Women across the globe have brought awareness to the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault through #MeToo, but French women created their own hashtag that puts more emphasis on the men responsible.
The phrase #BalanceTonPorc, which means "out your pig," became a rallying cry throughout France in the aftermath of Hollywood tycoon Harvey Weinstein's public downfall. French journalist Sandra Muller created the hashtag in a tweet describing when an executive told her: "You have big breasts. You are my type of woman. I will make you orgasm all night." It wasn't long before French women from all walks of life were also outing their pigs on social media.
#MeToo kicked off in America after dozens of women accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, leading to the filmmaker being ousted from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The allegations against Weinstein had a ripple effect, as other prominent filmmakers, journalists, politicians, and chefs have been publicly accused of inappropriate behavior toward women in recent weeks.
It wasn't just women, either. Actor Anthony Rapp claimed Kevin Spacey made unwanted sexual advances when Rapp was 14, acknowledging that the influx of harassment stories and #MeToo posts encouraged him to come forward. Multiple others have since made similar allegations against Spacey, and his Netflix show, House of Cards, has halted production.
As the movement crossed the ocean, French women put their spin on the #MeToo hashtag. But unlike the American campaign, the French's language choice puts the focus on the men who target women. Because it calls out perpetrators instead of centering around victims, "out your pig" more closely resembles the smaller #HimThough movement that began to take form in the U.S., as well as encouraged women to name their abusers.
France could also soon see new legislation surrounding harassment, championed by the French minister for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa. Last month, she proposed a bill in parliament that would fine men on the spot for street harassment and catcalling.
Schiappa told La Croix newspaper, "The point is that the whole of society has to redefine what it will accept and what it will not."
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