We, ordinary french women and citizens, are eager to write to the media abroad to make our voice heard, voice which is widely hushed up in our national media when it comes to dealing with the so-called "DSK affair". However we do not speak up only about this affair: we would like to take all cases of harrassement or sexual agression, in France or elsewhere, into account !
WE RISE UP forcefully against unspeakable stands taken by some ubiquitous personalities inside the french media. Therefore our empathy goes first to the american female citizen presumed victim of an attempted rape, without prejudging, of course, the guilt of the defendant.
WE DENOUNCE the hostile attitude of the french political and media class, triggered against the american judiciary and media, in this affair; we want to make clear that Bernard-Henri Levy is the only one responsible for the strong reproaches he leveled to them.
WE ARE OUTRAGED to observe that in France:
- A presumed victim of a rape attempt is often suspected of lying;
- A presumed victim of a rape attempt is still subjected to sarcastic remarks, inappropriate jokes, and many contrivances in order to minimize the destructive nature of rape;
- A presumed victim of a rape attempt is generally silenced.
In France, there are 75'000 estimated rapes each year, that is to say one rape every 7 minutes !
On the onset of the DSK affair, the american judiciary showed French people a mirror.
Many were in dismay when they discovered that the backward set of mind, the archaic behavior which they thought almost past, were still hypocritically tolerated in the french society: an unacceptable law of silence still rules, and some remarks also revealed denial, unbearable sexism and misogyny, even among women. Gender inequality, auto-protective "caste-silence", fashion-machismo came to broad daylight not only in the media, but also in political parties supposed to promote social justice!
WE DEPLORE that France, "Pays des Droits de l'Homme", seems to have tacitly excluded women from its Declaration, with the ensuing confusion between male rights and human rights. The Omerta makes minor citizens out of the victims of assault, and often ensures the perpetrator a triumphant impunity. The law of silence keeps ruling, traumatizes victims, infects social atmosphere at all levels, and is transmitted from one generation to the other.
WE RISE UP AGAINST some speeches which stigmatize lower classes. In France like elsewhere in the world, sexism esposes to precarious and underpaid jobs, like being a chambermaid. It is very easy then, to slip from "maiden" to "chambermaid", "housekeeper", "soubrette", and eventually to "whore", whose "troussage" still seems usual.
["trousser" means to hitch up (some)one's skirt- this expression was most of all used by the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie- it refers to maids, commonly abused in past centuries by their masters. It was lately used again in France to explain and minimize what may have happened at the Sofitel on June 14 !]
Through BHL's and his kinds' words, resistance to change violently expressed itself, as they exclusively defended the "presumed innocent". For of course, the protective "caste-silence" has its matching pair: its "indignant speech". Some of these "opinions" were qualified or completed afterward but with such a lack of conviction and such awkwardness !
In France as well as elsewhere, the social gap has considerably worsened.
WE ARE CONVINCED that had Mrs. D. been a french female citizen, she would have deserved only cheap justice, that is, supposing the case had not been immediatly silenced in the first place, in front of a man who would probably have used all his influence and the huge wealth at his disposal.
Mrs. D. is probably left with small chances against a powerful man cumulating all powers. That is why, we, french female citizens and fellow citizens of her "presumed aggressor", are keen on letting everyone know and especially her, that we firmly stand by her side.
WE WANT TO SPEAK OUT for all the female victims of the visible or invisible violence stated above, for all the women struggling against a society and judiciary who still do not want to consider their word as they consider men's, for all those whom are still denied, if not their very existence, at least their right to be heard and treated with fairness, equality and full respect.
We also give tribute to those who in France and abroad have had a dignified and fair attitude, considering not only what a "presumed innocent" is going through, but an "alleged victim" also.