French women and #MeToo: It’s complicated

Yahoo Lifestyle

January 29, 2018

By Alexandra Mondalek

There are almost as many online guides to achieving that mysterious French-dame coolness as there are people in France: There’s the French girl’s guide to winter beauty, the French girl’s guide to eating, the French girl’s guide to bangs, the French girl’s guide to Halloween, and even the French girl’s guide to hating French girl guides, just for starters.

But in this moment of reckoning for sexual assaulters, there is no French girl’s guide to the movement known as #MeToo (with the exception of this New Yorker spoof). There is a French hashtag equivalent — #BalanceTonPorc or “expose your pig” — but beyond that, it’s complicated.

That’s ultimately because many French women disagree about the validity of the movement itself, and whether its American counterpart is even contextually relevant to French culture.

On one side, there are French women like Sandra Muller, a journalist who coined the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc in mid-October 2017, just before American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo. Muller — whose sexual harasser is suing her for defamation, despite admitting to what she’d accused him of — has created a GoFundMe for her own legal expenses, and also plans to create a victim relief fund, similar to the Legal Defense Fund the #TimesUp organizers in the U.S. started, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

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