FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW – The media and societal hurricane triggered by the Weinstein affair continues. If the testimonies of harassment must be...
FIGAROVOX/INTERVIEW – The media and societal hurricane triggered by the Weinstein affair continues. If testimonies of harassment must be taken seriously, respect for the presumption of innocence and the need to rigorously define the notion of harassment are just as essential, argues the philosopher.
LE FIGARO. – The controversy aroused by theweinstein case has taken on a global dimension, with the corollary of freedom of speech. the hashtag #balancetonpig led to a flood of messages, testimonies and questioning on social networks. France has discovered that harassment and sexual assault seem to be everywhere. Were you surprised by this terrible picture and this impressive media phenomenon?
Alain FINKIELKRAUT. – I was first surprised by the wording of the hashtag that triggered the mobilization: "You also tell, giving the name and details, a sexual harassment that you experienced in your job: swing your pig." Surprised is a weak word. I had a retching. We are eardrums day and night with the values, but the word "balance" and the practice it induces are contrary to all the values of civilization. The end does not justify the means, emancipation cannot go through denunciation. A lawyer, Marie Dosé, said it very clearly: “Guilt cannot be decreed on social networks but is questioned judicially.” It is not progress but a dangerous regression to free speech from the test of the contradictory.
Marlène Schiappa, Minister for Equality between Women and Men, said she wanted to fight “the culture of rape”. Is France, in your opinion, characterized by this culture, this “tacit social consensus”?
In the aftermath of the attacks of November 13, a slogan flourished spontaneously: “We are on the terrace”. Us: peacefully mixed women and men. As wrote Saul bellow in a splendid homage to the city of Paris, "few things are more pleasant, more civilized than a quiet terrace at dusk." We defended this symbol of happy diversity against jihadist anger, and we are told, two years later, that diversity is an illusion and that women live on the terrace as if behind closed doors, in perpetual fear of the ubiquitous pigs. . “The culture of rape permeates the collective unconscious of our societies,” says Muriel Salmona, the psychiatrist who inspired the Secretary of State for the equality of women and men. What is convenient with the unconscious is that it is irrefutable. If in the name of your experience of the streets and cafes you protest against this general pillorying, Muriel Salmona smiles knowingly: your denial as a desperate man proves that it hit the mark.
However, we cannot consider all the testimonies that flow on social networks as null and void on the pretext that they do not respect the forms. Sexism is obviously not dead, too many small-footed Weinsteins abuse their position of power.
But when a third of the detainees in French prisons are held there for crimes and sexual offences, it is absurd to say that justice remains passive and to solemnly appeal to the President of the Republic to fill in the gaps in the right as did, in all ignorance of the cause, indignant petitioners in The Sunday newspaper. France has the most repressive arsenal against macho behavior, it's not me who says it, it's the Syndicate of the Judiciary, which cannot be accused of weakness for the strong.
Le workplace harassment is civilly and criminally sanctioned. Seven hundred and fifty delegates work with the Defender of Rights to investigate the facts reported to them. That's not enough, it seems. “The envy of the penal”, diagnosed once by Philippe Muray, has become insatiable, and, to inflate the figures, any distinction is abolished between failed seduction and physical aggression. The rejected flirt becomes a stalker: "If we too, we gave the names of the predators who (1) disrespected us verbally (2) attempted tampering", suggests in a second tweet Sandra Muller, the journalist to whom the we have to #balancetonporc.
Edwy Plenel, who definitely does not miss a single one, gives the fine name of "revolution" to this insane extension of the domain of harassment. No, Edwy, the feminist revolution has already taken place and it has borne wonderful fruit. Fifty years ago, women did not belong to each other. Few dared to go it alone. As Alice Ferney writes in her magnificent book The Bourgeois, “their lives were dedicated to making lives”. We have, in a few decades, broken with this immemorial history.
Women now have the choice to develop in themselves something other than the ability to procreate. They have acquired mastery of filiation, they have access to all trades, they sit in large numbers in the National Assembly. They divorce as they want and when they want, and the head of a company who would dare to practice wage discrimination is liable to the criminal court. Added to this is the fact that the surname is no longer mandatory, that the medically assisted procreation for all is in the process of institutionalizing fatherless filiation. When the disappearance of the man becomes a woman's right, is it still serious to speak of a patriarchal order?
