Quatennens affair: “The positions taken by certain political leaders are extremely deleterious”

Adrien Quatennens, targeted by an investigation opened by the Lille prosecutor’s office, decided to let go of the management of La France insoumise after the disclosure by the chained Duck » with a handrail deposited by his wife.

In a two-page letter published on Sunday September 18 on Twitter, the coordinator of La France insoumise assured that he did not know the content of the daybook. He decided to present his version of the facts, ” it’s clear “.

evoking ” disputes “ since the announcement by his wife of his desire to divorce, he specified in particular that he had “grab the wrist” during one of them. He also admitted to having “gave a slap”there is ” a year “, “in a context of extreme tension and mutual aggressiveness”. “I deeply regretted this gesture” who “never happened again”he pointed out.

The great embarrassment of La France insoumise over the Adrien Quatennens affair

A defense that “allows us to endorse the discourse of passion”according to Mathilde Viot, former parliamentary collaborator and co-founder of the Observatory of sexist and sexual violence in politics.

We are in 2022, we must still remember that a slap is sexist and sexual violence. What does this say about our political and social system?

It shows that today, it is still possible to put sexist and sexual violence on the account of “passion”, that the various excuses of the type ” it is complicated ” Where “it was a couple crisis” can still be used as justification.

The Quatennens affair reflects a certain disconnection from the political world, which is still reluctant to realize the seriousness of sexist and sexual violence. This violence, thanks to the actions of several collectives and associations, has become a real social issue. But when they approach the political world, the latter resists by protecting itself.

Violence against women: the worrying inertia

What do you think of the press release published by Adrien Quatennens on social networks?

I don’t know how he did it, I hope Céline Quatennens was involved in the process. But the use of a “context of extreme tension and mutual aggressiveness” cannot serve as justification. This makes it possible to endorse the discourse of passion. And nothing can justify slapping your spouse or wife.

And of the first reaction by Jean-Luc Melenchon?

It was totally off the mark. Jean-Luc Mélenchon also speaks of malevolence towards the party, he does not make a political statement but the speech of a man who defends his friend. It is the same thing as when Emmanuel Macron had assured to have spoken man to man with Gérald Darmanin. This kind of position taken by political leaders is extremely harmful.

This is not the first time that LFI has found itself in difficulty in its internal management of gender-based and sexual violence. Why ?

In the political world, it is considered that it is necessary to be in the aggression and the domination to succeed in imposing itself above its adversaries. This perpetuates the image of the man, ready to do anything to dominate.

La France insoumise is a party made up of many feminists. These questions are more important and can be buried more difficultly than in other parties, especially on the right. But within the party, there is a discipline that wants us all to speak with one voice. This does not allow for serious political reflection on the subject. The proof : LFI press release nine lines is not enough, far from it.

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Do these reactions show that the MeToo Politics wave is not yet taken into account by politicians? Or will it on the contrary grow?

The first reactions show that there is still resistance and a defense of the self. But the reactions of the media and those of activists show that the violence no longer passes, that it is a real subject. The next step must be a real reflection on the recruitment of political personnel. A democratic leap is possible.

Should Adrien Quatennens retire?

The Quatennens affair is symptomatic of something that goes beyond him. Imagine what it would mean if he stayed: a message to all abused women that it’s not that bad, a message to all men that passion can get you to do this stuff.

While waiting for justice to do its job, it’s complicated to let Adrien Quatennens represent the French in the National Assembly. For the moment, he no longer has a place in politics.

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