Lu : Raising girls in rape culture par Lauren Byrne publié dans l’édition du 20 octobre 2017 du Globe & Mail.

Au moment où le « chacun pour soi » et donc le « tout est permis » semblent peser particulièrement lourd dans l’air du temps, Byrne trace on ne peut plus clairement une nouvelle ligne rouge (je souligne) :

« A long while back, she [our daughter] and our youngest [son], who was 2 at the time, were squabbling over toys upstairs. My husband and I were busy making supper and so were letting them work it out. Suddenly, Avery’s arguing turned to crying. Not the frustrated cry, the hurt cry. If you have kids, you know this cry. So, my husband and I dropped what we were doing and ran up stairs.

Liam had bitten her. Hard. She was already developing a bruise and had raised red marks where all his little teeth had sunk in. Brad scooped her up and started swaying her back and forth, smoothing her hair and wiping her tears, and then I heard him gently say, « Baby, what did you do to make Liam bite you? »

My husband is a gentle giant. He stands 6-foot-2, has a set of shoulders like a linebacker and two biceps as big as my thighs that are covered in tattoos. At first glance, intimidating, yet he is the most non-violent man I have ever encountered. He barely raises his voice when we argue. He cried for three days when our daughter was born, in complete disbelief that he could love someone so much. He despises any man who would ever lay a hand on or take advantage of a woman. Yet, with this one question, I felt the weight of rape culture crash down on me.

It doesn’t matter what Avery did. It doesn’t matter if she took Liam’s toy or if she hit him, or even if she bit him first. The question is irrelevant. You don’t bite.

Similarly, it doesn’t matter if you have had sex with this man before, if you have been flirting with him for weeks, if you are completely intoxicated, or even in his bed, but then change your mind. The situation is irrelevant. You do not rape.

My husband’s intent was to get to the root of the issue and not assign blame on our wounded daughter. The problem was his wording, but raising a girl in the current state our world is in, wording means more to me now than ever. »

Au moment où plus rien ne semble gêner ceux tentés par la violence (des gestes et des mots), les circonstances importent peu : éviter de crier, de bousculer. Tenter de trouver les mots justes et construire là-dessus.

attilio et karen_une maison dans un arbre, 1974
Illustration : sans titre, tirée d’Une maison dans un arbre, 1974, Attilio et Karen, page non numérotée.