Florence Porcel and the gag of shame

Book. Let’s take stock: what do we really know about Florence Porcel? We know that she accuses the one she nicknames ” the predator “ of having raped her not once, but twice (Patrick Poivre d’Arvor denies all the charges brought against him). That she was the first to file a complaint. That the media response from her alleged attacker seemed so unbearable to other women that some came out of the shadows to say: “I don’t know Florence Porcel, but I believe her because the same thing happened to me. » We know, finally, that a former friend with whom she corresponded for a long time delivered her to her lions by communicating their written exchanges, destabilizing vulgarity and shamelessness, in defense of the accused.

What we didn’t know until then was how Florence Porcel – who had begun to tell her story in a roman à clef, Pandorini (JC Lattès), published two years ago – suffered these successive shocks. On reading Shame, we discover that under his skull partly made of titanium (following a trepanation suffered in adolescence), there is a mind of steel. Even though she is at the origin and at the heart of the maelstrom, the author strives to detach herself from the facts she denounces in order to list and analyze everything that surrounds them. Starting with this famous feeling of shame, of which she resurrects the memory of the first stinging burns inflicted on her as a child to dismantle the muzzling mechanism.

“Strong as a woman”

Her reflection, almost pedagogical, follows the path that made her understand that she was only one representative among others of a feminine universal steeped in the denial of rights and invisibilization – part of a whole. By sharing her discovery, and without trying to intellectualize it, she helps to understand the culture of rape and the macho impregnation of our psyches. It is not insignificant, moreover, that the journalist and novelist uses so much of ” I “that of the rape victim known as such, that of the ” we “ which includes him in a society still unable to see the victims of sexist and sexual violence for what they are. Florence Porcel was not born a feminist, she became one, by the force of events and her need to overcome them. For lack of finding a qualifier that suits her, she invented her expression: of her, she will now say that she is “strong as a woman”.

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This demonstration with the false air of pleading allows him to pursue his other goal: to give his version of the facts, without intermediary, without the interruption of the comments, before the possible trial which will not fail to shred it again. With this book without pathos, Florence Porcel appeals to reason rather than passion, arouses reflection rather than compassion. We do not know if the burden of his sentence is lightened. But here it is laid down, and exposed to the eyes of those who want to know before judging.

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