The second wave of the #moiaussi movement, last summer on social networks, shook the entire artistic community in Quebec. As 2020 draws to a close, return to this electroshock with Cœur de pirate, an artist who has decided to go from words to action, by offering to buy her record company, Dare To Care, at the heart of the controversy .
Marc Cassivi (M. C.): Five months later, when we think back to the words of those who denounced their attackers, what do we remember? Was it worth it?
Cœur de pirate (C. d. P.): I think so. There was a real cleaning done this summer. A few years ago, when the #metoo movement started, there was a lot of talk about Weinstein, big influential monsters, but less about what happens here every day. Afterwards, did it go well? Did we put everyone in the same basket? Have we made enough of the difference between what is very serious and what is a little less so? Maybe not. But there was a denunciation of a culture, which was very important and necessary. We live in a world where there are a lot of things generally accepted in terms of sexism and “double standards”. There was an accumulation of all of this. We are in 2020, the attention has been more focused on the injuries that we have suffered over the years. There was a collective fed up. I think that set the record straight.
MC: There was, as you say, generalized fed up with the idea that when you’re famous, you’re a star or have a certain notoriety, you can afford anything and get away with it.
C. dp: There are people who thought they were above everything. Their behavior has been excused a lot by saying: “So-and-so is like that “. Those who ended up on the list, there are several with whom I had already had rather unpleasant altercations. They weren’t necessarily people close to me. I was happy to know that I was not the only one to have felt uneasy in their company. I told myself that I was not crazy. There is a lot of that too. When we raise our voice because we have had experiences of this kind, we are often put down. We are told that we are difficult and that we will not want to work with us if we dare to denounce. It happens a lot in Quebec, but it’s even worse in France. It cost me a lot of things.
M. C .: Did you feel the effects of the backlash when you spoke, two or three years ago, that you had been sexually assaulted?
C. dp: I don’t know how to explain it… What I experienced as a victim of sexual assault, a victim of rape, is very personal. I dealt with it my way, to find inner peace. It was a big realization on the part of the person who put me through this. All the denunciations this summer have triggered a lot of things in me. I understand that people needed to talk about it in detail and say what happened, but for those who were victims of assault, it was not easy. I experienced the same thing, this triggering, when the details of the Rozon case were released. I was not alone. I think the media should take this into consideration, but I can’t blame people for saying exactly what happened to them. It is important to understand the seriousness of the actions. And so that we can heal collectively. In the end, after the denunciations, it is in the actions, in the continuation of things, that we will see a real change. And it starts from the very top.
M. C .: You talk about concrete actions and gestures. You yourself meant [il y a quatre mois] your intention to buy Dare To Care [dans la tourmente depuis des allégations d’inconduite sexuelle visant Bernard Adamus]. Where are you in this process?
C. dp: It’s a very long process! People who buy companies know what I’m going through right now. People have to be forgiving, and I think they are. I did this because I have a bit of Saint Bernard syndrome: I want to save everyone! Just because someone has done something wrong doesn’t mean everyone has to fall for them. I don’t want to defend Eli [Bissonnette, propriétaire du label], but the fact that he decides to sell the company to whoever he thinks it should come back to says a lot in my opinion. He could have sold it to the highest bidder. I am not completely in favor of “cancel culture”. To “cancel” a person is to run the risk that they feel trapped and find refuge in a dark corner with people who think only like them. Seems dangerous to me. This is not what we want. I don’t know if people can always change, but we have to give them the chance, over time – I’m not talking about three or six months – to learn from their mistakes.
M. C .: We can believe in a form of rehabilitation for some, otherwise there is little hope for humanity …
C. dp: It obviously depends for whom and the degree of the fault! There are people who have done awful things, for too long, and I don’t know if I believe in rehabilitation for them. But we should not put everyone in the same package. You have to make a balance between the guy who behaved toxic with his ex and decides to go to therapy, the guy who put his seed in a glass of water and the rapist. There are also some who have lost a lot this year. Let them go their own way. Should we welcome them right away? I do not think so. Should they end up in the public eye? I do not know. I think last summer karma got it right. There is a whole culture to change.
M. C .: What has sometimes blown me is the lack of empathy for the victims. We can think what we want about the story of Safia Nolin and Maripier Morin, but by what twisted logic, by what incredible diversion of meaning, Maripier Morin, who has recognized the essence of what he is accused of, became the victim in this case? There was a petition of 100,000 people in less than a week demanding “justice for Maripier Morin” …
C. dp: Collectively, people see a beautiful animator who shows a side of her that corresponds to the standards accepted by society. This is not the case for Safia. His way of wearing clothes, his sexual orientation are less in accordance with the norms of the society. So we don’t believe her. She received death threats! She didn’t feel safe at home. She did not feel safe in Quebec! I understand that people had nothing to do this year, but who are they to judge what Safia went through? It’s easier to hate what you don’t know. Because we do projection. Let me give you another example: when I dated a trans person, my God people had things to say! They couldn’t believe the little girl they had always known was going through this. We could talk about it for a long time, but there is a hatred of women that is expressed there. The more we are accepted by patriarchal society, the less consequences we suffer.
M. C .: That’s what allowed Donald Trump to say: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, [même] grab them by the pussy. “And to be elected President of the United States a month later …
C. dp: People like that, who say this kind of thing in public, have a huge influence. It wakes up other people who say the same kind of dangerous words. That’s what scares me. I love Double occupation. It is a reflection of society. But there are things that are said there, sometimes, which may seem harmless, which will awaken and validate similar comments in certain spectators. It contributes to the culture of rape. We will do everything not to agree with the victim and discredit her. That’s why the victims don’t always dare to speak out.
M. C .: Do you sometimes regret your own speech, two years later?
C. dp: I have never regretted taking any position or coming out. As much as I have had threats of all kinds, there have been people who wrote to me and spoke to me in the street to thank me for speaking out, because they know better who they are or because they can tell their parents about it thanks to me. It is worth more than anything. I realize that today – at the beginning I didn’t quite understand it: it is useless to be known, to have a voice and not to use it. It is a waste.