Transatlantic Forum: “Feminist Waves in the US and France”

May 9, 2018

The French-American Foundation Transatlantic Forum is designed to provide a regular opportunity to inform and promote frank discussion and debate on transatlantic issues of common concern.
Following the #MeToo movement that caught on like brushfire across women of all backgrounds and its French spin off #balancetonporc, our Forum members decided it was essential to address the topic.

Guest speaker Marisa Tramontano, Lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice explained how the movement led to different reactions in France and the U.S. Even though feminism in the two countries followed similar paths, the cultures are different. She opened the discussion on “Feminist Waves in the U.S. and France” with a detailed historical background of feminism in the two countries.

There is a lot of literature on the topic and as she stressed, the next step is to take the discussion off line and to start acting. Beginning with affirmative consent and educating both genders on the topic. The mention of the 2017 Act in France that forces organizations to have at least 40% of female board members was the perfect segue into a very engaged conversation on the specific Act and the difference between masculinity and toxic masculinity that hurts all. Our speaker also stressed the importance of gender socialization. The #MeToo movement is about solidarity, men and women are in it together.

The event was well attended, it was encouraging to see so many of our male members sitting around the table, and the discussions continued in small circles way past the official end time of the dinner.