Photo: Justine Latour
Photo from the play “Mythomania”, Nicolas Berzi, presented in November at The Chapel
Eighty-four artists and artisans of the culture and the media engage in an open letter to the Duty, not to trivialize it in their work on sexual violence. And for some of the signatories, affixed their name there is equivalent to to sign a moral contract and commitment to making the works more fair. If art is representation, then its makers “certainly have a leadership exercise to counter the problem of violence of a sexual nature,” says the missive, scratched by the host Penelope McQuade, the playwright Catherine Chabot, comedians Fred Dubé, Guillaume Wagner, Leah Stréliski and musicians, including the sisters Boulay, among others. How their creations can also be part of the solution ? wondering together. How to create, produce and distribute content they do not encourage the myths, beliefs and stereotypes that perpetuate the culture of rape ?
There are behavior obviously unacceptable, “in the mouth of my guests, or in their actions,” says Penelope McQuade in a telephone interview. Behaviors that she is committed now more than ever not to tolerate. “But there is a grey area, elastic, which is a kind of work in progress, that moves with the evolution of society, and there, it is not so simple,” reflects the animator at Radio-Canada and a columnist. It is in this area, she believes, that it is the most important to think and act.
“I want the representation of sexual violence is part of all the time of my reflection, especially when I talk about sexuality, says the author and journalist Lili Boisvert. Is what I do and say the commonplace ? It is necessary to know what are the messages that vehicle, even behind the jokes. The idea is not to never make jokes. But who then is this that is mocked ? A victim, a perpetrator ? “It is good, she said, to ask these questions.
Not a question of censorship so far, the creation must remain free. “We can also continue to depict sexual assault in fiction, believes the author of the Principle of the cumshot (VLB), but in searching to see when it becomes a glorification or trivialization. In Game of Thrones, appoints it as a counter-example, it’s non-stop, sexual assault after the other. One has the impression that it is their way to spice it up. “
Powered by the Internet platform I’m indestructible, which allows for 2013 to the people who have experienced sexual assault to testify publicly, the open letter “enough is enough” (see page XX) calls on all cultural workers to examine the role played by their works. “We don’t have all the same forums, but we bear the same responsibility : to cast a critical eye on our own work. “Specifically, the letter lists the attitudes and sexist comments, jokes about the rape, the erotic of sexual violence as actions that normalize, even unconsciously, the sexual violence. A few agencies — Quebec against sexual violence, Regroupement québécois des centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel, Fédération des femmes du Québec — joined their voices.
“Sign this letter, it is to give the moral contract to reflect more often, and in gang chat and take a look at what we do “, says Mathieu Séguin, one of the two heads of the duo of comedians Sèxe Illegal. “It is hard to say how we will apply it in the morning,” he continues. The aim is to question once again, as often as possible, to advance our work in a more equitable manner. A big gag that makes you laugh a lot the public, whether morally, I have difficulty with, we will remove it. This is not because the crowd applauds that there is no problem. You can increase the level of works popular. “
Several also seemed willing to think up their reports to the stereotypes. “The stereotypes, the common places are also used — it is not going to change the methods to make them laugh, says Mr Séguin. To generalize, that is. But we can do it in a respectful manner, and do not type always on the lowest. “
Does it already have a career strong to be able to afford these discounts ? Pénélope McQuade does not believe. “I think that to be close to its values, it is always possible. Already, by expressing feminist views for a few years, I am cut off of a package of channels. I lose the listeners on one side, I win the other, this is not an exact science. I am ready to continue in this vein. “
She continues : “I am strengthened in this time in my beliefs and my values ; finally ! they are shared by a larger number, on large forums. Because it must pass through a collective consciousness “, and therefore reflect and be in concert with the public and with decision-makers and producers of culture, considers the facilitator.
What they have done, they would do it again more
Talk of representation and the promotion of sexual assaults in culture can seem like a blur. The Duty has asked three public figures in a concrete example of a point in their career where they would have preferred to act otherwise.
Pénélope McQuade, host : ” there are a lot of works that I put in the value without exerting enough for my critical eye. I would do it today more confidence in the fact that we can question them. Also, I would say way more honest that I do not want to receive certain people which I do not share the values, human or creative. It is sure that it is hard to say, “No, I don’t receive such a guest”, and repeat the reasons why, at each level of decision-making. Now, I would take the responsibility to make me say this “Well, you’re ben hard !” that often comes when it appears as a feminist. “
Rose-Aimée Fall T. Morin, editor-in-chief ofUrbania : ” I have not complained of sexual misconduct that I’ve seen. I failed completely to my values as a feminist and as an ally of several marginalized communities to prioritize my career. I regret a lot.* And as a columnist, I’ve spoken to the place of transsexuals. I turned on the day they told me : “I love it when you talk about the issues trans people, because you’re not crinquée as the trans, faque you, I hear you.” It made me realize that speak on their behalf instead of leaving the microphone was a problem. “
Mathieu Séguin, comedian : With Sèxe Illegal, there are numbers that cannot be duplicated today — including one on racism. It was very awkward in the approach to the side of the track. Shock to shock, it’s less of a pleasure. It is necessary to think. I will always remember one of our first shows : I had a poster “a Show of humor with delivery of Sèxe illegal”. I realized that it did not suggest pantoute the show that I had in mind. At the limit, this name, Sèxe Illegal, we force it to always realize what you are doing and the image you project.