Tribune. The High Council for equality between women and men (HCE) has just published its third report on the state of sexism in France, a few days before 25 november, International Day for Combating Violence Against Women. This essential exercise still has a few good years ahead of it. Because sexism is everywhere (“Annual report 2020-2021 on the state of sexism in France”, by Brigitte Gresy, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette and Juliana Bruno, view PDF).
An agent infiltrated into institutions and interpersonal relationships, covering himself in the tinsel of hostility or false benevolence, he always acts in the same way: he disqualifies women, inferior them, even infantilizes them, activating this « differential valence of the sexes » about which the ethnologist and anthropologist Françoise Héritier (1933-2017) tells us.
Based on an ideology which establishes the superiority of one sex over the other, it manifests itself in the form of gender-based and sexual violence but also leads to many forms of discrimination, redoubled by multiple discrimination, linked in particular to origin, age, disability. He escapes and hides. How to unmask it?
He is in the heavy joke at the coffee machine which opens the way to predators and authorizes the harassing speech and the aggressing gesture; it is in the remark to the police station or the gendarmerie on the skirt too short in case of rape or on the “Have you thought about your husband?” “ in the event of domestic violence; it is in the crimes of landlord that are the feminicides perpetrated by men for whom women are their thing; it is in the multiple rankings without continuation of the judges; he is in the murky gaze and the chilling apostrophe in the street which constrict women even though a glance of desire or a glance of benevolence illuminate the passage of time; he is afraid of the evening which is falling.
It is in the devaluation of the personal services trades, exercised by the first of the rope on the grounds that the required skills would be natural to them, and in the choice to underpay the human trades and overvalue the careers of the money ; it is part-time, low wages, underemployment, reduced pensions, mostly suffered by women; he is in the wobbly telework where the gentleman has a “room for himself” and Madame a corner of the table in the common room.
There is an unequal sharing of domestic and parental burdens and of mental and emotional burdens; it is in the insufficient use of fathers for paternity and parental leaves; it is in the refusal of the sharing of power, in this reluctance of the upcoming law on economic and professional equality which reserves only for companies with more than a thousand employees, within ten years, the quotas of the under-represented sex in decision-making bodies, which are also haggled by a pay equity trap, the only way to apply the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
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Brigitte Grésy: “Sexism is everywhere”