Child abuse: investigation against author Matzneff
The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into child abuse against writer Gabriel Matzneff following the release of a book by publisher Vanessa Springora. In her book, Springora accuses Matzneff of forcing her into a sexual relationship when she was 14 and he was 50. In the past Matzneff made no secret of the fact that he was attracted to minors. What do the media have to say about the affair?
No more apologies
Matzneff's behavior should not be excused on the grounds that times were different back then, sociologist Eglantine Jamet writes in Le Temps:
“That's a dismaying argument that could be used to justify anything: slavery, Nazism and so on. It's also a distortion of reality. Yes, there was a small milieu of artists and writers who supported such ideas, but they were by no means representative. Once again we're seeing a huge gap between the elites and the rest of society. ... If we don't want to be horrified every few months by new discoveries of sexual violence and the impunity enjoyed by some, it's clearly time to stop making excuses, face reality, take responsibility and, above all, educate others.”
The invention of a new crime
Charles-Henri d'Elloy finds the belated prosecution of the author unacceptable. In an editorial for the right-wing news websiteBoulevard Voltaire, he writes:
“What I cannot bear is to see an elderly man being lynched and voices in his defence going unheard in these times when the law punishes admiring whistles on the streets. There are worse things than vices, namely lifelong persecution. ... Our era has invented a new crime that cannot be time-barred: retroactive immorality. Gabriel Matzneff was never convicted for the shameful deeds for which those who despise him denounce him. Since they were unable to put Oscar Wilde, André Gide, Thomas Mann, Jean Cocteau or Henry de Montherlant on trial, the amateurish public prosecutors are now bearing down on Gabriel Matzneff.”