The Quatennens case is particular in that the respondent quickly admitted acts of violence and harassment against his wife, who asked him for a divorce.

This could have been the occasion for a new stage in taking into account sexist and sexual violence in France.

But wham, the warm support given by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and those close to the deputy of Lille have completely turned the tide.

In the – very different – ​​case of the Bayou affair, the press conference of his lawyer, Marie Dosé, at the beginning of the week, also contained its share of hackneyed anti-feminist arguments.

So almost five years to the day after the start of the #MeToo wave, which completely changed the tenor of the debate on gender-based and sexual violence (SGBV), the political arguments of the past few days seem like a backlash.

“It is extremely serious!

“, Believes Mathilde Viot, of the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics, author of

The Politician, I make compost


Political figures “are vectors of public thought.

And there, what we say is that ultimately, a slap, it does not matter, she continues.

When this word arrives in homes, it means ''take your slap and shut up''.

They give permission and they know it, too!


At EELV, the press conference by Julien Bayou's lawyer, mentioned above, added to the ambient unease, even among relatives or allies of the former national secretary of the party.

"He chose a line of defense that would not have been mine", explained this week to 20 Minutes, all in euphemism, an eco-friendly executive.

And when Eric Dupond-Moretti, the Minister of Justice, explains that it is time to "whistle the end of recess", Mathilde Viot fears that legal instruments will be put in place to limit the freedom of speech for women. .

Internally, it's not better

Many feminists explained that a very bad signal had been given.

Feminist activist Caroline De Haas, who had called for a vote for Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the presidential election, published a kind of open letter to the rebellious leader, in the form of a breviary explaining what would be the right attitude to have when faced with VSS issues and that you are a politician.

“Nobody is asking you to judge Adrien Quatennens (…), writes in particular the one who is one of the founders of We All.

It's not your job or your role.

Your job is to be the leader of the left and environmentalists.

It is therefore to say and say again that violence exists, that it is intolerable, that the victims will always be heard and assure you (…).


If the signal given externally to the company appears very bad, that given internally is not much better.

And the famous internal party cells intended to fight against VSS find themselves in the spotlight.

"These listening cells exist in the absence of anything else", thinks Mathilde Viot, arguing that an assessment of the work of these cells and the weak means put at their disposal will have to be made.

Many elected officials of parties that have them admit that they do not know how they work: this is already, in itself, a major dysfunction.

To get out of the top of the dilemma, with the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics, Mathilde Viot then demands that an authority "take up these questions to disconnect them from the passion that animates certain political parties".

Olivier Faure,

The question of the place of women in parties

Are we really taking the path?

The strong criticisms reserved for the internal cells of listening make it possible to doubt it.

Criticisms, moreover, are sometimes issued for diametrically opposed reasons: sometimes they “suffocate the voice of the victims”, according to Isabelle Rome, the Minister Delegate in charge of Equality between women and men, Diversity and Equality chances;

sometimes they are instruments of “private justice”, according to the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti.

And then, in the parties concerned, some are beginning to consider that it is high time to put an end to the experiment, at the risk of bringing VSS questions back under the rug.

“I am challenged with messages that go in this direction”, notes Katy Vuylsteker, federal councilor at EELV (the party parliament), regional elected representative of Hauts-de-France and feminist activist.

She and Mathilde Viot see the risk, "but it will not happen", believes the latter.

“This temptation to put an end to the treatment of GBV in parties, men have it every day, at every moment.

But these cells do not proceed from them.

Neither Jean-Luc Mélenchon nor Julien Bayou were driving forces in this area.

These cells exist because there is an internal feminist balance of power that imposed them.

But isn't this balance of power, precisely, undermined by seeing how these affairs weaken the parties?

Katy Vuylsteker doesn't think so,

What is at stake, of course, goes far beyond the media turmoil of recent weeks.

It is a question of making sure that the political parties do not become again the “boys club” that they have long been… and can still be.

The EELV executive quoted above summarizes the situation as follows: “Either we do nothing, the women leave and the aggressors stay.

Either we put in place things - perfectible - that allow women to be activists and get involved.



Nupes: Olivier Faure pleads for a "code of ethics" on sexist and sexual violence


Accusations against elected EELV / LFI: The "rant" of Dupond-Moretti, who denounces "private law justice"

  • Violence against women

  • Julien Bayou

  • Adrien Quatennens

  • Europe Ecology The Greens (EELV)

  • Feminism

  • La France Insoumise (LFI)