anonymous

Hello big fan personal question I read an article that many French women do not like Hollywood's #metoo movement for sexual abuse victims. I am torn on the issue myself mainly because why now and not when Weinstein and other Hollywood bigshots were able to get away with help of other Hollywood bigwigs and in some cases even politicians. To me it is hypocritical especially some of those decrying this abuse were also enabling it less than a year ago what are your thoughts?

First of all, remember that most articles, online or not, are biased, and I think it’s wrong to say that “many” french women do not like this movement. As in most countries, we’re a lot of feminists, as well as women who won’t say they’re feminist but still support movements like this one, women who are against it, and many women who don’t give a shit, let’s not forget them. Sames goes for men and everyone else, by the way.

What happened is that a bunch of women, including famous french actress Catherine Deneuve, decided to speak against the #MeToo (And french hashtag “#BalanceTonPorc” which invites women to openly name guys who have been sexually harrassing them)

What she said is very -since you are asking my thoughts, those are mine- stupid and inappropriate. In her words, she’s defending the “right to bother”, saying it’s essential for sexual freedom. She, since then, said she was sorry. (Apparently after saying that we would have enjoyed being raped, just to show other women that it’s not a big deal, that women can climax during a rape, etc. I’ve no source for that, so I insist on the word “Apparently”, but feel free to search for it yourself.)

Now I’m a pretty chill person, very and truly open-minded: I often try to understand what people really mean even if I don’t agree with them, why they think this way, etc. But what bothers me here is:

- Women who think this way don’t understand the problem with sexual abuse and rape. The problem isn’t the sex. It’s the violence. Physical and/or psychological. An orgasm is just the reaction of the body to a certain simulation, it’s not an expression of happiness, well-being or consent. It’s often better when you’re with an amazing partner you really love to be with, but you can climax alone on a very sad night of depression, or even just because you’re in a bus and the road is bumpy. While an orgasm will make you feel pleasure because of hormones, it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily enjoy the context. Think of a very creepy person injecting you a dose of hormones in a dark street: The effects of the injections will be there, but the context won’t change, it’ll be a very negative experience for you, with potential consequences on both your mind and your body.

- That “Right to bother” is a very silly way to put things. There are ways to talk to others without bothering them. For example, if you see someone who seems available (Ex: If someone’s listening to music, avoiding eye contact, that’s not a good idea to go to talk to them), politely saying hi and asking if you can talk to them is fine to most people. If answered no, if you just say goodbye and leave, that’s good! That isn’t bothering people! That’s normal social interaction for most of us, no matter the gender! As for my own experience, I had dozens of people (guys, but also old ladies who just needed to talk to someone, curious kids, etc) who came to talk to me in the streets or subway/train/other random public places. Most of them didn’t bother me, even if sometimes they were a bit flirty, or asked silly questions about my clothes. The ones who bothered me were the ones who kept following me after I politely said goodbye, said sexual things to me just out of nowhere, or insulted me because I had no time to talk to them. That’s just rude and creepy, and it often happens to me and my friends. Why would we defend such behavior?! 

- In my opinion, what we need to do is to educate, and make people aware of their responsabilities. Teaching people to respect others. Teaching women that saying “no” is normal and needed. Let people enjoy consensual sex, and respect those who don’t want sex. Stop saying that boys “can’t help it”. Things like that. Also encouraging honesty. In some of the fields I grew it, we encourage women to use their sex appeal to get their jobs, but then we shame them for sleeping with their boss for a promotion. That’s plain stupid.

- As for the events regarding Hollywood, that’s too much of a mess for me to have an opinion on it. I don’t have enough sources, I wasn’t here, and it’s not something I want to investigate on. I, however, am pretty sure that it’s not a very rare situation... At least to me it wasn’t a big reveal and I raised an eyebrow seeing how many people acted surprised to the news. Now sadly it’ll take time to improve our society, and that’s why education is so important to me.