Mélenchon is “grilled” with feminists, say activists

Published on September 23, 2022 at 10:39 am

Mélenchon is “grilled” with feminists, say activists – © Gabrielle CEZARD / SIPA

Jean-Luc Mélenchon “can no longer represent feminists”, confided to AFP four members of the “Relève féministe”, a collective formed spontaneously with the Quatennens affair and which contributed to the withdrawal of Julien Bayou from the co-presidency of the Green MPs.

It is a “collective fed up” shared by hundreds of Internet users on Sunday in the face of tweets of support for Adrien Quatennens by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and certain rebellious people, after his confession to domestic violence.

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The rebellious leader denounced “police malice, media voyeurism, social networks” and praised the “dignity” and “courage” of Mr. Quatennens, repeating to him his “confidence” and his “affection”.

Quickly, “women of all persuasions, trans, racialized, lesbians, from overseas, cardholders and non-cardholders in parties” come together in the “Relève féministe”, because all are “fed up with this culture impunity and this omerta”, reports Sirine Sehil, 25, activist with “We all” and Generations, the movement founded by Benoît Hamon.

They launch raids on social networks to challenge the parties and demand an exemplary sanction for the aggressors, even those who support them. Less than 24 hours later, one of these questions is relayed to the EELV deputy Sandrine Rousseau in the program “C à vous” on France 5. This is the start of a second affair, which will lead the group on Tuesday green deputies to suspend Julien Bayou from his duties as president.

“He knew what he was doing”

In a column published by “Liberation”, they express their indignation, in particular vis-à-vis the rebellious leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon. “His tweet stunned me, I said to myself: ‘Man defends man. He knows as the third presidential candidate what influence he has in this country, he knew what he was doing, ”says Sirine Sehil indignantly. Moreover, the former president of the LFI group in the National Assembly persisted and signed on Thursday, declaring, questioned by the press on his tweets, that he “always weighed his words”.

For Lou Toussaint, 23, former LFI candidate in the 7th constituency of Bas-Rhin in the June legislative elections, “this tweet should never have been written and LFI should have said it” and not, “especially men” , take refuge in “gazelle modesty” – an expression dear to Jean-Luc Mélenchon.


The discomfort of the LFI deputies in the face of the questions asked at a press conference, without the men present speaking, accentuated the anger of the “Relève”. “Why do we attack women politicians when it is the men who commit the attacks? “Asks Majlinda Audars, 19, member of Generations. “We send them to the stake” by “making them feel guilty”, “it’s the double penalty”, abounds Axele Gibert. “Autain is not the mother of Quatennens”, squeaks Sirine Sehil.

They admit to being divided on the case of Mathilde Panot, president of the group. “His communication could have been clearer,” said Lou. But “there is a glass ceiling in the parties for women, it’s very hard to take a strong position” at the risk of losing a hard-won place, underlines Axele Gibert.

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