement. Look for the error?
Co-founder of ChEEk Magazine, journalist Julia Tissier does not see pornography as a cause of sexism, and therefore absolves it, but calls for zero tolerance for « fat » and « heavy » jokes. Where do we draw the line between fat and lean, heavy and light? Who will do it, and with what authority? Between the porn industry making money and a joke told for free being part of the gift cycle, we can see where the values of neoliberal dissociety are nestled. Good news though, the media neo-feminists(10) are finally starting to tackle sexist advertising. In general, dirty jokes are not intended for children; however, I see them daily passing in front of advertising posters, in the street, in train stations, shopping malls, etc. Between images of women in states of undress and men’s humor, it seems to me that there is no photo: the second — which is generally deployed in the private sphere(11) — is less dangerous than the first — omnipresent in the public space — for the collective imagination. Recently, twenty-eight brands have decided on their own to end gender stereotyping in their marketing communications(12). For lack of anything better, thanks to them …
Where do #MeToo activists get the legitimacy of their cause from? First, ethical principles. This is the least debatable. Secondly, statistics, which are supposed to objectively reflect reality. They are the ones who allow the media to talk about misogyny to satiety, and conversely to silence its counterpart, misandry, because it is less represented there. Misandry is however palpable in the air of time. The traditional wing of feminism, the one that fights for equality between women and men, rejects it, but another wing, the neo-feminists, propagates hatred of men (and women(13)) and revives the war of the sexes(14). It is distressing to see militant comrades, though quick to go and look at the dark side of the moon in many other circumstances, unable to make the difference here, stuck in the blind spot of thought and in postures of politically correct prudence. Or maybe they are being excessively pragmatic: to catch big fish, you have to sacrifice a lot of small ones as well, a postmodern version of « Kill them all, God will recognize his own » or of the popular adage « You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs ». We read and hear that « nothing will be the same as before » and that what is happening is a real revolution; if this is the case, history teaches us that revolutions are inevitably accompanied by excesses that discredit them. Let us hope that our « revolutionaries » will know how to moderate their fights and that they will avoid making a clean sweep of the past. Puritanism is making a comeback, but no longer among lady bosses and bourgeois barons, this time in a broad socio-political spectrum that goes from the radical left to the liberal right, in a suspicious unanimity. However, it is these liberals of the right and the left, described quite rightly in the works of Jean-Claude Michéa, who, two, three or four decades ago, made great use of their hard-won sexual freedom! New example of tartuffery. Ah, ethics, the beautiful and noble cause of this beginning of the century which is approaching ecological collapse! The day when men and women will no longer dare to touch or even speak to each other, ubiquitously monitored by ICT, these same ICT — dating sites, smartphone applications (Tinder, Snapchat) — will become the only legitimate means of access to the other sex, but will not prevent paranoia, harassment, or even rape! And there is still room for improvement. One day, ectogenesis will appear(15), the cyborg dear to Donna Haraway and the other achievements of trans- and posthumanist delusions that will replace the sexualized human relationship, for the greatest delight of the Silicon Valley businessmen. Or how the warnings of Huxley and Orwell combine. The #MeToo operation is a great opportunity to strengthen social control. If we sincerely hate this system, then let’s not fall into the vicious trap of the technologization of human relations and let’s de-demonize the relations between men and women, these being « condemned » to live together, sometimes for the worst, and also, fortunately, for the best.
Sandy from Orges
- Petite précision sémantique : ce qui fonde le harcèlement, c’est son caractère répétitif. Un homme qui siffle une seule fois une inconnue dans la rue n’est pas un harceleur mais un goujat.
- Je ne considère pas ici les militants de droite et d’extrême droite.
- Ainsi cette expression malheureuse « droit d’être importunée », qu’il aurait mieux valu reformuler simplement en droit d’être draguée, ou mieux encore, séduite. Par ailleurs, ce que n’ont pas compris ces femmes libérées, c’est que leur statut social privilégié leur permet de renvoyer à leurs auges tous les cochons. Ce n’est pas, loin de là, le cas de toutes les femmes. En effet, l’oppression vécue par tant de d’entre elles est parallèle à et amplifiée par l’oppression socio-économique que subissent tant d’humains, femmes comme hommes.http://madame.lefigaro.fr/societe/pour-laurence-rossignol-la-mixite-tota….
- Récemment (début février), les ministres Gérald Darmanin et Nicolas Hulot, ainsi que l’islamologue Tariq Ramadan.
- Alain Adriaens me fait remarquer l’origine sexuelle de la formule « une foire d’empoigne » : c’est en 1773 qu’apparaît « être de la foire d’empoigne » avec un sens aujourd’hui inattendu, mais pas étonnant pour l’époque, puisqu’il voulait dire « être porté aux attouchements avec les femmes » ; il suffit en effet d’imaginer un obsédé empoignant, donc agrippant, une rondeur féminine passant à portée. Actuellement, dans le métro aux heures de pointe, certains adeptes du pelotage sont de la foire d’empoigne, avec cette ancienne acception, au grand déplaisir de ces dames. Et, peut-être parce qu’une belle femme attise les convoitises des mâles en rut et provoque des querelles entre les prétendants, cette même expression a pris, au cours de la deuxième moitié du XIXe siècle, le sens de « lutter avec d’autres pour s’emparer de quelque chose ». C’est ainsi que la foire d’empoigne est d’abord devenue un lieu où l’on s’arrache des objets (pensez à certains magasins au début des périodes de soldes, par exemple) avant, métaphoriquement, de désigner une situation où plusieurs personnes tentent de s’arracher un avantage, typique de ce qu’on peut trouver chez les politiques, entre autres.
- Nous ne développerons pas ici les arguments contre ce nouveau diktat qui n’est toutefois pas monolithique : certaines de ses propositions sont sensées, comme de féminiser les noms de métiers.
- C’est-à-dire prenant à partie l’un ou l’autre sexe.
- J’entends déjà les censeurs : « ouais, il a bon dos, ton second degré !
- Entre autres Giulia Foïs, Sandra Muller, Caroline De Haas, Lauren Bastide, etc., sans oublier des hommes qui ont lancé #WeToo, Raphaël Glucksmann et Michel Hazanavicius.
- Je n’entends finalement que très rarement des blagues sexistes.
- Michel Weber, « Féminisme épidermique et utopie viscérale » in
- Les Z’Indigné(e)s – La vie est à nous, décembre 2015, pp. 26–29.5
- Une troisième frange du féminisme, la plus extrême, va jusqu’à nier la différenciation sexuelle.
- Procréation dans un utérus artificiel, projet défendu entre autres par le biologiste Henri Atlan.