France Looks Hard at Pols Gone Wild

Female politicians get catcalls, abusive language
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2011 3:30 AM CDT
France Looks Hard at Pols Gone Wild
A woman taking part in a protest against sexism, rape and sexual crimes in Paris on May 22. French women's groups outraged by the political and media reaction to the sexual assault allegations against Dominique Strauss-Kahn organized the protest.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)

(Newser) – The Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case in New York has French society taking a hard look at sexist politicians like never before, reports the Telegraph. "[I]f all those who mix power and sex had to account for their actions, half of our [male] politicians would be in trouble," said one female cabinet minister. Other female politicians have come forward to complain about receiving catcalls and abusive language in the National Assembly for their clothes. "A kind of infantilization of women reigns in parliament that I had never seen before," says a Parisian MP.

The heat on sexist politicians turned up higher Sunday, after a government minister was forced to resign because two former employees accused him of sexual assault. "I think that there are a lot of (male politicians) who must be a touch stressed right now," says Rachita Dati, a former member of Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet. "Many will be looking at their shoes and saying to themselves: 'I hope to goodness we can move on to something else.'" (Read more French politics stories.)

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