Postcard from... Paris


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The Independent Online

An online campaign against sexism could be an uphill struggle in France. This is a country where nobody bats an eyelid at bus stops plastered with women parading their cleavages in bra adverts.

But who can blame three French women for trying? Their website, inspired by the British website, was launched on Tuesday. By Wednesday more than 5,000 “activists against sexism” had registered. It intends to pressure public figures, brands and organisations into stepping back from taking a sexist stand through campaigns on social media. Macholand says it does not take up private disputes and rejects hate speech.

Organisers said it was set up because “sexism continues to be thickly spread over our screens and newspapers or in the statements of public officials”. They added: “Most of the time we are told that it’s a joke, or that we haven’t understood.” Macholand’s current targets include Ariel washing detergent ads, which are “still all about mummies”.

Le Figaro accused the website of “harassment”. “By wading into symbolic struggles and the ideology of the sex war, these gender zealots are looking away from the most concrete and urgent struggles,” the paper opined.