“Sexism, patriarchy and invisibilization, in the National Assembly as elsewhere, that’s enough!”

Ségolène Amiot, MP LFI (NUPES) for the 3rd constituency of Loire-Atlantique

Ségolène Amiot, MP LFI (NUPES) for the 3rd constituency of Loire-Atlantique

SEXISM – How many forums, articles, books, podcasts, studies, reports, will it take for sexist behavior and violence to no longer find any space to exist?

With #Metoo and #BalanceYourPorc, the floor has been released! We are talking about rape, sexual assault, feminicide, harassment, physical and moral violence, sexism
everyday life, inequalities… But concretely, where are we?

Sexist speech and acts are everywhere ! In the subway, in the street, at work, in the couple, at school, in the media, in politics, on social networks… And the trend is not decreasing. Today the majority discourse is limited to hearing the facts and questioning their veracity. We ask women to constantly come back to their stories, we minimize, we judge (few in the courts), we dissect, we question, we doubt, we sympathize, we salute, we condemn.

This treatment of the female voice totally eludes the whole problem and the patterns that allow the patriarchal system to persist. Five years after the start of the #MeToo movement, has fear really changed sides?

Five years after the start of the #MeToo movement, has fear really changed sides?

Testimonies and revelations are linked without leading to real convictions. The paradigm of impunity for sexist acts, attacks and crimes has still not been reversed. We are still far from having an egalitarian and non-patriarchal legal system that truly protects women and condemns men guilty of these acts. We are stuck in a system of generalized impunity within a society that is polarized on the question of feminism. And although the word of women is freed and occupies more space, the opposite ideas do the same. Worse still, sexist discourse is accompanied and galvanized by the rise of reactionary and conservative ideas. These take root and materialize concretely through a decline in women’s rights, as we have seen in the United States with the cancellation of the right to abortion at the federal level.

We should have arrived today, at the stage where we have understood that the words and violence
concerns absolutely everyone, men and women, of all ages and from all walks of life. There should be consensus around the idea that it is necessary to change things, to question the source of this evil and to no longer question the value of what women wear as fights. Because the feminist fight is necessary, period! Tackle the deconstruction of the patriarchal system is a necessity if we want to bring to life the values ​​of equality and freedom in our society. Leaving room for women to carry their fights and make their voices heard seems like a given, but it’s not so easy when you are.

Although the word of women is freed and occupies more space, the opposite ideas do the same. Worse still, sexist discourse is galvanized by the rise of reactionary and conservative ideas.

Women’s voices are heard today, but are they really listened to? We continue
to make this speech invisible by bringing the subject back to their bodies, their voices, their clothes, their looks… their gender. A woman who speaks today, artist, researcher, politician, activist, trade unionist, streamer, journalist, automatically finds herself with detractors who attack them, because they are women.

Those in the light who carry a discourse – whether feminist or not – must deal today with a set of sexist reactions decorrelated from the subjects they carry and therefore suffer: mansplaining, manterrupting, misogynistic insults, threats, harassment, sexualizing and degrading photo and video montages, calls for murder, calls for rape, even physical attacks. Reporting, filing handrails and filing complaints is now simply part of a public woman’s job. And some consider that it is the price to pay, the other side of the coin to have the right of citizenship. But no !

Men are well aware of the power of words and have always used it in a patriarchal way – conscious or not –. Today, this patriarchal rhetoric is used to make women’s voices invisible, minimise, discredit. Virilistic education is a plague for our whole society. Men are not born violent and sexist, all their life society teaches them to become so. Education is not the only lever to activate to get out of these patterns. Digital, media, culture and history also play a major role in this system and contribute to shaping our individual and collective patriarchal representations.

Reporting, filing handrails and filing complaints is now simply part of a public woman’s job. Some consider it the price to pay, the other side of the coin to have the right of citizenship.

To get this moving, feminists – women and men – are already at work. But the refusal
systematic way of giving the fight against gender-based violence the means it deserves is
revolting. We need human and financial resources to respond to an emergency
social and security situation which is still costing the lives of too many women. And at the same time, put in place a set of devices to initiate the patriarchal deconstruction of everyone in order to change the behaviors in which we are locked up: complicity, silence, social reproduction.

Women are human beings like any other. We are entitled to respect. We have the fundamental right not to be invisible, insulted, whistled, attacked, raped. We have a fundamental right to live our lives in safety and on an equal footing with
men. Today, this is nowhere the case and that is enough!

This text is co-signed by around thirty deputies from the NUPES parties. The full list of signatories can be accessed here. Unfortunately, this platform did not find any signatories among our colleagues from other political groups.

See also on The HuffPost:

“Sexism, patriarchy and invisibilization, in the National Assembly as elsewhere, that’s enough!”