“It’s time to deconstruct the myth of the attractive politician”

Paris City Hall, June 28, 2020.

Pfor a long time, rape was assimilated, in the collective imagination, to the image of a woman assaulted at night by a stranger in a dark alley. As victims testified, society realized that the reality of sex crimes was different. Rape and assault are generally not committed by strangers at gunpoint. Worse, they are often the act of a person who had an influence over the victim, or even was the object of his admiration. This is the case when young athletes have been abused by their trainer, or children by religious or teachers. All areas where there are power relations have been affected by sexual violence. Elected officials have not been spared, but the political community is struggling to examine its conscience. And this for reasons of its own.

Political life is a permanent struggle and, in this context, the occurrence of a case of sexual violence weakens the whole group. Consequently, all recent cases have shown that, even politicians who claim to be feminists, always seek as a priority to protect their majority or their party. And even those who have been able to assert themselves #metoo, when it comes to supporting Tweet from strangers, cry out for the presumption of innocence and the attempt at political destabilization when an elected member of their majority is denounced. However, the politician remains the supreme power and one must imagine the fragile situation of the victims who speak, the reprisals they fear.

Read also Targeted by a preliminary investigation for rape, Christophe Girard withdraws from the Council of Paris

Everything isolates the victim

Often, when the victim is a collaborator, an activist, a parliamentary assistant, to speak is to give up any political future, and to give up the passion of a life. The victim knows that the entire political group will unite around his executioner. Everything discourages her from speaking. Everything isolates him. And, when the victim is an administered in social distress, to speak is to give up the hope of the help which he urgently needs.

How not to measure the risk of abuse of power in relationships that confront elected officials, with in their hands the allocation of housing, places in crèche, municipal jobs, and a power of intervention at the highest level of the State, and people in very great fragility, immigrants in an irregular situation, single mothers, women already victims of attacks and humiliations.

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