"20 Minutes" asked about forty feminist personalities if they had read "Balance Ton Pere" (JC Lattès) by Eric Brion or "La Haine en ligne" by David Doucet.
BERTRAND GUAY / AFP
At the end of September and mid-October, the books by Eric Brion,
Balance Ton Père
(JC Lattès), and David Doucet,
La Haine en ligne
(Albin Michel) were released.
The first tells how he lived after the accusations of Sandra Muller, who launched the #BalanceTonPorc movement.
The second is a journalistic investigation into cyberstalking on social media.
What do the feminists think, who helped bring these two authors down from their pedestal?
surveyed around forty personalities and six associations.
These are two very different books but with very similar themes:
Balance Ton Père
(JC Lattès) by Eric Brion, account of the fall that accompanied the accusations of harassment by the creator of #BalanceTonPorc and
La Haine en ligne
(Albin Michel), by David Doucet, an investigation into cases of "canceled" people on social networks and other "lynchings" online, as the author calls them.
The two authors were strongly attacked by the feminist movement for having, for one, used sexist remarks that he recognized, and for the other inflicted suffering on a young YouTuber via a hoax, and participating in a group Facebook which some of its members were accused of cyberbullying.
Two books including
tried to find out what feminists thought about it.
Out of forty feminist personalities contacted, only one had already read the two books, another that of David Doucet only.
Out of six feminist associations contacted, five had no member who had read any of these books at the time we contacted them.
"Give priority to women's writings"
In addition to the argument of the lack of time, many activists claim this choice, presented as a boycott.
"I no longer give importance to the words of men," says one.
“I don't want to force this on myself at all,” another tells us.
“I take it upon myself to favor the words and writings of women.
The behavior and speech of these men since their questioning by women whom they have not treated as equals amply attest to the zero degree of their awareness of symbolic violence (when it is not physical) which hinders the socio-professional rise of women, ”explains Sylvia Duverger, who ran the blog
Feminists of all kinds
from 2011 to 2019.
"I plan to read
Les Génie Lesbien as
soon as I get my hands on it, but in the meantime I have started to apply what I have learned from it by reading excerpts shared by other feminists: reading women" , also judge Clémence Bodoc, editor-in-chief of
Tuto Conquerir Le Monde
and former editor-in-chief of the feminist media MadmoiZelle.
However, Alice Coffin, author of Les
, explains: “I think it's important to read them, it's part of the feminist job.
A typically feminist suffering
These two books relate indeed typical sufferings of our time and from which many women and feminists suffer: cyberstalking.
For example, it affects two thirds of women journalists in the world, according to the International Women's Media Foundation, and women are the main victims, according to this report by Amnesty International.
The spokesperson for Dare Feminism explains that she closed Eric Brion's book after having leafed through it for a few seconds.
She also says she is "angry" because of a "revolting double standard" between women victims of violence little listened to and this author who is invited on television sets.
Even more firm is the vision of Zoe, the activist of Dare feminism in civic service in the association which has made a point of reading the book: “Eric Brion is posing as the victim of this story.
He completely denigrates the feminist struggle.
Yet these two books testify to a conversion of their authors to ideas dear to feminists, and more generally, to a greater attention to others.
While David Doucet was accused of being in the camp of cyberstalkers, he is engaged on the side of those who fight against this scourge (he was already a feminist, he says).
Eric Brion also tells of his conversion, operated in pain and thanks to the conversations that this ordeal sparked with his daughter.
“I do not underestimate the liberation of speech which this tweet was the driving force, writes the ex-boss of Equidia.
And, surprisingly as it sounds, I'm even in favor of it.
With two reservations.
First of all that the denunciation in question corresponds to real, serious and punishable facts, because the opposite opens the door to anything and everything.
Then, the rules of the rule of law and justice (…) still seem to me to be the best way to resolve this kind of conflict, today more than ever, ”he says.
“I'm a #MeToo pro without any hesitation.
I feel like a feminist and I refuse to be denied this right.
Like David Doucet, Eric Brion refuses to be classified in the camp of anti-feminists, and to become a standard bearer of masculinist ideas.
"We forget that there are individuals"
"I was shocked at the reaction of certain feminists, by this desire to suppress her right to answer," explains Laure Daussy, feminist journalist at Charlie Hebdo, author of a survey on cancel culture, formerly active at Osez le feminism and let's take the front page, after reading Eric Brion's book.
“There is a total disproportion between what Eric Brion said and what he suffered.
As a feminist we should be on the side of the just, and there, is it fair to lose so much after inappropriate comments?
In the expression "collateral damage" we forget that there are individuals.
“We must be able to criticize #BalanceTonPorc in the name of a more just feminism.
We talked more about Brion's words than about certain sexual assaults or rapes.
I think we have to keep a hierarchy.
Perhaps we should think as feminists of the limits that should not be crossed to avoid falling into popular vindictiveness ”.
A "social death"?
Gaëlle, recently graduated from Sciences Po, and who calls herself resolutely feminist, responded to our call for testimonials.
She was an intern at Inrocks and David Doucet was her internship supervisor: “I think the book is not at all incompatible with feminism.
It's very important, as a feminist, to be aware of the devastation that online lynchings can cause.
And to apply a principle of precaution, without rushing headlong to denounce a potential harasser or rapist.
Spokesperson for Take the One, an association that was very involved when the Lol League affair broke out, journalist Léa Broquerie recognizes that David Doucet's book is a "real investigation", but critical the term “social death”, attached to the subtitle of the work of the former editor-in-chief of
and which Eric Brion also uses.
“Yes, they were fired, and there was a professional and private erasure, but it was short, and today when they are releasing a book the mainstream media are opening the door to them,” she adds.
Léa Broquerie recalls that at the time, Take the One did not call for the dismissal of David Doucet or any of the members of the Lol League and regrets that there was no internal investigation before his ouster. .
A view of concord
"I have read these books, regardless of the disgust I feel towards words or acts morally prejudicial towards women, but with a view to civil harmony and according to the Kantian maxim" knowing how to put yourself in the place of everyone else " », Explains Clara-Doïna Schmelck, feminist journalist and media philosopher, who contacted us because she had read both books.
“Eric Brion's writing process can be understood not as a 'backlash' but as a text explaining that it should no longer be ostracized.
Clara-Doïna Schmelck also believes that David Doucet's book may have a virtue for the feminist struggle: “The book pushes us to ask ourselves questions and not to accept certain injustices on the pretext that we put an end to other.
These works in my eyes are not dangers for feminism;
they do not herald regressions in this regard or any inclinations to return to the petrified silence of too many of us.
"Balance your father": Eric Brion, accused by the creator of #BalanceTonPorc, releases a book
"LOL League": The association Take the One requests the opening of an investigation
20 seconds of context
20 seconds of context
The author of these lines was spokesperson for Take the front page in February 2019, when the controversy around the League of Lol broke out.
She is no longer a member of this association.
Balance Your Pork
The LOL league