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Stop fiddling with statue chests, thanks

In Germany, an association launched an awareness campaign against sexist and sexual violence in early April, placing large signs behind statues whose chests have been discolored by the repeated touching of passers-by.

If you’ve ever walked the Butte Montmartre in Paris, you may have come across a bronze statue of Dalida. And it won’t have escaped your notice that, unlike the rest of the sculpture, her chest is golden. This is not a stylistic effect; it is the trace of human hands that remained on the musician’s breasts, causing their oxidation.

This may seem anecdotal, but it is not. It is the visible trace of the way female bodies are treated, that is, as objects of entertainment serving male desire. Sad allegory of a society where sexual violence is common and where women’s consent is too often violated.

An awareness campaign launched in Germany

In Dublin, Berlin, Bremen and even Munich several statues of female figures suffered the same fate. So much so that awareness campaigns have been launched in Ireland and Germany to encourage passers-by to leave the sculptures alone.

Across the Rhine, at the beginning of April the Terre des femmes association launched a large poster campaign entitled “Don’t silence violence” (“Lever l’omerta” in French). Behind the statue of Juliet Capulet in Monaco, that of The youthin Bremen, e The Rhinewoman in Berlin, large white panels have been installed on which the slogan is revealed “Sexual harassment leaves its mark”.

Asked by BFMTVSina Tonk, project manager of the NGO, explains that traces of wear are visible on these statues “illustrate concretely what women experience on a daily basis”. In Germany, 2 out of 3 women will suffer sexual violence in their lifetime, recalls the latter.

Trivializing sexual violence

Touching the breasts of these statues is like miming to sexual violence. It is also an act that trivializes sexual violence against women, making these attacks a source of entertainment. Photos of joyful passers-by, proudly posing with a hand on the chest of these sculptures, are commonplace on social networks.

However, this” joke » (which is more like uninhibited misogyny) is not light; it legitimizes a system of impunity in which men can afford to dispose of women’s bodies and use them as they wish. Even more so, in this specific case, since it is a statue, which, essentially, will never have a say in the matter, not being able to verbalize a “no”. This is a sadly significant allegory: it demonstrates the silence women are forced into when their consent is ignored.

The Terre de Femmes association has also included a QR code on its posters that links to a video in which the affected statues speak and denounce this unsolicited contact. But if they could have spoken, would they have been listened to? Nothing is less safe.


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Source: Madmoizelle

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