At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, intersectional feminists in France turned to social media to denounce the racism, misogyny, and sexual harassment that have plagued the French film industry and society at large for generations. Although their activism had started long before the pandemic with the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements, the online debates they initiated during the March–May 2020 lockdown (when it became illegal to march, protest, or simply gather in public) reached new and larger audiences beyond their own feminist and artistic spheres. Social media posts and actions by Aïssa Maïga, Rokhaya Diallo, Noémie de Lattre, and comedy duo Camille et Justine elicited strong reactions from opposing parties, notably the “masculinistes” and the “féministes identitaires.” This article highlights these artists’ intersectional discourses, along with the verbal violence they endure online, and ponders the question of equity in terms of digital access and literacy.
Claire Mouflard is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Hamilton College (Clinton, NY). She has published articles on the topics of immigration and migration, French and francophone literature and cinema, and the publishing industry in Romance Notes, Women in French, Cinémas, and Humanities. She is the author of Ethnic Minority Women's Writing in France: Publishing Practices and Identity Formation (Lexington Books, 2020).