In October 2017, American actress Alyssa Milano popularized the term « Me Too » on Twitter in the wake of the Weinstein affair. Since then, hundreds of thousands of women around the world have used this hashtag to recount the sexual violence to which they have been subjected. Four years later, the movement has spread to many spheres of society. In its third annual report on the state of sexism in France, the High Council for Equality between Women and Men (HCE) looks back on the #MeToo wave that continued in 2020 and 2021.
Shock wave in the art world
If it first shook the world of cinema, and more precisely personalities such as Harvey Weinstein or Woody Allen, #MeToo then exported to other artistic fields, starting with music. In 2019, the hashtag #MusicToo collected hundreds of testimonies of harassment, assault and rape. According to a survey conducted by the Music Artists Guild the same year, one in three music professionals has already been the victim of sexual harassment at least once.
In 2020, Fine Arts students denounced the sexism experienced during their training through the collective « Balance your art school ». Since then, the Ministry of Culture has put in place an action plan and the National Music Center (CNM) has made the granting of subsidies conditional on the implementation of a protocol against gender-based and sexual violence.
If the awareness is real, several personalities implicated in overwhelming testimonies are still on the front of the stage. « Perceived as transcendent beings, above the law, escaping any moral judgment », the artists « convey and maintain this myth of the male creative genius to whom we must forgive everything », analyzes the HCE. Without forgetting the « financial stakes » and the « balance of power » which make it difficult to sideline an influential artist.
End of omerta in sport
Sexism, deeply rooted in art, is also so in the field of sport. According to the HCE report, the « virilist climate » which reigns there « is conducive to the expression of gender-based and sexual violence and to a form of law of silence ». However, the latter began to break in 2020, when the skater Sarah Abitbol recounted the sexual violence allegedly inflicted on her by her former trainer Gilles Beyer.
His testimony has been followed by many others in all sporting circles, from motocross to football, swimming, gymnastics and archery. As the site revealed Disclose, in many cases, sports institutions were aware of the facts but never alerted the courts, as required by law. Despite the risks to their careers, athletes have had the courage to denounce these dysfunctions. Since then, « the pace of sanctions seems to be accelerating » and a national strategy for the prevention of sexual violence in the field of sport has been put in place.
« Impunity remains the rule » in higher education
In higher education, « the consideration and management of sexual violence has evolved since the 2010s, » notes the HCE. But the independence body regrets « a big gap between discourse and reality ». Even today, « the phenomenon of gender-based and sexual violence in higher education is massive and impunity remains the rule », in many sectors.
Many articles have thus pointed to the « sexist traditions of prestigious schools such as HEC, Essec, EM Lyon or Edhec » or the hazing organized in medical faculties. Sexual violence committed in political studies institutes (IEP) was denounced under the hashtag #SciencesPorcs, in reference to #BalanceTonPorc, the French variant of #MeToo.
Incest, nightlife and politics
The movement initiated at the end of 2017 found a new echo in early 2021 after the publication of the book La familia grande by Camille Kouchner. In this book, she accuses the political scientist Olivier Duhamel of incest, which revived the debate on this scourge which concerns 1 in 10 French people. Tens of thousands of testimonies then poured into social networks via #MeTooInceste, inciting them policies to change legislation and create an independent commission on the subject.
More recently, #MeToo has spread to the nightlife through the « Balance your bar » movement. The latter was born in Belgium after the revelation of several cases of assaults on women in bars in a student district in Brussels. In France, the new Paris prosecutor announced on Wednesday the opening of an investigation after receiving complaints from people claiming to have been drugged without their knowledge in bars and nightclubs in France.
That same week, 285 women from the political world signed a platform to demand « to remove the perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence from political life ». Thanks to the hashtag #MeTooPolitique, they intend to denounce the actions of a number of political figures and the indifference faced by their victims, despite the establishment of listening cells or dedicated referents within the parties. .