“Young people are increasingly exposed to misogyny”

“Sexism is not receding in France”. It is a very sad but real observation that the High Council for Equality draws up in its report published this Monday, January 23. Worse: “Some of its more violent manifestations are worsening and younger generations are being affected.” five years later #And me, new phenomena are emerging, including misogynistic online hate, cyberbullying, cybersexism and the assertion of a masculinist and anti-feminist sphere.

Figures from the HCE Sexism Barometer 2023 confirm this: 33% of men surveyed believe that feminism threatens the place and role of men in society; 23% of young people think that sometimes it is necessary to be violent to be respected; and 29% of them believe that men are losing their power. IN The opposite reactionAmerican author Susan Faludi analyzes how the feminist wave of the 1970s was weakened by conservative legislation, and a phenomenon that unfortunately seems to be reviving in our current society.

On different platforms like YouTube, TikTok or Instagram, masculinist influencers like “The Raptor” or “Andrew Tate”, to name a few, are followed by thousands of young people, even very young people. “Platforms fail to regulate this very violent and very misogynistic content; and parents are unable to control the content that children consume, so these young people are increasingly exposed to this radicalized misogyny.” analyzes Lamia Mounavaraly, member of the High Council for Equality and co-founder of the association Reunion Today citizens.

“There is no strong signal sent to society, no exemplary sanctions taken, so this once again trivializes online violence.” For the Dionysian, strict rules with sanctions must be adopted “enforceable and binding” in case of discrepancy. “The Internet is a space for freedom of expression, but that does not mean that hateful messages can be forwarded there.”

The opposite

“MeToo has contributed to the liberation of speech, but gender-related representations are still firmly anchored in mentalities (…) and it is difficult to dismantle a patriarchal society in five years”. underscores Elsa Heintz, director of Family Planning 974. However, “We need to recognize an evolution in discourse, with the audiences we meet during our interventions.”
In order to sustainably fight against gender-based and sexual violence, online and more generally, it is necessary to “Increasing public awareness from a young age and on various topics such as self-affirmation, expression of emotions, consent, equality between women and men”. But also “train professionals and families; and be part of a preventative approach to risk reduction.” Daily missions identified by Family Planning, especially during interventions in schools and social networks.

For Marianne Richer, member of the La Houle collective and coordinator at ABZ Prod, it is possible to change the trend by “ensuring presence on social networks, staying together and joining”. “The attraction to radical masculinist thoughts is a form of reaction for these men, who must be consolidated in a patriarchal and sexist rationale.” she presses.
But, on the contrary, women’s voices are freed: on social networks, many give intelligent answers and denounce these messages of hate. The activist mentions, for example, Léna Situations – one of the most followed influencers in France – who now considers the fight against harassment as an integral part of her work. Citizens, activists, public authorities… “To reduce these numbers, the response must be collective, everyone can act at their own level.”

Jadine Labbe Pacheco

Recommendations of the High Council for Equality
1. Increasing the financial and human resources of justice.
2. To establish the obligation of results for the implementation of the law on sexual education in school.
3. Regulation of digital content to combat degrading representation of women.
4. Mandate anti-sexism training by employers.
5. Generalize equal conditionality (condition subsidies on a consideration in terms of equality).
6. Creation of a High Independent Authority to fight against gender-based violence in politics.
7. Condition public support for print media on commitments to equality.
8. Mandate for an evaluation system and an annual publication on the percentage of representation of women in textbooks.
9. Ban ads for sex toys.
10. Institutionalization of the national day of the fight against sexism on January 25.

Reference points

80%
women have the feeling that they have already been victims of sexism.

4 out of 5 women
15 to 24 year olds find it difficult to be a woman in today’s society.

37%
of women have already experienced a situation of disagreement.

23%
of young people consider that sometimes it is necessary to be violent in order to be respected.

9 out of 10 women
adopt avoidance behaviors to avoid sexist acts.

14%
the French have never heard of #MeToo.


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