Since the campaign for the legislative elections, and perhaps even more so since the start of the school year, the question of gender-based and sexual violence (SGBV) in politics is everywhere. And for good reason: sexist and sexual violence is everywhere, including in politics. However, a year after the launch of the #MeTooPolitique movement, nothing seems to be progressing. To “celebrate” this anniversary, the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics, also created a year ago, is organizing an award ceremony this Friday evening, “It’s going to be fine” awards. It will be broadcast live from 8 p.m. on the site of The breaking waveand will be accessible in sign language.
The sentence may remind you of that pronounced by Gérald Darmanin, a few months ago, in front of the journalist of BFMTV Apolline de Malherbe. It is not a coincidence. The idea? Reward – ironically, it will have been understood – the politicians “who have been able to use their imagination and creativity to be able to get out of it, help others and restore with all their might the image of their virility that the we are unfairly trying to dent ”, explains, with a smirk, the Observatory.
Seven awards, 31 nominated
31 men from all parties are nominated in 7 categories. Among them, “All hysterical”, which “distinguishes ordinary sexism from politicians, who have the courage not to give in to parity, to discourse of equality”. Or “Little angel gone too soon”, which “distinguishes politicians whose talent has not been able to fully unfold because of neo-feminist cabals”. Or the “Best hope”, which distinguishes the one who came out of it the best… Alice Coffin, EELV adviser in Paris and member of the Observatory of VSS in politics, has a particular fondness for the “Godfather” prize which illustrates well, according to her, “the systemic side of the problem. The rapes, the aggressions… All this could not prosper if there were no protectors”. The categories are less focused on the acts than on the system of protection of the defendants.
“It’s going to be fine”, it is also an opportunity, according to Mathilde Viot, former parliamentary assistant and member of the Observatory, to look back on “a year where a lot of things happened” on the front of the VSS in politics. Many things “we want to show”. The prizes are inspired in particular by the “Y’a bon awards”, organized a few years ago with the aim of rewarding, again ironically, racist remarks by media or political figures. Another inspiration: the actions of the feminist group “La Barbe”, where Alice Coffin was already present, and who came to “congratulate” the events where only men were on the program. The tone chosen – humor and irony – can nevertheless be surprising given the seriousness of the subject.
“Feminist irony is never far from anger”
“We all had a reflection on this subject, specifies Alice Coffin. It will not be buffoonery, the approach is primarily journalistic: we only talk about what is documented, sourced, made public. “And the victims will always be at the center of the speeches, assures Mathilde Viot, claiming the choice to invest in a field often denied to feminists. “Feminist irony is never very far from anger,” describes the counselor from Paris. Making fun of is part of the strategy of courage. “In order to sting politicians “always very sure of their skills, very serious, and who are not used to being faulted when they very often produce humor in bad taste on women “, describes Mathilde Viot.
This chosen tone also says all the difficulty of feminists, who must find treasures of ingenuity, to alert public opinion to GBV, especially in politics. “You always have to surprise people so that they are interested in the subject”, believes Mathilde Viot. For Alice Coffin, this is yet another way of establishing a balance of power: “Despite the accumulation of journalistic investigations, the scale of the demonstrations, nothing is moving. That’s still not impressive enough, in the literal sense of the word, for politicians. It is therefore a question of defying the Boys Club of politicians on their land, under the golds of the Republic. The organizers have thus expressly sought that the evening takes place in an official place. In this case a town hall, that of the 12th arrondissement of Paris.
A risk to brave
Despite the offbeat tone of the evening to come, the organizers claim to have had no trouble convincing the participants. “It even surprised us! », Recognizes Mathilde Viot. Hélène Devinck, screenwriter, one of those who testified in the Patrick Poivre d’Arvor affair, journalists Dolores Bakela and Enora Malagré, actress Corinne Masiero will notably be present to award prizes.
More surprisingly, the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics succeeded in convincing the Belgian Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Sarah Schlitz, to come and give a prize. The evening will be presented in particular by Audrey Pulvar, Councilor of Paris. They all take a hell of a risk. “We know what will happen to us, and there are already retaliatory measures,” says Alice Coffin. But that’s why it was important to have elected women on stage, to tell politicians that we are not afraid. That there are women who can come to defy them, for all those who cannot speak. Sisterhood in action, in short.