Introductory speech by Tatiana F. Salomon, co-president of #JamaisSansElles.
Symposium “For Shared Governance, #JamaisSansElles, Gender Equality in Action”, Hôtel de Lassay, National Assembly, 17 June 2019.
Paris, 17 June 2019, National Assembly
In a passage from Dostoievsky’s The Idiot, Hippolyte Terentiev, a rebellious young man who suffers from tuberculosis, questions Prince Mychkine, who is considered an ‘idiot’ in the eyes of men because he views the world with empathy and innocence: “Is it true, prince, that you once said that ‘beauty will save the world’?”
The prince-idiot helps us understand indeed that it is beauty that will save the world: if this beauty carries within it GOODNESS. Only then will the world be saved.
But what does Beauty / Goodness have to do with #JamaisSansElles?
As Montaigne says, I give my opinion here, not as good, but as mine. So here it is: I believe, like the idiot (being an idiot myself), that authentic Beauty opens our heart to Goodness. To nostalgia for the light. To the deep desire to know. To love. To reach out to Others. To what is beyond our little selves. To freedom, equality and fraternity.
I sincerely believe that if we let Beauty / Goodness touch us deeply and open our eyes, we will rediscover the deep meaning of LIFE, the joy of sharing and of real commitment.
And then, as Levinas says, we will feel responsible, individually responsible, for everything and everyone, including the planet.
True beauty, that is goodness, soothes, heals and restores harmony. It invites us to come face-to-face, side by side, TOGETHER.
To leave aside our desire for power, possession and domination.
To let ourselves be touched by this question of the other, and others, which is the very meaning of being human, as Levinas teaches us.
Finally, if beauty is to “save the world”, it is because it is associated with GOODNESS, equal rights, benevolence, reconciliation.
So, what does Beauty / Goodness have to do with #JamaisEllesElles?
EVERTHING, to my mind! ”
Photos : Harry Matenaer et Jean Mulatier.