The misogynistic backlash isn’t confined to the Anglosphere. Indeed, a new report from France’s High Council for Equality between Women and Men finds “alarming” levels of sexism in French society, especially among the young.
“Sexism is not retreating in France,” the report concluded.
On the contrary, some of its most violent manifestations are getting worse, and the young generations are the most affected.
The study, which surveyed the opinions of 2,500 people, found that sexist attitudes are widespread in France among both young and older men.
According to rfi.fr,
The report highlighted “masculinist clichés” among the 25-34 age group – around 20 percent said you had to brag about sexual exploits “to be respected as a man” in society, while nearly a quarter of men said they “sometimes had to be violent to gain respect”.
A quarter of all men thought there was too much attention being paid to the issue of sexual violence, and 40 percent thought that women should give up careers to care for children.
These attitudes influence behavior. For example, some 37 percent of French women say they have been pressured into sex they didn’t want, and 22 percent of 18-24-year-old women say they have been outright raped or assaulted.
Among women aged 18-24, 22 percent said they had experienced “psychological control or excessive jealousy” from a partner, with 15 percent saying they had been physically assaulted.
The Council’s president, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, told the Guardian (UK). that
it’s not enough to protect women and punish men. If we don’t address the roots of everyday sexism and change the mentality, we will never move forward. … Everyday sexism leads to violent sexism.
Pierre-Brossolette told the radio channel France Inter that young men grow up
bathed in social media, digital [technology], pornography … Young people … are brought up digitally on these scenes of mundane violence, of relations between men and women that are completely of domination and dominated, and that has impregnated society.
Interestingly, the report found that “82% of French people wish to see prevention and the fight against sexism become priority subjects on the agenda of the public authorities.” It’s just that they don’t live up to these ideals in practice.
The Council called for an “emergency plan” to fight “the massive, violent and sometimes lethal consequences” of sexism.
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I’m French and this is unfortunately true.
Jesus Fucking H. Christ, which Black Mirror episode are we living through now?
Also, can someone please amend the Constitution to disqualify Vidiians from holding high office on Earth?
@Surplus: More a Larry Niven Known Space thing.
This does throw up a lot of ethical questions. At least the idea is currently quasi voluntary; albeit coercive. In some places of course it isn’t.
As someone who is anti-speciesist, my take is that it’s wrong to harm anyone for medical purposes; even if that is for the greater good. Hence my qualms over how vaccines are produced and tested.
But may I ask you a question? Say you needed a heart valve to survive. There are three possible donors:
A genetically modified pig
A cow (currently they’re not GMd for organ donation)
A recidivist sex offender.
Which, if any, do you choose; and why?
And a follow up query. Currently porcine and bovine donation doesn’t work for children. Is the position any different if it’s a child in need of a transplant?
YIKES. I will definitely be making some phone calls about that. And I know MA is not as progressive as people like to think, but wow I did not imagine a bill like that happening here.
This is utterly horrifying. Though “pressured into sex they didn’t want” is literally synonymous with rape and shouldn’t be separated. It makes it seem less bad, a lesser crime so to speak, when it it the same thing. Also, are the people who reported rape included in that number, or do we have to stack them up? If the latter, it gets even worse…
Now I know why people told me to be super careful when I went to Paris alone.
@KMB – Not trying to blame anyone who said that to you – they were watching out for you – but sometimes there’s a danger of falling into generalization/prejudice traps with statements like “Oh, men in Paris are known for [whatever bad behaviour].”
And then people turning those things into jokes – but jokes about the behaviour. Or going with the idea that it’s expected, which normalizes it.
Perhaps relevant story: A couple of family/family friends told me before I went to Italy at 16 (school trip of sorts): “Oh, watch out, Italian men like to pinch girls on the butt.” But they tended to think this was funny.
So, in Italy, a teenage guy who was part of a group of English-speaking tourists (from their accent, either American or Canadian like us), pinched one of the girls in our group on the ass, and then ran back to his friends and laughed. As if that was the thing to do in that country! I didn’t know her that well, since she was from the “French side” of our school and taking different classes, but she seemed upset and annoyed, not just about a stranger touching her like that, but also at the mockery.
(One of the boys in our group waited until the kid’s back was turned and then went up to him and pinched his ass. Which wasn’t necessarily the right response, but it was satisfying.)
Aaaanyway, it doesn’t surprise me that “retro” misogyny is being seen as cool again, anywhere really.
That’s some old Niven stuff, he predicted this all the way back in the late 60s.
Yeah, they told the girls in our exchange class that thirty years ago too.
It’s disturbing because I lived in France in 2001-2002 and found it pretty regressive back then. You would think over time it would improve.
I cannot imagine being a young woman trying to date.
The thing I don’t get is backlash to “what”? What exactly are they angry about? What do they thing they are losing? How does women stepping up from being seen as second class citizens cause them harm?
Predicted it and likely supports it. Niven’s famous quote about “idiots” is undermined by his reactionary politics, e.g.
“…and that has impregnated society.” What a metaphor.
I blame the internet. Misogyny and racism is on the rise amongst a demographic of young people who without it (the www) I don’t think would be. I think most racism and sexism would have died out with the old people who are dying now.
P.S: Alan Robertshaw, I left you a new comment in the thread about the Chinese restaurant.
Alors! Et DUH.
@Nequam: Exactly. Just around the corner are mandatory donations for jaywalking, organleggers, and even more poor and/or PoC being wrongly sent to jail.
@Cyborgette: And when Pournelle calls you out on being un-PC… yikes.
That certainly raises legit ethical concerns and questions, although I will say that I don’t think their intention is to equate donating to a form of punishment as much as a poorly framed way of saying that it contributes to ‘reduced sentence for good behavior.’
But… I could definitely be wrong.
@Steph Tohill Well, in France, we also had our MeToo movement. Women started talking about street harrassment and sexism on social media and saying they were fed up, and some men felt threatened. They talked about “exception française” and “liberté d’importuner” (french exception and freedom to annoy) because they believe “harrassment” is part of our culture and women should feel honored when men pursue them, I guess. Spoiler alert: most women don’t like it. We live in a strange world.
Oh, they can fuck all the way off. Do these regressive attitudes extend to queerphobia as well?
@Battering Lamb Well, these days, some terfs got quite a lot of media coverage. They feel threatened by the mere existence of transgender people, I guess. It’s so sad.
Iirc Indian men (and schoolboys) still say much the same about a right to “harmless” Eve teasing within their cultures and communities. And I’m pretty sure Egyptian men have changed neither their attitudes nor their behaviour in recent decades.
These are both cultures where arranged marriages are the norm and dating doesn’t really exist. Those men are not supposed to have much contact at all with women outside of their own family members so it’s odd that they would try to justify harrassment within their communities as if their culture allowed it.
@ love is all we need
As you’re a fan of GGM….
@Alan. Humor from this side of the pond
@ love is all we need
I love that there’s another bland food reference; although I don’t know where people get that stereotype about us from…
That pie shop is on the street where I used to live. They started doing vegan pies. To cater for, as Joe puts it, “our weirdo customers”
My cousin who lives in Rwanda (her husband is Rwandan) tells how one of her daughter’s friends asked her daughter “So is your mom a really terrible cook? Because I know white people don’t use spices.”
After dinner at my cousin’s place, she said she’d learned a lesson about using stereotypes, because now she knows some white people can cook proper food