But triumphant modernity does not solve all the problems. It even creates new ones. The right to a child leads in many countries to the commodification of women's bodies that their poverty makes available. With surrogacy, the rental of bellies becomes commonplace. This enslavement is not attributable to male domination but to the perhaps fatal convergence between advances in biotechnology and the inflation of subjective rights.
The “struggle against patriarchy” and “male domination” have concomitantly focused on the French language by promoting inclusive writing. Some hearing the French Academy worry about a "mortal peril" considered the formula excessive or unnecessarily alarmist. Does midpoint and equality of chords threaten our language?
Inclusive writing claims to go back to the origins of evil. Male power begins with words, its proponents argue. So, to root out the roots of rape, they mechanically say “those and those”, “each and everyone”, “all and all”, they write diligently “The Marseillais e s have swept” or “your deputy s Onward!” and they damage a little more, by this ridiculous stuttering, a language which really did not need that. Inclusive writing is the inept caricature of original feminism.
Neo-feminists, at the forefront of the #balancetonporc phenomenon, were more in the background at the time of the cologne sexual assaults and considered that street harassment in the Chapelle Pajol district was due to sidewalks that were too narrow. Isn't there also a culture of denial?
One of the objectives of the #balancetonporc campaign was to drown the fish of Islam: forgotten Cologne, forgotten the Chapelle Pajol, forgotten the cafes forbidden to women in Sevran or Rillieux-la-Pape, we hunted down sexism where it was a reviled survival and the places where it still shaped mores were covered with the veil of the fight against all forms of discrimination. American stars were dropping like flies, posters warning against sexism were plastered on the walls of the French Parliament, and then wham, the scenario of Dare feminism! goes haywire: the fish drowners catch, in spite of themselves, a very large Islamist fish that they cannot throw back into the sea.
Because Tariq Ramadan is not only accused of harassment but of rape and assault. If the facts are true, he will be disqualified even in the eyes of Edgar Morin, his great progressive guarantor. So much the better, but I personally would have preferred Ramadan to fall for his speech rather than his behavior. Because the next generation is ready. Impeccable preachers are already continuing his work of indoctrination. Therein lies the danger.
Charlie Hebdo made its front page, and since then Mediapart and part of the “Islamo-leftist” sphere have attacked the satirical newspaper. Riss responded in a scathing editorial to Edwy Plenel. What does this confrontation inspire in you?
Edwy Plenel's thinking is entirely based on an analogy between the fate of the Jews up to and including the Shoah and the situation facing Muslims in France today. To speak of a problem of Islam is therefore, in his eyes, to be in line with exterminating anti-Semitism. Forgetting that in the 1930s no terrorist claimed the Talmud and denying with a constancy that commands admiration the nevertheless glaring reality of Muslim anti-Semitism, he treats as racists all those who say with Elisabeth Badinter that a second society is trying to impose itself insidiously in the public space and who refuse to explain this phenomenon by ambient Islamophobia.
Plenel's adversaries are the enemies of the human race. The cover of Charlie which implicates it is "a new red poster", nothing less. And this is part, he adds, of a general campaign of war against Muslims. Thus Plenel, mad about himself and his compassionate zeal, comes to use the vocabulary of the fools of Allah. What did the Kouachi brothers do, in fact, if not respond with arms to the war that Charlie declared to them insulting the prophet? Riss is right. This sentence is unforgivable, because, by designating Charlie once again as an aggressor, she dubs in advance the killers who will want to finish the work started on January 7, 2015. The truth finally comes out: Mediapart is not an information site, it is a fanatical sect and all the more nasty that nothing ever undermines the good anti-racist conscience of its members.
In 2015 in Le Figaro, you draw a line between "the party of the burst", that of Charlie, and “the party of the other”, that of Mediapart. Are we witnessing the victory of the first over the second?
I will refrain from speaking of victory. But another left exists than the party of denial and national expiation. The raging controversy bears witness to this: this left is now fighting back. That's very good news.
Source: © Alain Finkielkraut: “Weinstein, Ramadan, Plenel… the lessons of a tsunami”