IHP news #453
By The editorial team on January 19, 2018Dear Colleagues,
This week’s intro was written by Latin American IHP contributor & EV alumna Elena Vargas. She reflects on the letter by Deneuve et al in Le Monde, last week.
“The new year started in a rather polemic way for the gender equality struggle in the “post-Weinstein” era. As most of us have read in the papers or on different social media platforms, 100 French (and a few Belgian) women signed an open letter published in Le Monde, expressing their view on the recent wave of sexual misconduct accusations of male celebrities and powerful men in the show business industry, and beyond. The signatories of the letter criticized the #MeToo movement for its alleged puritanism, for favoring the return to a Victorian moral order and threatening the sexual revolution heritage, as well as qualifying it as a witch hunt and man hating. The letter caused a backlash, naturally, but whether we like it or not, this manifesto represents an alternative perspective in the debate. It’s important to acknowledge, however, that both positions/campaigns also have an impact on other settings, where the reality of women differs – often, a lot – from the ones currently heading both “camps” in the North. For instance, I can assure that the way men `hit on` women in Europe might be very different from the way it’s done in Latin America. Last week, one of my male Nicaraguan colleagues asked me if men flirt the same way in Belgium as they do it here. “You know what I mean, he added…” He was actually referring to catcalling. Coincidentally with the #MeToo movement, we also saw a rising number of public rape accusations against men, through social media. But here, unlike in the US, a woman who dared to denounce her rapist was instead taken to court for defamation. And, in one of our latest cases of femicide, the murderer was actually praised for being a “good man”, while the woman had her intimate life exposed by the media and was vilified for being an “easy” woman. So, just like Deneuve, Miller et al. don’t feel represented by the feminism of the #MeToo movement, some of us are left with the feeling that they might live in a parallel universe where “male domination does not exist”, where “there is nothing wrong with stealing a kiss from a woman” and where there will soon be a totalitarian society of rampant censorship. Yet, at the same time, we understand their concern for the effect moralism can have in various aspects of our lives.”
Enjoy your reading.
The editorial team
(you find the pdf of the full newsletter here: IHPn453 )
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