The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

France:
Youth Against Sexism

Jan 22, 2018

The following article is translated from the December 29 issue of Lutte Ouvrière, the newspaper of the French revolutionary workers group of that name.

The revelations about sexual violence against women since the Weinstein affair have encouraged high school students (in France) to denounce sexual harassment and abuse in schools.

On December 21, 300 girls and boys blocked the entrance to the high school Pissaro de Pontoise, to protest sexual violence.

So much the better if teenagers react collectively against the rule of silence imposed by shame, by the feeling of powerlessness, and by the pressure of the aggressor boys.

But the fight against sexist violence in schools is also the responsibility of the National Education Ministry and depends on the means it allocates.

Of course, schools cannot totally eliminate the prejudice and sexism that impregnate our society. But schools can and must provide an education that fights against stereotypes and violent behaviors against girls.

This was the goal of “ABCD of Equality,” an experimental curriculum for the schools that the Ministry of Education renounced under the pressure of the extreme right and the religious.

In their schools, children can’t count on freely discussing relations between men and women with their teachers, since these are directed to only present sexuality from the angle of physiology or to explain how to guard against sexually transmitted diseases.

The current minister of education is not about to put the problem of equality between men and women back at the center – because the government is much more sensitive to the religious than it is to these demonstrations and others like them.