Friday 21 March 2014

Eleonore Pourriat: Oppressed Majority

Published on Feb 5, 2014 by eleonorepourriat1
OPPRESSED MAJORITY (Majorité Opprimée English), by Eleonore Pourriat (10:59)
On what seems to be just another ordinary day, a man is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women.

The Guardian - Feb 11/2014
Oppressed Majority: the film about a world run by women that went viral by Paula Cocozza
The 10-minute film tells the story of Pierre, an ordinary guy, on an ordinary day, in an unnamed French town. But something is different in Pierre's world. Women are in charge. They run around barechested – hey, it's hot! – piss in an alley, and offer sexual favours to Pierre when he is stuck at a red light. (He's riding a bike, so his lack of physical barriers provides an opportunity if not a provocation.) Events culminate when Pierre is sexually assaulted at knifepoint. Inevitably, the police officer who takes Pierre's statement is female. She raises an eyebrow, but only to check for accuracy: "She pinched my testicles … then she took my penis in her mouth and bit it"?

Ouch. Why that particular assault? "It is the complex of castration," Pourriat says, speaking from Paris. "The worst fright of men. I wanted it to be not so realistic but frightening."

Pourriat made her film five years ago. It won an award at a festival in Kiev but made little impact in France or online. So why its contagion now? "Actually, when I made it I hoped there would be an interest like this," she says. "In France five years ago people asked me if being a feminist was so contemporary. Today no one asks. The feminist fight is more important now. Five years ago I felt like an alien. Now my film is making a buzz because rights are in danger. You see that in Spain with abortion rights. The whole thing about marriage for all, the homophobia and sexism. It is like a black tide today in France."

The Independent - Feb 13/2014
Eléonore Pourriat’s ‘Oppressed Majority’: why we need more feminist films like this by Ellie Rose
Like a lot of women, I’ve been sexually harassed more than once. A man squeezed my buttock in a lift in a Tube station; a drunk man clutched the back of my head and tried to force me to kiss him outside a club; and my driving instructor “accidentally” touched my knee and breasts on several occasions (I was 17).

There are incidents where men who were known to me attempted to coax me to have sex with them using what I considered to be persistent and aggressive verbal persuasion, as well as non-consensual touching.

And then there’s the time when I was a young teenager that I heard, through the wall that separated my brother’s bedroom from mine, a friend of his describing how a mutual acquaintance had raped her. She said she wouldn’t take it to court because she didn’t want her sexual history scrutinised. I was not the victim, but it broke my heart all the same.

So, naturally, I was gripped by Eléonore Pourriat’s short film of 2010, Oppressed Majority, which attracted interest in the national press after it went viral this week.

The Toledo Blade - Mar 3/2014
Film a reminder of problems women still face by S. Amjad Hussain
The movie oversimplifies a rather complex issue, but the thrust of the film is not difficult to grasp. We live in a man’s world. Despite much progress in the past 100 years, women continue to lag behind men in almost every aspect of life. They have to struggle with sexual assaults, wage disparity, and unequal job opportunities.

Perhaps the most heinous crime against women is rape. In a male-dominated society, the crime does not receive the attention it should. Statistics tell the story. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.3 million women are sexually assaulted in the United States every year. Most rapes are never reported. On college campuses, one in four young women is raped during her time in higher education. Ninety-seven percent of rapists are never incarcerated.


IMDd: Majorité opprimée (2010)
A day in the life of a man suffering from everyday sexism in a world ruled by women.

IMDd: Eleonore Pourriat
Eleonore Pourriat is an actress and writer, known for Qui m'aime me suive (2006), Tu seras un homme (2013) and Our Precious Children (2003).

U.S. Census Bureau - Sep 17/2013
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012
In 2012, the median earnings of women who worked full time, year-round ($37,791) was 77 percent of that for men working full time, year-round ($49,398).

Center for Disease Control
Sexual Violence 2012
  • Nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.
  • Approximately 1 in 20 women and men (5.6% and 5.3%, respectively) experienced sexual violence other than rape, such as being made to penetrate someone else, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, or non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • Among female rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be intimate partners (51.1%), family members (12.5%), acquaintances (40.8%) and strangers (13.8%).
  • Among male rape victims, perpetrators were reported to be acquaintances (52.4%) and strangers (15.1%).

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Anonymous said...

Profoundly discomfiting.

D. A. Wolf said...

Pourriat's film makes the point starkly. Everyone should see this - and see it again, and again.