Male and female, seen from elsewhere


Without entering into the current debates, the Academy of Enrollments and Belles-Lettres dedicated, on November 30, his session of re-entry on the theme "Male-Female", approached from other cultures and historical periods. A welcome change of scenery

If some doubted that the Academy of the inscriptions and the bells were evolving at a different pace than ordinary mortals, they could only be convinced by the solemn return of this venerable institution, Friday, November 30th. Gathered under the umbrella to study the theme "Male-Female", the academicians dedicated the beginning of their meeting to the public reading of fifty awards, scholarships and medals released during the year. last to academic publications. A litany, following the tributes paid to the deceased members, which extended to the point that some members of the public had already fallen asleep before the start of work …

At the end of this long preamble of over an hour, the sparkling medievalist Michel Zink, perpetual secretary, has happily awakened the audience with humor, ensuring that the Academy will treat the male and female. " old topic like the world ", without entering in the quarrels of the day "And observing with them a neutrality worthy of Switzerland "No questions for the Academy of" get off in an already overpopulated, overheated and noisy arena to aggravate the cacophony ".

Free thought

Putting this theme on the agenda, however, was a way of recognizing the importance of this differentiation and its enigma, when some would like to pass it by loss and profit … " Because we feel bound by what we think today or by what we are prohibited, recommended or obliged to think "He asked Michel Zink, who expressed the wish that the exchanges of the day give" a foundation to the great impulse, sometimes clumsy, sometimes unwelcome, sometimes aggressive, but irrepressible, towards a world in which the relations between the two sexes would forbid the bond and fear. Good program …

Orientalist, Véronique Schiltz looked at the figure of " nomadic female In Asia of the first millennium BC, where he lived " cavalry, huntress, and occasionally warriors Nomad women who had fun " of a state that made them equal to men Has explained.

Plato, "the first true thinker of gender equality"

For its part, the Hellenist Monique Trédé tried to find out whether classical antiquity had thought about gender equality. The work of Semonide by Amorgos (VIIis century before J.C.) would suggest rather to have reached peaks in the misogyny, the "poet" evokes eight "animal portraits" of the woman, among which " the bitch woman, always spying and barking without consenting to hear anything "Or the" ape-woman the worst of all, repulsive and ridiculous, without chest or buttocks, always looking for quarrel "… A little help to find on the side of Aristophanes or Plautus that makes one of the characters of the Cistellaria, evoking a woman who has passed from life to death: "It was the first time she was happy with her husband" ! In Aristotle, female inferiority is based on biological criteria: " The principle of movement, that is to say the male, is for the beings who are born the best and the most divine while the female is the matter ", he wrote.

Debate: should we generalize inclusive writing?

In this cold ocean of misogyny, one can however warm himself up in the sun of Plato. Monique Trédé paid tribute to " first true thinker of gender equality For those who are only one difference in nature: the little girl woman and the man generates "For the rest, women should be able – or not, according to their gifts – to practice medicine, gymnastics and war, philosophy and even become state guardians.

In the Bible, a God who understands the otherness of masculine and feminine

After this journey in ancient Greece, the biblical Thomas Römer took the audience into the universe of the Hebrew Bible, showing how the two stories of Genesis " reflect on the necessity but also on the difficulty of this otherness between masculine and feminine".

Thomas Römer was particularly interested in the first account of creation (Genesis, chapter 1) in which the word God is designated by a plural (Elohim). The biblical scholar explained that this plural could reflect a divine couple, the god of Israel having been revered in a very distant time in the company of a goddess named Ashera, a goddess whose memory was later erased when the goddess figure emerged. the only God. " The God "elohim" thus expresses a unity that includes in it the diversity of the representations of the divine and also the otherness of the masculine and feminine. stressed Thomas Römer. One could even speak of an "inclusive monotheism" for which the only god can also be represented by a divine couple"At a time when the woman had to submit to the man, the idea seems revolutionary … She is still today …

A multisecular institution

Academy of inscriptions and farms comes from a small council of humanists, members of the French Academy, which Colbert decided, in February 1663, to meet regularly to receive opinions concerning in particular the Latin inscriptions placed on monuments or the types of medals intended to celebrate the events of the kingdom .

At the moment has 55 academics and 40 foreign collaborators.

It focuses mainly the scientific study of monuments, documents, languages ​​and cultures of the civilizations of antiquity, the Middle Ages and the classical age, as well as orientalism.

Rens. :

Elodie Maurot


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