(Summer 2002)

In French

Democracy faced to the danger of the National Front

Return on a second historic tour of presidential elections, where the breakthrough of the FN will have aroused the passions on the best way to riposte to it. We put out the fire but until when? It will depend on questions that one is going to settle now... Can the abstainers continue to play with the fire? The politicians? Can they continue to ignore the abstainers? What is the part of responsibility of the media and the polls? And if it was simply the fault to the voters of the FN?...

The nightmare of the first tour (Caroline Fourest)
In search of scapegoats ( ProChoix-Toulouse)
Abstinence, trap for dummies ? (F. Venner)
Polls: it is too much or no not enough! (Isabelle Casier)
A voter on five! (D. Borrillo and B. Jurdant)
The feeling insecurity: reality or fantasy? (Aline Baïf)


Our anti-choice "friends"

The instrumentalisation of the media by the National Front (Fiammetta Venner )

Crying conspiracy of the medias is an old rhetoric of Jean-Marie Le Pen. Not only does this article produce the statistic proof that through the years the FN has profitted by a more important and more neutral media covering (especially thanks to France 3 many reports about the actions of its local sections) but it also shows that the FN knows perfectly well how to play with the medias, against their will, to communicate to its audience.
About the author
President-founder of ProChoix, Fiammetta Venner has just defended her thesis in Political Science at the IEP of Paris on Togetherness Mobilizations. The case of the Radical Right from 1981 to 1999 (with headmastership of Pascal Perrineau). She’s done research on the Radical Right since 1990, publishing many articles and books on the subject : especially Opposition to abortion, from lobbying to commando (1995, Berg), Women and Extreme Right (1997, Golias), Sponsors of the FN and its friends (1998, Raymond Castells)...


Inquiries and decyphering

From Stonewall to Gay Pride: return on a political become myth parade (Soizick Jaffre)

When we planned the first Gay Pride events in San Francisco and New York around thirty years ago, we never imagined that these spontaneous happenings would one day become enormous and rigorously organized parades, famous and marginal at the same time, drawing crowds worthy of tourist attractions. But with all its appearances of frivolity, the Gay Pride parade presents a moving image that itself shows all the complexity of the American gay and lesbian liberation movement. Movement that, like the march itself, doesn‚t always know which direction to take.
About the author
Soizick Jaffre is a graduate student in English at Michel de Montaigne University in Bordeaux, where she is actively involved with the Gay and Lesbian Student Association. She travels regularly between France and California

Amen : a“right” controversy (Jeanne Favret-Saada)

Last February, French opinion was called on to interpret an advertisement for Costa-Gravas’s new film Amen. Taking a stand against the extreme right journal Agrif and the Catholic church, protestants saw the occasion for a just polemic on the Vatican’s attitude toward the Nazis‚ extermination of Jews.
Jeanne Favret-Saada was Director of Studies at the School of Advanced Studies (EPHE), where she was Chair of Religious Ethnology. Author of the famous Les Mots, la Mort, les Sorts (Deadly Words : Witchcraft in the Bocage), she has worked for several years on secularity and the connections between religion and politics. She is currently finishing a study on Christian anti-Judaism.


To be born or not to be born, such was not the question: Was it Necessary to bury the stop of Perruche arret ? (F. Bolter & A. Bijoux)



Harrasment against Assent

In France, sexual harassment has long been considered as an exotic phenomena, at best an American whim, sign of its puritanism. But in the spring of 2002, a group of doctorate students broke a taboo and made the subject public, exposing the risk of power abuse and sexual domination in the student/teacher relation in college. At the same time, a case opposing a headmaster and his female assistant was the occasion of a violent debate in the pages of Le Monde. We had already brought up the the risk of seeing this controversy sterilizing itself in issue #20, this time we wanted to take a little perspective on current events in order to try and distinguish false cases from the true ones. Where is French Law at ? Is the denonciation of sexual harassment really an American-type excess or one more anti-American fantasy ? Can Foucault be called to the rescue by sexual abusers ? Finally, how to get out of a moral sexual order (which only benefits the strongest) and create a society where assent guarantees individual freedom ?


