The "custodians of the French language" are reportedly on the verge of enacting a linguistic “revolution” by finally accepting that job titles take the feminine form. Members of the Académie Française - created in 1635 to "fix the French language, giving it rules, rendering it pure and comprehensible by all” - had refused to accept that words such as “professeur” (teacher) or ingénieur (engineer) be made “professeure” or “ingénieure” for women.
"Each chapter addresses existential questions for women, questions they are still asking themselves today," said Prof Parmentier. "While some say that you have to throw out the Bible to be a feminist, we believe the opposite.”
Gallantry, which first appeared in France in the mid-17th century as a code of conduct between the sexes in high society and an art form, may have provided subservient women with a modicum of empowerment at the time but its legacy is perpetuating gender inequality.
"We have not found any public action in France on this issue. The fight against 'grossophobia' is conspicuously absent from the fight against discrimination," Helene Bidard, head of gender equality and discrimination at Paris town hall, told Buzzfeed. Activists, bloggers, academics, health practitioners, education professionals, fashion and garment industry representatives will take part in two panel discussions.
Henry Samuel / The Independent
A far-Right French mayor has been accused of exploiting the death of a woman who was tied to rail tracks by featuring it in his campaign to bring high speed TGV trains to his town. The "misogynistic" posters that Robert Ménard plastered around Béziers, southwestern France, depict a woman tied to the tracks with the slogan: "With the TGV, she would have suffered less." The image has appalled women's rights activists because they say it tactlessly exploits a true-life incident in which a local man murdered his wife by tying her to the tracks before throwing himself under a train.
Mrs Macron said: "I'm very happy that women are speaking out. It could be a cloud with a silver lining." She added: "That's enough. I think that all this (harassment) must stop very quickly. Freeing up speech is the best thing that could happen. (The women who speak out) are very brave to do so. I urge them to break their silence. It's wonderful. Something is happening, really."