T he declarations of the President of the Republic on Gérard Depardieu pained me, stunned me, as they pained and stunned all those who fight against violence against women. Our pain and our astonishment are all the greater as we could have expected a young president, elected on the promise of a “new world” , to be ahead of the entire political class on this issue. Since his election, it has been quite the opposite. Concerning sexist and sexual violence, he will remain a man who did not understand his times and did not know how to live up to what could be expected of his position.
He would not have been, first of all, by imagining that he could use sexist and sexual violence as a counterattack to his government’s failure on the immigration bill. The issue is too serious to be exploited politically. Furthermore, it is misunderstanding to reduce it to a divide of opinion or a supposed war between wokists and conservatives. From all the testimonies that I have collected in my life as a woman and elected official, I can attest that incest, rape and beatings spare no generation, no social class or any political affiliation. Of all the men I have met, I can also attest that the vast majority are frozen at the idea that the sight of their little daughter could arouse the most obscene reactions and that, worse, they are victims of these predators. . The President of the Republic should have united around this fight. He will have made the unforgivable error of wanting to make it a divisive subject.
In the same way, Emmanuel Macron will not have lived up to his role by hiding behind a justice system which he knows perfectly well is struggling when it comes to sexist and sexual violence. Every year, more than 90,000 women report having been raped or attempted rape. Less than 10% of them file a complaint. And, of all the complaints filed, 80% are dismissed and 1% result in a criminal conviction, according to figures from the High Council for Equality between Women and Men. The absence of a conviction does not mean that the complainant was not a victim. It means that the facts could not be proven or were prescribed.
Furthermore, if Emmanuel Macron really wanted justice to be more effective, a wish unanimously shared, why is he opposed to the creation of a definition of rape based on the absence of consent within the framework of European legislation currently being negotiated in Brussels? Very often, victims struggle to have rape recognized because of the need to prove that the perpetrator acted with violence, coercion, threat or surprise. This new definition of rape would open the possibility of better legal treatment. By personally opposing it, Emmanuel Macron is preventing France from playing a historic driving role in Europe.
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