“Domestic violence is 200,000 women per year who file complaints”: writer Philippe Besson explains why feminicide is not a news item: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

THE domestic violencethat’s 200,000 women per year who will file complaints. How do we manage to live with that? How do we manage to say to ourselves: ‘That’s it, and life is going well’.”

Philippe Besson is a writer and author of This is not a news item, a novel published in January 2023, by Julliard editions. It tells the story of a son learning that his mother died at the hands of his father. As a result, he decides to return to the family home where his little sister is waiting for him, having witnessed the tragedy. In a society where, today, femicides are classified among the news items, the writer explains why they are not one of them.

Femicides: a reflection of our society

For Philippe Besson, categorizing feminicides in this way is revealing. “It says something about us [en tant qu’individu] and us as a society.” He explains that femicide is above all a property crime. Here, it is the act of a man who cannot bear to see his wife escape from him, he believes. “It questions us about a society, which is itself founded on male domination, on male supremacy”. Often, to put an end to these crimes, we speak of a “crime of passion”. According to the writer, it is a term to be banned. What is a crime of passion? “It’s: ‘He loved her so much that he killed her.'” he explains. According to Philippe Besson, for years it was almost an extenuating circumstance. Because, certainly, he killed his wife, but the poor guy, he is in sorrow and mourning, so he does not deserve to be condemned in addition.

Furthermore, the writer discovered during the writing of the book that the families of the victims often recovered the houses as is: that is to say that the seals are always placed on the house and that even 12 to 18 months later, it was returned without cleaning the crime scene. “And so you cleanse the blood, of your mother”. With his book, Philippe Besson wanted to give importance and visibility to these children who are forgotten by history, to show to what extent they are the ones left behind.

Informed young generations

Among the people who most came to talk about his book and this subject with Philippe Besson, it was women, he says. “The men don’t come, or they stay behind. I say to myself: ‘What a failure’ “. According to him, the reasons can be multiple. It could be because they don’t feel concerned, because it’s too far for them, or quite simply because they have the impression that it’s is a women’s problem. “And as long as men think it’s a women’s problem, we’ll have a real problem.” affirms the writer. And Philippe Besson explains it by the fact that it is a social problem. Which means It is the men who commit the irreparable, they are the violent ones in this story. While at the same time, the women recommend the book to each other to allow freedom of speech on this subject.

Philippe Besson also has this feeling that the younger generations are entering a life where the relationship with women has been profoundly modified. Thanks to phenomena like #MeToo, for example, young people are finding out, learning, and speaking. The writer also explains that: “Women today do not internalize inferiority”. The relationship in a couple has evolved, as the writer says, the woman is not there to be submissive to her husband or partner. According to him, the younger generations have gotten rid of this toxic supremacy which continues to kill. However, he is also aware that it will still take time.

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