A hundred of the French attack the movement #MoiAussi

Photo: Gregor Fischer Agence France-presse
In their open letter, a hundred women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, defend openly ” freedom to annoy, which is essential to sexual freedom “.

The “freedom to annoy” the women claimed by a hundred French, who attack the movement #MoiAussi, testifies to the difficulty of detecting sexual abuse, believe experts.


“Rape is a crime. But the dredge insistent or awkward is not a crime, nor the gallantry aggression macho “, wrote Tuesday, a coalition of writers, actors and journalists in france.


In their open letter, published in the daily The World, these women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, defend openly ” freedom to annoy, which is essential to sexual freedom “.


The signatories denounced what they describe as a “drift” of the movement #MoiAussi, launched in October as a result of the case Harvey Weinstein. According to the women’s collective, the wave of denunciations immerses women in a status of eternal victims “.


Against the current of the movement #MoiAussi, they fall on the side of the men, several of whom have been, according to them, ” sanctioned in the exercise of their profession, forced to resign, while they only had only fault is that of having touched a knee, tried to steal a kiss, spoke of things “intimate” at a dinner party a professional, or to have sent messages with sexual connotations to a woman with whom the attraction was not mutual “.


In Quebec, the columnist and columnist Sophie Durocher welcomed the initiative of the collective. “Ever such a letter would not be published here, in Quebec. But if it was, I would sign, ” writes Mrs. Durocher in a blog post published Tuesday on the website of the Journal de Montréal.


She also thought that the male desire is demonized. “The game of seduction is a tango : you advances, you are trying, you are doing a different approach, sometimes subtle, sometimes less, sometimes it works, sometimes not. “


“Should we pillory all the guys who have kissed a girl, put their arm around their shoulder, brushing a thigh, to realize after that the feeling, that the attraction was not mutual ? If yes, should I continue with a lot of guys to justice, ” she adds.



Dangerous trivialization


For the sociologist Sandrine Ricci, the remarks made by the collective are not only dismaying, they are also dangerous.


“By standardizing the behaviors of so-called “dredge-up” or attempt to “steal a kiss” and ignoring the power relations at work […], these words place us in a poor position to detect sexual violence. “


The collective distinguishes and opposes the different forms of violence, which has the effect of trivializing the verbal aggression compared to those that are physical, note, for its part, Suzanne Zaccour, author, feminist and student at the master’s degree in law at the University of Cambridge.


“What these women tell us, is that it would expose only the worst violence. It would therefore be necessary to tolerate a certain level of violence is considered less serious. Their rhetoric feeds into the old stereotype that says that, for this to be a rape there, we need a guy to jump on it with a rifle pointed at you, ” said Ms. Zaccour.


The columnist feminist Francine Pelletier notes that the collective sees several inappropriate behaviour, such as gestures isolated.


“In the name of seduction, we cannot afford to tolerate a hand on the knee, which is not desired. It may seem trivial, but when you put this gesture in the larger puzzle, we realize that there may not be as isolated as he had the air, ” she said.


The former minister responsible for status of women Liza Frulla is estimated that in Quebec, the perception of movement #MoiAussi is healthier and more positive than in France.


“We live in a society that is, in my opinion, less chauvinist than the French society. Up to now, the complaints that we have heard are made with facts and I don’t have the impression that there were excesses “, she says.


Ms. Frulla believes that it should not, however, lose sight of the notion of presumption of innocence. “It exists and it must continue to exist,” she says.


Ms Zaccour said that the concept of the presumption of innocence is sometimes ill-used.


“We are not in front of a court which must be convinced beyond any reasonable doubt. It is a concept that is often loosely used as to share in the criminal area, the presumption of innocence does not exist, for example if a woman decides to prosecute her attacker in a civil action. “


Chantal Maillé, a professor of women’s studies at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, reminds that #MoiAussi has not been created in the aim of punishing an aggressor, but rather to allow victims to break the silence.


“It took a movement and a lot of other women say to themselves, “I can speak, I feel authorized to speak about it because this movement gives me the credibility that the justice system I was not given”. “


Moreover, the fact that the movement has become so big in the public square has also been perceived as a criticism of the current justice system.


“When you see women in power in Quebec, for example, Julie Snyder, who have not been able to take the legal way at the time of the assault, it says a lot about the difficulties of the justice system “, she adds.

Rozon denies a request for collective action against him

Gilbert Rozon is contesting the application of collective action of $ 10 million in damages filed by a group of alleged victims who claim to have been assaulted and harassed by the former producer. The founder of Just for laughs sent to the court a document in which he responds briefly to the allegations against him. “[Mr. Rozon] intends to oppose the application for permission to engage in collective action “, one can read in the answer filed by his three lawyers. Moreover, Mr. Rozon is even willing to challenge the jurisdiction of the superior Court of Quebec in the folder.

Recall that in November 2017, the group is The Brave has filed its petition before the superior Court of Quebec. The collection was created in the wake of revelations of Duty and 98.5 FM about allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Mr. Rozon on nine women. The grouping calls for $ 10 million in punitive damages, plus compensation for each victim, the amount of which will be fixed individually. The actress Patricia Tulasne, who acts as the representative of the group, claimed for its share of $400,000.