Sexism persists in France, in particular with “masculinist reflexes” among young men, deplores in a report published on Monday January 23 the High Council for Equality, which notably asks to “regulate digital content”.
The president of the HCE, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, must be received by President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, on the occasion of the Day against sexism. The independent advisory body, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, will take part in an awareness campaign this week and will open a “trial against sexism” on Wednesday, organized by the collective Together against sexism, which will be closed by the Minister responsible for gender equality, Isabelle Rome.
“Sexism is not declining in France. On the contrary, some of its most violent manifestations are getting worse and the younger generations are the most affected”, writes the HCE, which notes that “five years after #MeToo”, “French society remains sexist in all spheres”: public , private, professional, media…
Daily renunciations for 9 out of 10 women
“Public opinion recognizes and deplores the existence of sexism but does not reject it in practice, mainly among men”, according to the report which is based on official figures and on a barometer carried out by the ViaVoice institute with 2 500 representative people.
80% of women say they have felt they have been treated less well because of their gender in their lifetime. 14% say they have already undergone “an imposed sexual act”, and more broadly 37% say they have experienced non-consensual situations in sexual relations, including unprotected intercourse at the insistence of their partner (12%), non-consensual under the effect of alcohol or drugs (7%).
Sexism leads to daily renunciations, for 9 out of 10 women questioned: half give up going out or doing activities alone or dressing as they wish. 8 out of 10 are afraid to go home alone at night.
A quarter of men think we’re “doing too much about sexual assault”
The men, for their part, struggle “to feel concerned”, do not feel personally responsible for sexist behavior, even for a quarter of them, think that we “do too much about sexual assault”.
If men over 65 are more “conservative”, attached to strict gender roles, the HCE also observes “masculinist clichés” among those under 35: a quarter believes that it is sometimes necessary to be violent to be respect. The image of women conveyed by pornography is considered problematic by half of them compared to 79% of those aged 65 and over.
Overall, the HCE warns against a “situation which is getting worse with the appearance of new phenomena: online violence, increased virulence on social networks, barbarism in very many productions of the pornographic industry, affirmation of a masculinist and anti-feminist sphere”.
Several recommendations given by the HCE
The public authorities “are not considered up to the challenges on these issues”, notes the institution. Among the “key measures” identified by the HCE, the “regulation of content in the digital sector to combat stereotypes, degrading representations and scenes of violence now commonplace on the Internet, in particular in pornographic videos”.
The institution also proposes the creation of an “independent High Authority to fight against gender-based violence in politics”, after the scandals that shook the parties last year. It recommends strengthening the “financial and human resources of justice for courts responsible for dealing with domestic violence, like the Spanish investment”.
To change mentalities, the HCE recommends prohibiting advertising for gendered toys and conditioning the payment of public money to a consideration in terms of equality, for example in terms of training, for companies.
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