An Open Letter to the 100 French Women's Tribune to LeMonde.fr, Rejecting the New Feminist Revolution
I am sorry not to have read this tribune much earlier, but as we know, this is the era of an abundance of information. And this being the case, I have to express my profound disappointment to the 100 women who shared their thoughts on the #MeToo movement and its repercussions. Each one of you has somewhat and at some point impacted our culture through your work, and consequently earned some rights to influence. And I intentionally measure my words, as I hope the rights to influence, which you’ve earned, will be taken lightly in this specific context.
Dear 100 women,
My name is Fatima Bocoum. I was sexually abused years ago, and the #Metoo movement has liberated me in ways I couldn’t hope for. In fact, thanks to that #MeToo movement, you freely and unthoughtfully bashed, I was able to come forth about the abuse via social media. And yes, social media is a big part of our culture today, similarly to Blow-up and the Balthus piece you referred to. Their impact in society, you are perhaps taking mildly, are the sources of our knowledge forming our thoughts and behaviors, and the ones' of our daughters and sons, who we all dream to see being informed and confident to lead a happy, yet respectable life.
Now dear 100 women, there truly is no sustainable change without challenges and I am sorry you feel that your “sexual liberty” has been impacted through the new feminist revolution that is occurring. It does sound that you may have never faced any disturbing harassment. And I am glad. See, seducing insistently becomes harassing when one of the parties isn’t in agreement with the behavior. But the true point is, there are way too many women, whose freedom not to be seduced insistently is taken away by individuals who are not discerning annoyance and discomfort. And in terms of the workplace, some women want to work, not spend time clarifying the basic understanding of professionalism. That is not to say that men aren’t allowed to seduce; however, the problem with men in general is an augmented perception of attraction from the other. And therefore, your tribune isn't of help.
I am a feminist. And I believe in absolute equality between men and women. And many women like you, I would say with all due respect, have not understood and accepted true feminism. Because, this comes with an indescribable solidarity towards one another. And as I am writing this, I am also trying to find my words, but no matter how much I would love to rationalize your stance and not perceive your message as disloyal, it is to women and womanhood. This new feminist revolution goes beyond gender equality. It is women coming to together, if not due to shared experiences, for a sense of compassion creating the will to reverse our narrative.
There is no linkage between women being perpetual victims and the #MeToo movement, other than expressing that women have been, in many instances, victims of different kinds of abuse. This is the first time in history that women are speaking up on a global scale. So, how dare you qualifying this as an act of hatred towards men and sexuality, why not self-love?
What an indispensable “offense” truly is, is the one to educate our society, enlighten minds, and advance social goods. Again, there is no gain without some losses, if a movie must be judged “myogenic” and “unacceptable” for our society to stop marginalizing women, let it be. This is the time for women, for men, the respectable and respecting ones, and more than ever this is the time for a collective consciousness.
June 24th, 2018
Author Fatima Bocoum