Photo via Reuters India
On Sunday, hundreds of women joined rallies in Paris and other French cities to protest against sexual abuse and harassment following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Weinstein is a U.S. movie mogul. He has been accused by various women of having sexually assaulted or harassed them in incidents that are dating back to the 1980s, including three who claimed that they were raped. Weinstein however, denies having non-consensual sex with anyone.
“We Won’t Remain Silent”; “Justice for Women”; “The Shame Should Switch Sides” read some of the signs that were held by French demonstrators, who were mostly women.
In Paris, protesters assembled at the Place de la Republique square under a grayish rainy sky, responding to a call that globally spread during the past week on social networks under the #MeToo hashtag.
The hashtag has been used by millions of women across the globe to share their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment on Twitter and rolling posts on Facebook.
Among those that are at the rally in Paris was an 88-year-old named Vivianne Rouis, who attended the protest with her daughter and granddaughter.
“At my age, it’s over, nothing’s going to happen to me. But my daughter, my granddaughter, it’s true that I think about them a lot,” she informed reporters.
“It has to stop. Because we’re not objects,” Roius added.
Other protesters asked victims to speak up.
“It’s less and less taboo in our society, and I think it’s important that women, and even men, who are abused, speak about it more freely,” stated Luana da Costa, 17.
Various accounts of sexual abuse or harassment have been published under #squealonyourpig or the French #balancetonporc hashtag on Twitter during the past few weeks, including one from well-known actresses such as Lea Seydoux.
Some conservatives say that the new trend amounts to an attack on the way of life of the French in the name of U.S.-style puritanism.
This month, nationwide consultations started over a proposed new law that will extend the statute of limitations for rape on minors and include steps to fight sexual harassment on the streets.