“Sexual aggression is very serious,” says Lieve Blancquaert.

“Sexual aggression is very serious,” says Lieve Blancquaert. ©   FB

Positive, but also very cassant reactions. These fell to Lieve Blancquaert in recent weeks as a result of her One series Let’s talk about sex. And then the final episode on sexual assault is yet to come. “And for that I stay close to home, because it is also a problem with us.”

“I have been traveling around the world in recent weeks and have looked around how sex and love are handled. For the episode on sexual violence, I look, so to speak, at what is happening in front of my own door, in Ghent. We like to point to other cultures and quickly have our opinion ready, but the problem of sexual violence also exists with us. And everyone knows someone who has had to deal with it. Sexually transgressive behavior does not so much come from dirty old men in the bushes, but usually from people in your environment,” says Lieve Blancquaert (58).

In tonight’s broadcast, the TV maker and photographer starts from a study that finds that eight out of ten women in Flanders are confronted with sexual aggression. She talks to victims, perpetrators and aid workers, but also passers-by on the street. “I had a fascinating conversation with a group of young people in the park about how you experience sexual aggression and what it does to someone. Often it leads to anxiety and behavioral changes that have a huge impact on your life. All too often it is minimized, especially when it comes to hands-off sexual violence. By that I mean yelling, sexting, sending unwanted emails and text messages. Watch out, you won’t hear me say you can’t compliment a woman anymore. I still like it when someone tells me I look good or sexy. But it has to be sympathetic and respectful.”

Lieve Blancquaert has been able to speak about respect – in particular the lack of it – since Let’ talk about sex running on television. “I have already received reactions where the politeness was sometimes hard to find. I got quite a bit over me. Just now, a man commented that it was ‘a shame that I showed on TV how boys are raised to be gay’. He thought I was screwing the world and that my bullshit should be over. (laughs) The man referred to last week’s episode about Iceland. It started with a kindergarten where boys are also taught girl things. Rub their hands with cream, for example, or give each other a loving compliment. Fortunately, I received many more comments from kindergarten teachers who told me that they would bring elements from the broadcast into their class.” (jdr)

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