Simone and Beyoncé in college

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At the Paul Éluard secondary school in Garges-lès-Gonesse (95), three members of the educational team have made gender equality their standard. In this college of 620 students, labeled REP+, Goundo Diawara – CPE, Marion Jasseron – history/geography/EMC teacher, and Eugénie Momeux – Modern literature teacher, do not hesitate to upset the representations of their pupils and invite them talking about emancipation and equality during a workshop.

A picture containing wall, person, interior Description automatically generatedWork with students
While Emmanuel Macron declared equality between women and men “great national cause” of the quinquennium, the Paul Éluard college has already housed a club for 6 years ” From Simone to Beyoncé », which allows students to debate and discuss all topics related to gender-based and sexual violence.

Goundo Diawara tells us “ We wanted a name that hits, with icons that speak to students. This allowed us to introduce them to the two Simones, but also for what they represent for the students. This club was also born in connection with our sensitivities and their personal commitments. And just because we’re in Garges doesn’t mean we need that. It is of universal importance “. For Eugénie Momeux, the challenge of such a project was important:“I felt that when there were subjects like that, there was material to deconstruct. Recruitment went like this: look, you! It would be interesting if you repeated what you just said on Friday evening at 6:00 p.m.! “. ” At the very beginning it was not production, but more exchanges, deconstruction, debate adds Marion Jasseron.

Discuss, deconstruct, question, debate

Every Friday at 6:00 p.m., pupils from 6° to 3° get together with their teachers and CPE Posters, word of mouth, visits to classes… the number of pupils taking part in the club continues to increase. The teachers are surprised by the motivation and the success of the project. One of the objectives is to offer a benevolent space for the students to speak.

The first meetings were not production, but rather exchanges and questions. The goal is also to strengthen and sharpen the eyes of students on sexist and sexual violence.. “says Goundo Diawara.

For Eugénie Momeux, it is important to make the students actors in the project: “ We started as much as possible with their questions, their desires, what was happening in the news, in class, in their lives, a reflection that had not pleased a student”.

Another objective, to make known women in history, to review history through the prism of feminist figures who have marked it. ” To help them deconstruct their representations, we watched commercials, to strengthen their gaze, and adopt a different perspective in relation to what they saw. explains Goundo Diawara.

Several final projects were carried out: collages for the day of March 8, banners, mini-demonstrations, sensitization in the classes. Actions carried out by the students themselves.

Talk to heal

For some students, this space has become a space for therapy and freedom of speech.

The obvious condition for the functioning of the club is that the word is welcomed in an open, free and benevolent way. Talk about your anger, understand it and above all: make it legitimate. “I think back to a young girl who went through terrible and difficult things. She produced an extraordinary text – Woman believes in you! – who spoke about his situation and domestic violence. She plastered it everywhere in college,” explains Goundo Diawara. ” The students come from 6th to 3rd, with their questions, their personal stories, and sometimes even chilling testimonies adds Marion Jasseron.

Abortion, menstruation, LGBT issues, you name it. ” A kid, without saying that he was homosexual, provoked laughter and mockery. When he was told his shorts were too short, and he pulled them up even more “. For these students, it is an essential space.

The club has also become a support for patent tests. The students spent their oral on productions – podcast, video on feminicides, interviews – processed at the club.

As women, it is important for the two teachers and the CPE that the students can hear “What you went through there is not normal”. “Unfortunately, we experience the same things as adult women when we appear in the public space, even if it is not on the same scales” insists Goundo Diawara.

One of the highlights of the club was marked by the arrival of Afro-feminist director Amandine Gay. The students were able to discover with admiration his documentary Open the voice” which gives voice to black women in France. “ I came out just as moved and upset as the students confides with emotion Goundo Diawara. The actress and playwright Noémie Delattre also came to talk about the clitoris, orgasm and feminism. ” The students loved his play! We had been hot because she used raw words! But they retained a lot of things and that’s the main thing. I know that the word ‘clitoris’ was a discovery for some! » reveals Eugenie Momeux.

Educate boys?

A few boys came out of curiosity, even out of provocation” says Goundo Diawara. ” Even if there were more girls than boys, we still had a cohort of boys who came for 4 years” insists the CPE. They learned a lot anyway. They came, listened, did not necessarily speak but were assiduous “.

Gabrielle Bonhomme

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Simone and Beyoncé in college