"In the west, the real problem is the class struggle; that’s where all the sexual problems come from.”

redhead

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"In the west, the real problem is the class struggle; that’s where all the sexual problems come from.”

The quote in the title comes from a recent interview with the French film director Claire Denis.

An experienced and well respected director in her seventies, Denis is known for her independent vision as a film maker and her refusal to be pigeonholed in terms of style or subject matter.

During the course of the interview she is asked for her opinion on the Weinstein allegations and the #metoo movement.

“That’s a discussion that’s only being had in rich countries. The world is not just the United States and Europe. It’s a debate of spoiled children. I couldn’t care less about the Weinstein affair – it hasn’t changed anything for women."[...]

What I’ve asked her, Denis complains, is “a bourgeois question. Egyptian or Yemeni women don’t give a damn about Weinstein. They have to deal with bombs, they don’t have running water in their kitchens, they get raped in buses.” So does she feel that growing up in African countries – including Senegal, Cameroon and Djibouti – gives her a wider perspective than a purely western one? Denis gives me a forbidding glare. “There are no more rapes in Africa than in France. On the contrary. I never met a Harvey Weinstein in Africa.”
Looking at the media commentary surrounding the debates on Repealing the 8th and the nuptials of a member of the British Royal family to a "commoner" of Afro-American descent, it seems Denis may have a point.

Is she right? Are all the problems related to sexual harassment simply about class? As a form of social control, its power has undoubtedly lessened since a century ago.

Or perhaps the changes to the hierarchical nature of class and power, traditionally held by church and state, are creating a situation where women's sexuality becomes the focal point of that struggle?

The full interview with Denis can be read here
 


Sync

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Ignoring the gibberish about someone's marriage and an abortion referendum (This is a TERRIBLE OP btw. Garbled): I think I'll take the various international health agency reports on the rape levels in these countries than some cosseted white pensioner with no experience in the area.
 

redhead

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Ignoring the gibberish about someone's marriage and an abortion referendum (This is a TERRIBLE OP btw. Garbled): I think I'll take the various international health agency reports on the rape levels in these countries than some cosseted white pensioner with no experience in the area.
What is garbled about it? The discussion of womens sexuality is at the heart of the commentary about both subjects.
 

Sync

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It's really not. You seem to be trying to place responsibility for her race and gender on the shoulders of some girl who got married today. It's pretty shabby. But that's probably because your cited source is garbage who offers no details, merely uniformed opinion. You could literally have quoted anyone's unsupported view of rape levels in Africa vs Europe and it would have as much meaning or merit.

Tomorrow's thread: Nicki Minaj's thoughts over lunch on the ethical implications of the Hadron collider.
 

GDPR

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Claire Denis belongs to the French intellectual school of wibbling self-importantly in public about the latest tour of a hot spot s/he went on, and how s/he immediately understood it all so much better than either the locals or people who have devoted years of solid research to the place/issue.
 

Analyzer

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Another French Marxist bullsh1tter with another theory involving sex, class, and bullsh1t.

They are becomming a bit predictable at this point.
 

redhead

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It's really not. You seem to be trying to place responsibility for her race and gender on the shoulders of some girl who got married today. It's pretty shabby.
I don't know how you read that.

But that's probably because your cited source is garbage who offers no details, merely uniformed opinion. You could literally have quoted anyone's unsupported view of rape levels in Africa vs Europe and it would have as much meaning or merit.
Cited source? It's not an academic paper and I am not making any claims, simply creating a starting point for a discussion.

You also clearly didn't read the OP, just skimmed and picked a few keywords and formulated a response. It is not about rape levels in Africa or Europe or a comparison between the two, but actually, now I come to think of it, why do I think you actually know that?

Tomorrow's thread: Nicki Minaj's thoughts over lunch on the ethical implications of the Hadron collider.
My you are in a foul mood. It was an invitation to a discussion that's all and one you seem to have completely misread.

Sorry it has upset you so much, clearly it has hit some sort of nerve.

Anyway, job done. Discussion shut down. Go back to debating ownership of women's bodies or something...
 

redhead

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Claire Denis belongs to the French intellectual school of wibbling self-importantly in public about the latest tour of a hot spot s/he went on, and how s/he immediately understood it all so much better than either the locals or people who have devoted years of solid research to the place/issue.
She was actually raised in West Africa.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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dont understand the question in the OP. Please excuse me. My only contribution is a question :

why are so many french 'black and white' independent movies always involving a scene with a bloke wandering around his apartment in the nip, smoking , drinking coffee and swinging his langer into the camera at every opportunity ?
 

Dame_Enda

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I didnt think about it this way when I was growing up, but my mother had to put up with a lot of psychological harrassment from my late father in terms of him constantly putting her down and paranoid accusations that she was bad mouthing him to her friends behind his back. Does that count as sexual harrassment?

