French women journalists cyberbullied
In France it has emerged that journalists in the Facebook group Ligue du LOL (League of LOL) have organised sexist and racist cyberbullying against female colleagues for several years. The attacks by members of the largely male League were exposed by French daily Libération as well as reports by victims on Twitter. What are the causes of this hate-driven online behaviour, and how can it be combatted?
Fight sexism in people's minds
The revelation of the scandal marks an important step in the fight against sexism, Le Courrier believes:
“The scandal surrounding the LOL league shows that it is no longer socially acceptable to call a female colleague a 'hussy' or to belittle her with inappropriate remarks or humiliating photo montages. We'll see whether those who are reacting with indignation to this 'league' will in future speak out against sexist jokes when they hear them, instead of submitting to group dynamics. Then one step will remain: the one where men - even when they get together in their little groups - no longer even try to consolidate their power in this way, because it will no longer even occur to them to treat a female colleague - or an unknown woman on the Internet - in this way. The growing awareness is a positive sign. Now it's time to decolonise people's minds and rid them of their sexist reflexes.”
A huge blow to the media's reputation
A privileged and ideologically-minded caste has forged political debate in France by means of its power base, economist Paul Godefrood writes in Le Figaro:
“It decides what's reasonable, and has made agreement with certain postulates a prerequisite for access to democratic debate. And among these postulates is the sexualisation and racialisation of human relations: the very postulates expressed in what they write. ... Today the removal of the veil that masked their past activities not only disqualifies them but also disqualifies their entire rhetoric which, under the cover of scientific rigour, journalistic objectivity and neutrality, we now see for what it has always been: a militant stance and an ideological bias which they will defend until their dying day.”