#MeToo & #BalanceTonPorc -  Women’s Global Fight against Harassment goes Online

#MeToo & #BalanceTonPorc - Women’s Global Fight against Harassment goes Online

by Yash Saboo November 7 2017, 4:21 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 17 secs


The recent allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein have sparked a global conversation about the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. Women, not only from Hollywood but from different professions have come forward to speak against the harassment they face in their workplaces. Meanwhile, women from other countries like France and UK are facing their own versions of Harvey Weinsteins.

While in the United States, there's the #MeToo, in France there's #BalanceTonPorc or "Squeal on your pig." In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, tens of thousands of French women have posted the name of their sexual harasser on Twitter, along with details of the incident, under the hashtag "Squeal on Your Pig."

But however you feel about #MeToo, the French version is a lot more assertive. French journalist Sandra Muller started #BalanceTonPorc. She encouraged women to post the names of men who sexually harassed them at work and details about the incident.

In France, Christophe Arend, an MP in the La Republique En Marche (LREM) party, ‘disputes the facts’ and has countered with a slander claim, his lawyer said in a statement. The 29-year-old woman, identified under the pseudonym Marie, told Franceinfo that her ex-boss had "tried everything to get me to give in" with repeated ‘sexist comments’ and ‘inappropriate gestures’.

"For example, he tries to unstrap my bra when walking by, to touch my breasts," she said.

Marie led Arend's campaign during this year's legislative elections when he made headlines in June by beating out Florian Philippot, then the vice president of the far-right National Front. A growing number of French women have been revealing stories of harassment and abuse at the hands of men in the wake of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein.

A similar case happened in the UK where Conservative lawmaker Michael Fallon resigned as defence secretary, admitting that his personal conduct fell “below the high standards we require of the armed forces.”

After Fallon’s attempt to kiss her, Merrick, then a 29-year-old junior political reporter at the Daily Mail, said she “shrank away in horror and ran off to my office in the Press Gallery”. Writing in the Observer, she said: “I felt humiliated, ashamed. Was I even guilty that maybe I had led him on in some way by drinking with him? After years of having a drink with so many other MPs who have not acted inappropriately towards me, I now know I was not.”

Last Tuesday, the Sun revealed that Fallon had admitted to repeatedly touching the journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer’s knee at a conference dinner 15 years ago.

Then we have Gilbert Rozon, the founder of the Just for Laughs comedy festival, facing allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault from at least nine women who came forward last week.

Le Devoir and radio station 98.5 FM published allegations from the women, including some well-known Quebec entertainment personalities such as actress Salome Corbo and TV host Penelope McQuade. Rozon, a giant in the Quebec entertainment industry, did not elaborate on the allegations against him when he announced on Facebook that he was stepping down from several high-profile professional posts not long before the stories were published.

The alleged incidents occurred over three decades with the most recent coming in 2016 and some of the women claimed they were teenagers at the time. Montreal police would not confirm various reports that one woman had recently filed a sexual assault complaint against Rozon dating back to 1994 in Paris.

Its good news that the Harvey Weinstein effect is going global. People like him are all over the world, especially in India and they need to be dragged from the caves they are hiding in, the sooner the better.


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