Meeting with Laure Bereni from Collectif Clasches

Clashes (Collectif de Lutte Anti-Sexiste Contre le Harcèlement dans l’Enseignement Supérieur)

French drift
(Abigail c. Saguy)

For fifteen years, the French have been fantasizing the repression of sexual harassment as a sign of the American puritanism. You couldn’t open the door to a woman in the USA without risking to go to jail. A distorted image of the actual situation in the USA — since sexual harassment depends on civil rights and is at worst condemned with a fine — which says a lot about the one in France...
Abigail C. Saguy is a teacher at the UCLA. She is the author of What is Sexual Harassment ? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne, which deals with the way sexual harassment has been defined in France and in the USA (to be released, University of California Press).

Sleepy Foucault
(Éric Fassin)

Rather than rehashing the rhetoric of liberation, according to which the law of consent is but an additional repression, Foucault’s question from the 1970s can be our starting point : “If we refuse any kind of sexual exception in the law, what becomes of rape ?” In fact, the problem is not so much the notion of “sexual crime” but the metaphysics of sexuality on which it is usually premised. On the contrary, if we start from the political status of sexuality, which is denaturalised in our democratic societies, we can think of consent in terms of power rather than violence. What is at stake is not only juridical — it has to do with social norms.
Eric Fassin, Department of Social Sciences, Ecole Normale Supérieure, is coauthor of Au-dela du PaCS. His most recent publications include The Social Sciences in the Face of the Event, “Sexual Event”s, “From one Affair to Another : Clarence Thomas and Monica Lewinsky”, and “What is an Event?” (Terrain no. 38).

Terminate the morality for the benefit of the willing sexual liberties
(Daniel Borrillo)

While our societies think of themselves as freed from religious obligations, a form of canonic moral is still insiduously organizing our relation to sexe. It is therefore necessary to update our consideration on freedom, especially in the fields of sexuality, and work on a laic ethic based on the single principle of assesment.
Jurist, specialized in law sociology, head of law conferences at Paris X, associate researcher at the CNRS (Cersa Paris II), Daniel Borrillo is also a former head of the legal group of Aides Paris. Member of the network of European experts on discriminations on sexual orientation (EU Commission), legal expert at the European Council, he hosts the first legal seminar on sexuality rights DEA of human rights and essential freedoms Paris X.


See Reak Speak

The ressassement of the misery at Houellebecq and Angot (Bruno Gaudens)

In France and abroad, a lot of sociocultural analysts see in The Incest and The elementary Particles the statement of " the new perception " which the western societ) has of itself. Angot and Houellebecq would be from then on new megaphone of our civilization, and its aspiration, despite the fact that their novels lean almost exclusively on an effect of provocation: they take literally racist, sexist commonnesses and homophobes which it is never a question of transcending, but indeed to keep rehearsing and so, from a political point of view, to consolidate.

WE READ : Gigola - Marché au sexe - Cherchez Claude Cahun - Tökyö Mirage - Cliniques Méditerranéennes n° 65 - Zoos humains - Stoppez les machines - Braquages

WE SAW : Le XXIVe Festival international de films de femmes de Créteil...

WE WILL SEE: Le Festival Résistances

WE SPOKE ABOUT : 22 juin, Journée du don et de la greffe


What is ProChoix ?

Prochoix is a journal of information, investigation and political philosophy.

Editing Comitee : Fiammetta Venner, Caroline Fourest, Lola Devolder, Flora Bolter, Guillaume Huyez.

Lecture Comitee : Daniel Borrillo, Éric Fassin, Jeanne Favret-Saada, Françoise Gaspard, Christophe Girard, Claude Servan-Schreiber, Didier Eribon, Tristan Mendès-France, Emmanuel Pierrat.

Scientific Comitee : Olivier Fillieule, Michel Tort, Évelyne Pisier, Paola Tabet, Colette Capitan, David Halperin, Janine Mossuz-Lavau, Liliane Kandel.

Foreign Consultants : Russ Bellant (USA), Elena Laurenzi (Italie), Nicole Nepton (Canada), Pia Ranzato (Italie), Al Ross (USA).

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