Le goût du mépris
The taste of contempt
Who, among us, has not experienced contempt at some point in their lives?
Based on real-life situations and testimonies confided in the strength of their truth, this essay proposes pictures of everyday life in which language reveals the hurtful power of contempt. Words or expressions taken from the banality of everyday life: «people of little means», «less than nothing» and other «invisibles», or scathing phrases that we did not see coming, are all arrows shot into the professional sphere, the social environment or the family’s closed door.
Why deal with a theme that rekindles suffering or anger? Knowing that we are not alone in having experienced a feeling of humiliation, that we are likely to experience it in any environment, that it inflicts a wound whose poison is slow to leave, is already the first step towards becoming aware of it and freeing ourselves from it.
There is no single answer to evacuate such a feeling, but this text wishes to give words to share painful episodes, sometimes laughing about them, in order to draw from the affront suffered the unsuspected strength to ward off contempt and emerge from it grown up.
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Contempt is heard in metamorphoses. It is no longer an apparent social construction, but it imposes itself all the more as a relational motor when it is exercised in environments where relaxation and open-mindedness are the order of the day. It slips in where it is not expected, where it is not seen. And if we try to destroy it where it is discovered, there is nothing to say that in another form, in another circumstance, it will not extend its malignity elsewhere and in another way.