On the class question. Well I think its more about religiosity. Poor countries are usually deeply religious, and religions are usually Patriarchal.
 
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Analyzer

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dont understand the question in the OP. Please excuse me. My only contribution is a question :

why are so many french 'black and white' independent movies always involving a scene with a bloke wandering around his apartment in the nip, smoking , drinking coffee and swinging his langer into the camera at every opportunity ?
I have not watched a French "unconventional" cinematic production in years. And now I am finding out that they are still not producing anything new or original.
 

Notachipanoaktree

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Ignoring the gibberish about someone's marriage and an abortion referendum (This is a TERRIBLE OP btw. Garbled): I think I'll take the various international health agency reports on the rape levels in these countries than some cosseted white pensioner with no experience in the area.
YOU are a total pea-brained ar*sehole.
 

redhead

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I didnt think about it this way when I was growing up, but my mother had to put up with a lot of psychological harrassment from my late father in terms of him constantly putting her down and paranoid accusations that she was bad mouthing him to her friends behind his back. Does that count as sexual harrassment?

On the class question. Well I think its more about religiosity. Poor countries are usually deeply religious, and religions are usually Patriarchal.
It might be considered emotional abuse now, rather than harassment. I would imagine at the time it was simply accepted as part and parcel of the role of wife. However, it does show how women's expected roles have changed.

Thank you for reading the OP and making a thoughtful contribution.
 

Cruimh

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I didnt think about it this way when I was growing up, but my mother had to put up with a lot of psychological harrassment from my late father in terms of him constantly putting her down and paranoid accusations that she was bad mouthing him to her friends behind his back. Does that count as sexual harrassment?

On the class question. Well I think its more about religiosity. Poor countries are usually deeply religious, and religions are usually Patriarchal.
It might be considered emotional abuse now, rather than harassment. I would imagine at the time it was simply accepted as part and parcel of the role of wife. However, it does show how women's expected roles have changed.

Thank you for reading the OP and making a thoughtful contribution.
Gaslighting has always been a problem and is a very destructive and pernicious form of abuse.
 

redhead

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dont understand the question in the OP. Please excuse me. My only contribution is a question :

why are so many french 'black and white' independent movies always involving a scene with a bloke wandering around his apartment in the nip, smoking , drinking coffee and swinging his langer into the camera at every opportunity ?
You weren't the only one!

I was simply asking if the idea that class was a defining factor (as suggested by the woman in the interview above) in the sexual harassment of women in the West had any merit.

And, clumsily (it appears) used the examples of the current debates about the ownership of women's bodies via the referendum campaign and the marriage of a woman whose ethnic history involved slavery into royalty as examples of the kind of attitudes that inform these debates.
 

GDPR

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You weren't the only one!

I was simply asking if the idea that class was a defining factor (as suggested by the woman in the interview above) in the sexual harassment of women in the West had any merit.

And, clumsily (it appears) used the examples of the current debates about the ownership of women's bodies via the referendum campaign and the marriage of a woman whose ethnic history involved slavery into royalty as examples of the kind of attitudes that inform these debates.
It has nothing to do with class. Thats an unregenerate Marxist clumsiness.

Sexism is not predicated on capitalism, religion, or any other ism. It predates the lot of them.
 

redhead

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It has nothing to do with class. Thats an unregenerate Marxist clumsiness.

Sexism is not predicated on capitalism, religion, or any other ism. It predates the lot of them.
Well it is in a way, it predates them, yes, but as a consequence is built into the notion of class, in particular.

Marxist views aren't entirely irrelevant when discussing class either.

The point Denis was making was less about sexism and more about agency, I felt. Although I don't think she was being entirely fair to women in the West.

If you read the interview she was cornered into giving an opinion on #metoo, this wasn't something she volunteered and I thought her response was interesting.

She has lived and worked in West Africa for considerable periods and also in Europe so she would have the capacity to draw her own conclusions on these issues, but they are simply her opinions.
 

GDPR

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Well it is in a way, it predates them, yes, but as a consequence is built into the notion of class, in particular.

Marxist views aren't entirely irrelevant when discussing class either.

Although the point Denis was making was less about sexism and more about agency, I felt. Although I don't think she was being entirely fair to women in the West.

If you read the interview she was cornered into giving an opinion on #metoo, this wasn't something she volunteered and I thought her response was interesting.

She has lived and worked in West Africa for considerable periods and also in Europe so she would have the capacity to draw her own conclusions on these issues, but they are simply her opinions.

I did read the interview in the Guardian, before you posted it, and skipped on by.

Her views are those of a very select group of French cineastes. Catherine Deneuve said more or less the same.
 


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