L’équipe de France de natation artistique visée par des commentaires “salaces, racistes et misogynes” pour une photo sur les réseaux sociaux

L’équipe de France de natation artistique visée par des commentaires "salaces, racistes et misogynes" pour une photo sur les réseaux sociaux

The laughter of Mathilde Vignères, which punctuates the exchange, contrasts with the rapid flow that reveals the latent annoyance of her teammate, Manon Disbeaux. But the feeling is the same: an intense anger shared by the two athletes. After winning three bronze medals at the European Swimming Championships in Rome, the swimmers of the French artistic swimming team leave the athlete aside to return to an event that occurred just before the start of the competition.

>> European Swimming Championships 2022: with its bronze medal, French artistic swimming finally opens a new chapter in its history

As a manager, the former captain of the Bleues, Solène Lusseau, supporting screenshots, took it upon herself to denounce the comments”salacious, racist and misogynist” who invaded one of the posts of the French team, moments before the competition, in a story published on social networks on Wednesday, August 17. “Yes, artistic swimming is a presentation sport where the body and aesthetics are important, she says. But there is no reason to talk about these young women in this way.”

“These comments are shameful and too serious to ignore as they still reveal huge issues with the mindset and oversexualization of women.”

Solène Lusseau, former captain of the France national team

on social networks

We posted this photo during our first training on the site, it was former swimmers and teammates who saw the comments coming in and sent them to us“, remembers Mathilde in franceinfo.

You should know that all the social networks of the team are managed by the swimmers. The comments, we see them”adds Charlotte Tremble. “It pissed us off, it disgusted us, but we tried not to extend ourselves too much to focus on the competition, where we had strong objectives. The old ones took over to answer, share, they served as a buffer”Mathilde continues.

If the swimmers are not very surprised to receive this type of messages, their number and the profile of the authors that they were able to identify, because they are public, have marked them deeply. “These are people, men, who are old enough to have girls our age, that seems even more horrible to me.Charlotte confesses.

“They are only men, 40, 50 years old, father of a family. The eldest of the team at 24 years old, could well be our parents. The good thing is that no young person has written a comment like ”

Mathilde Vignères, swimmer of the French artistic swimming team

in france info

By denouncing the comments, the medalists could see new criticism flourish against them from certain Internet users, including a famous “But you’re on social media, it was to be expected.”It’s no more acceptable in society than it is on social media!” they reply unanimously before emphasizing to what extent the use of networks is necessary for the visibility of their sport. “It’s not a very publicized sport, so it opens a small window or even a big door for people who follow us.”Charlotte explains. “Artistic swimming in France is struggling to be recognized as a high-level sport, Full manon. People find it hard to see beyond the entertainment side, the shine, the excess of makeup, the smile that you have to put on to make everything look easy. It is something that we try to deconstruct by highlighting our daily lives.

“It’s too easy to say: it’s the social networks, it’s the mentalities, we can’t change them like that… If we don’t fight on our own small scale, it will never change.”

Manon Disbeaux, swimmer of the French artistic swimming team

in france info

However, these comments are “less present than messages of support“, notes Charlotte. The Blues quickly received the Olympic champion and three-time European judo champion Romane Dicko.”Sexist, racist, misogynistic comments, etc. (…) Is it 2022 and people still find it normal to make these kinds of comments? So an athlete can’t just do her sport without being sexualized? So a woman can’t just exist, without being sexualized?asked the friend of the Aspen sisters and a resident of the Insep. “His reaction moved us very much although we were not surprised. That is also and above all what we look for in social networks, to communicate with people who understand us and support us.“, says Mathilde.

A sign of support that feeds a brotherhood between athletes that is increasingly visible among this new generation of athletes. “Romane Dicko is here the perfect illustration of these themes of brotherhood and the new generation of athletes.confirms sports historian Marion Philippe. Romane Dicko often denounces this kind of thing. Not long ago, Rénelle Lamote did the same by denouncing a Junkyard Dog Behavior‘, to which we often have the right as a woman on the street and, she, as an athlete.

Marion Philippe continues:againstThe interesting thing is that tennis players, for example, sometimes denounce this type of thing without having an activist position, which is also denounced by certain sociologists such as Christine Mennesson or Béatrice Barbusse. The athletes or sportswomen do not declare themselves feminists as if it were a dirty word and, nevertheless, sometimes they pronounce themselves. Until recently, women who denounced this type of behavior were no longer necessarily active, so seeing this new generation active and beginning to support their peers is important. An evolution in which social networks –again them–, due to their ability to make visible and “link”, are not innocent.

>> When high-level athletes are subject to the dictates of physical beauty, visibility criteria and therefore performance

By speaking out in this way, swimmers hope to simultaneously raise awareness about comments that may seem innocuous, but contribute to a hypersexualization of their bodies.

“The problem is that we always return athletes to their bodies and not to their performance”

Mathilde Vigneres

in france info

In the lot there was also ‘You are very beautiful, girls.’ At first, I said to myself: well, that’s fine… But in fact, when we look at the published photos of a male athlete, we will never say: ‘You’re handsome’. And it will come even less from other menMathilde continues. rather we will say ‘Oh, you’re too strong’, ‘Good luck’….

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