The news fell yesterday: it is Elisabeth Borne who takes over from Jean Castex at the head of the French government. The second woman Prime Minister of the Republic, after Edith Cresson in 1991! And already, sexist comments are flooding the web and inviting themselves into discussions. Sad. All the more sad that this is far (very far) from being an isolated case: in 2021, a study reveals that 74% of local elected officials are subject to sexist and misogynistic reflections. A brief overview (distressing, and yet very real) of the policies that have had to deal with it.
1. Simone Veil
Inevitably, this top had to start with THE female political figure who turned our lives upside down, and whose fights continue today. Madame Simone Veil, Minister of Health during Giscard, President of the European Parliament, Minister of State, Social Affairs, Health and the City under Mitterrand… In short, a crazy political career and an impressive lady, to whom the we have the right to abort. A right, which she defended for the first time on November 26, 1974, before an assembly of 481 men for 9 women. If one party applauded his speech, the others indulged in sexist, sometimes even racist and anti-Semitic remarks. Among the most shocking: Jean-Marie Daillet, who speaks of ” embryos thrown into the crematorium or Jacques Médecin, who talks about barbarism organized and covered by law as it was by the Nazis“. When we remember that Simone was deported to Auschwitz, these words become even more sickening.
Note also the ” The woman flourishes by giving life. by Louis Donnadieu. Well yes, Louis, that’s well known! A kid is our only key to happiness…
2. Edith Cresson, first woman Prime Minister in France
Constant criticism of her appearance in the media and sexualizing remarks galore: the first female Prime Minister in France (yes, we did not yet say “Prime Minister”) had to face an assumed machismo when she was appointed to the head of the government, under Mitterrand, in 1991. François d’Aubert, former Minister of Research, nicknamed her ” Madame la Pompadour“, thus associating her with the mistress of Louis XV. Le Quotidien de Paris headlines “ Matignon the day after his appointment, while the Bébête Show caricatured him as a lascivious panther responding to the orders of François Mitterrand. Already in 1981, when she was Minister of Agriculture, demonstrators from the FNSEA marched with the sign “Edith, we hope you’re better in bed than at the ministry ». Class.
3. Segolene Royal
In his book What I can finally tell youSégolène Royal says “ One of the first times I went up to the podium of the National Assembly to speak, I actually heard, like all the deputies present, one of them shout at me ‘Naked!’ Then the giggles of those around him, all this in the total absence of reactions from the President of the Assembly and the other deputies. “Class, always. Class like this big redneck, who compliments the minister on her suit more than on her speech in 2014…
4. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris
On June 4, 2016, Anne Hidalgo is in Clamart, for the laying of the first stone of the Grand Paris Express. Result: a lot of people travel to the Paris suburbs that day. Reaction of Philippe Pemezec, mayor of the Republicans of the neighboring town (Le Plessis-Robinson): “Why are they all rushing around her, all these guys? They are like so and so wanting to get a blow job from Hidalgo“. Wow. This sweet poem earned him the “Macho of the Year” prize, awarded by the feminist association “Les Chiennes de garde” and the magazine Causette. Chuuuuut… Listen… Do you hear him, karma saying “CHEH” to him?
5. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister and government spokesman under Hollande
In 2014, elected UMP Franck Keller tweeted a photo of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (successively Minister of Women’s Rights, Urban Affairs, Youth and Sports from 2012 to 2014, then Education until 2017) in a black dress. He writes ” What assets Najat #VallaudBelkacem used to convince #Hollande to appoint her to a major ministry?“. This obviously intelligent and courageous man quickly deleted his tweet in the face of the many negative reactions. Funny to feel superior to women when you, yourself, have no balls, right?
6. Cécile Duflot, former minister
While she was Minister of Housing, Cécile Duflot spoke before the National Assembly in 2012. Before she could even begin her sentence, she was whistled and booed by many deputies. The reason ? She wears a floral dress. That’s all. It doesn’t take much to be macho.
7. Fleur Pellerin, former minister
Well, just three days after Cécile Duflot, it’s the turn of Fleur Pellerin (then delegate minister in charge of SMEs) who is the victim of a sexist insult. UMP deputy Marc Le Fur took advantage of her absence from the Assembly to declare ” If she is not there simply for appearances and to serve as a flowerpot, she must figure in our debates and come and join us… ». WAW.
8. Laurence Dumont, former Vice President of the National Assembly
February 7, 2013, Laurence Dumont, Vice-President of the National Assembly at that time, replaced Claude Bartolone on the perch during the debate on marriage for all. A replacement that is not to the liking of several gentlemen, who get up and shout “Bartolone, Bartolone”, as angry children would do. We also hear “Go to bed”, and Christian Jacob addresses her in a particularly aggressive tone. Vibe.
9. Chantal Jouano, former Minister (and current President of the National Commission for Public Debate)
In September 2011, Chantal Jouanno led the official list of the UMP for the senatorial elections in Paris. For his part, Pierre Charon chairs a competing list. Annoyed that his political family is turning their backs on him, he declares on TV that Chantal Jouanno will be elected no matter what, “whether she is on the tatami mats, or in bed”. Class, again and again. (Source.)
10. Véronique Massonneau, former Green MP
In October 2013, Véronique Massonneau (EELV) spoke at the National Assembly on pension reform. While she is in full speech, the elected UMP Philippe Le Ray begins to imitate the noise that a hen would make. A cackle of very bad taste, which will have cost him 1378 euros… So, who is the rooster who was plucked and knocked down the cackle, huh?
11. Laurence Rossignol, former French senator (and current Vice-President of the Senate)
January 2013, in the Senate. Laurence Rossignol is on the microphone to talk about… Parity. The moment cleverly chosen by Bruno Sido to swing “But who is this girl? “. Really perfect timing Bruno, don’t change anything. Fortunately, Laurence Rossignol does not let it go and sends him the “palm of the misogynist beauf of this assembly”. The “girl” 1 – 0 “the misogynistic redneck”.
12. Lydia Frentzel, EELV municipal councilor in Marseille
At the end of a heated debate, during a city council in February 2019, the ecologist Lydia Frentzel responds to Senator RN Stéphane Ravier, declaring “Mr. Ravier, we will see each other in the 13/14 (of the Marseille districts ), I’m warning you “. The response of the member of the National Rally is not long in coming: “Always at the same hotel, at the same time? “. Ashamed, damn. Fortunately, the mayor is there, and that he defends the poor… Ah. No. He adds fuel to the fire by adding “In any case, it’s not in my office! “. Wow. Well done guys.
13. Anne Marie Comparini, former French MP
This time, we are in 2007, near the National Assembly. Renaud Muselier (in the center) introduces Michel Havard, the new UMP deputy (in the center of the video), to Patrick Devedjian (on the left). At that time, Havard had just eliminated Anne-Marie Comparini, outgoing Modem deputy, in the first round of the legislative elections. When Muselier declares “Here is the one who beat Anne-Marie Comparini! He made a splash! », Devedjian does not find a better answer than… « The bitch ». Ah bah, it must have been beautiful the little report on the parliamentary return of the new deputies of the Rhône, well! (Source)