Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Sunday called for a black feminist festival in the French capital to be banned, because it’s prohibited to white people.
The first edition of the Nyansapo Festival, due to run from July 28 to 30 at a cultural center in Paris, bills itself as an event rooted in black feminism, activism, and on a European scale.
Four-fifths of the festival area will be set aside as a non-mixed space for black women!
Another space will be a non-mixed area for black people regardless of gender. Another space would be open to all.
Hidalgo, a Socialist, told us that she firmly condemned the organization of this event, prohibited to white people.
“I am asking for this festival to be banned,” Hidalgo said, adding she also reserved the right “to prosecute the organisers for discrimination.”
Police prefect Michel Delpuech said in a statement that police had not been advised about the event. But, Delpuech added, the police would ensure the rigorous compliance of the laws, values, and principles of the republic.
French antiracist and antisemitism organizations strongly condemned the festival.
SOS Racisme described the event as a mistake, even an abomination, because it wallows in ethnic separation, whereas anti-racism is a movement which seeks to go beyond race.
LICRA — the International League against Racism and Antisemitism — said Rosa Parks would be turning in her grave, a reference to the American civil rights icon.
Wallerand de Saint-Just, the regional head of Marine Le Pen’s National Front party, had challenged Hidalgo to explain how the city was putting on an event promoting a concept that is blatantly racist and anti-republican.
The cultural centre La Generale, where the event was to be hosted, and the collective Mwasi, which organized the event, said they are the target of a disinformation campaign and of fake news orchestrated by the foulest far right.
“We are saddened to see certain antiracist associations letting themselves be manipulated like this,” they told us.
A decolonization summer camp in the northeastern French city of Reims elicited similar outrage last year, as it billed itself as a training seminar on antiracism reserved for victims of institutional racism or racialized minorities — excluding by default white people.
Beware the danger of Feminism Lite. It is the idea of conditional female equality. Please reject this entirely. It is a hollow, appeasing and bankrupt idea. Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of men and women, or you do not.
Feminism Lite uses analogies like “He is the head and you are the neck.” Or, “He is driving but you are in the front seat.” More troubling is the idea, in Feminism Lite, that men are naturally superior but should be expected to “treat women well.” No. No. No. There must be more than male benevolence as the basis for a women’s well-being.
Feminism Lite uses the language of “allowing.” Theresa May is the British prime minister, and here is how a progressive British newspaper described her husband: Phillip May is known in politics as a man who has taken a back seat and allowed his wife, Theresa, to shine.
Allowed. Now let us reverse it. Theresa May has allowed her husband to shine. Does it make sense? If Phillip May were prime minister, perhaps we might hear that his wife had “supported” him from the background, that she was “behind” him or that she’d “stood by his side,” but we would never hear that she had “allowed” him to shine.
“Allow” is a troubling word. “Allow” is about power. A husband is not a headmaster. A wife is not a schoolgirl. Permission and being allowed, when used one-sidedly — and it is nearly only used that way — should never be the language of an equal marriage. Another egregious example of Feminism Lite: men who say, “Of course a wife does not always have to do the domestic work; I did domestic work when my wife traveled.”
Our world is full of men and women who do not like powerful women. We have been so conditioned to think of power as male that a powerful woman is an aberration. And so she is policed. We ask of powerful women: Is she humble? Does she smile? Is she grateful enough? Does she have a domestic side? Questions we do not ask of powerful men, which shows that our discomfort is not with power itself, but with women. We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men. And Feminism Lite enables this.
At first glance, woman interrupted may seem like a small problem, but it reflects deeper issues of gender inequality at work and in society. Women struggle every day to get their space in the workplace and the right to express themselves. When they get there, manterrupting reduces their participation. Women want men to ask themselves: Am I doing this without even realizing it? After all, what’s the point of having more women in a meeting room if nobody hears what they have to say?