France is “still profoundly sexist,” a report reveals

A research released on Monday concluded that sexism remains “alarming” in France, with many young men accepting discriminatory or aggressive behavior against women.

The French High Authority on Equality (HCE), a consulting body, discovered, based on a research of 2,500 people, that while the majority of respondents decried sexism in principle, “they fail to reject it in practice.”

“bias and gender stereotypes, sexist cliches, and everyday sexism” are still prevalent in France, the report stated, noting that the #MeToo movement had increased French awareness of gender inequality.

The HCE stated, “The report reveals a French society that remains profoundly sexist in all spheres.”

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It was stated that some of the most aggressive manifestations of sexism were worsening, particularly among the younger generation.

Younger men exhibited strongly macho inclinations on occasion, the survey stated, but older men frequently clung to traditional conceptions of male and female roles in society.

Twenty percent of men surveyed between the ages of 25 and 34 believed that boasting about sexual adventures was necessary to “be respected as a man in society,” while 23 percent believed that violence was occasionally necessary to earn respect.

While the majority of males over 65 considered the depiction of women in pornography to be “problematic,” only 48 percent of men aged 15 to 34 held the same opinion.

14% stated they had been subjected to a forced sexual act, and 37% said they had been in a sexual scenario to which they had not consented.

A quarter of the men in the report downplayed sexual violence, stating that “sexual assaults receive too much attention.”

The HCE has detected a male “backlash” across French culture, with “macho raids” on social media attempting “to silence or discredit women.”

The survey claimed that new kinds of sexual harassment were making matters worse for many women, citing online assault, verbal abuse on social media, and pornographic films with “barbaric” content.

The president of the HCE, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, stated that the government must attack masculine attitudes “from a very early age” by “massive action” in education and stricter regulation of the online world.

Pierre-Brossolette told AFP, “Everyday sexism leads to violent sexism.”

In addition, she advocated for the establishment of a public, independent body to combat sexist violence in politics, as well as the allocation of more financial and human resources to combat domestic violence.

The HCE also suggested a ban on gendered toys for youngsters and the conditional provision of public subsidies to businesses based on their success in terms of equality.

With contributions from Catherine Fay-De-Lestrac and Jurgen Hecker Agence France-Presse