Man and his harem of sellers of candles

News 26 January, 2018
  • Illustration Philippe Melbourne Dufour

    Marjorie Champagne

    Friday, 26 January, 2018 05:00

    Friday, 26 January, 2018 05:00

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    Have you ever considered that symbolically, the Bonhomme Carnaval is the king of a harem made up of young women who are working to sell the candle, promotional item, which funds the event? Don’t you find it strange? Retrograde? Misogynist? Paternalistic? Unfair?

    You may already know, I am the co-founder of the Revengeance of the duchesses. For many years, I am interested in the Carnival of Quebec city and its women representatives: the duchesses. Contrary to what you might think, the duchesses, and the ex-duchesses have all my admiration.

    They have used, and still use today, the platform that offers them the Carnival to occupy the public space. They have become, and are still today, the proud representatives of the different boroughs of the City of Quebec.

    I kid more, and since always, it is the organizers of the contest of the duchesses. Today (fortunately!), many women are involved in the selection of candidates, but it has not always been the case. Just watch the NFB documentary, The sun has no chance, done in 1975 by Robert Favreau, to see that several criteria of selection were the physical of the women.

    First of all, at the time, when you receive the aspiring duchesses, to be called by numbers. One of the members of the selection committee (consisting mainly of men) commented on “the number” 61 by saying this: “They were beautiful, his smile!”…Other times, other customs! #boys_club

    The men of the committee, “selection of the duchesses” were organizing at the time, a show featuring the aspiring duchesses. These men, who are not much older than the young women, are the stage directors and artistic directors.

    Therefore, they give instructions to the candidates, direct them, and even go to their prescribed way of washing hair : “…on the evening of the show, if you have oily hair, you wash just before you leave home.”. Young women do not decide absolutely nothing by themselves. They are totally infantilisées. #paternalism.

    The best scene of the film, it is the visiting duchesses to the city hall of Quebec City. A gang of “Guys” take photos, observe the young women carefully, laughing handsomely, throw glances. For the official photo, the duchesses around very close to the mayor of Quebec city, and the fellows laugh out loud!

    We guess their desires…The photographer asked the duchesses to surround the mayor, to surround him even more closely and still more closely. A man mustache insists that the two duchesses that are located on each side of the political man to kiss her on both cheeks, at the same time. They run. The Mayor is thrilled!

    Click! Photo. The mustache releases then the duchesses: “It’s beautiful girls, it is finished for today.” #consent

    In fact, Mr. mustache, it should be finished and since a long time, but the Carnival of 2018 continues to use young women to sell its spark plug. Why? Because it makes you fantasize the Snowmen? Otherwise, why does it not men, trans, queer? And why is there an age limit? The Carnival has a nice bulging chest, and to stipulate that the contest of the duchesses has evolved, to share the$ 2,000 of compensation for a work that deserves without a doubt the triple, I desperately looking for the evidence…

    All I see new is the use of the label “entrepreneurship” for it to pass better.