Lili Boisvert | Power play

With MatchLili Boisvert sheds a bright light on the birth of an abusive relationship and the way it insinuates into everyday spaces until it fills all the time.

Published on March 15th

Iris Gagnon Paradise

Iris Gagnon Paradise
The press

Emilie, the narrator of Match, is a journalist, a assertive feminist and fearless. She talks about her progress in the media world and her entry into the public sphere while hosting a radio show and preparing a concept for a TV show with her colleague Audrey, two overtly feminist projects.

Positions that are not the best “branding” to please men agree character. “I was well aware that my professional choices would have consequences for my privacy, but I had decided that it would not stop me. »

Does the topo tell you anything? Impossible by reading this novel not to create the connection between Émilie and Lili Boisvert who made a name for herself by animating SEXplora and The Brutes, with Judith Lussier. In this story, the character tells how on a dating site she “matches” with Ludwig, a man who, under his charming and caring airspace, hides an abusive, controlling and manipulative behavior.

Autofiction? “It is deliberate to present this story in the form of a novel. I do not want to specify the percentage of reality and fiction. I hope the story itself is solid enough that it does not need context. What I can say is that I know this subject as if a romantic relationship that is getting bad “will suffice to confirm the one who has largely withdrawn from the public space and social network for a few years. .

A strong woman

Once again, Lili Boisvert appears, where we had least expected her, she who had surprised by publishing the first volume of in 2020anan, a fantastic trilogy. Those who are waiting for the final volume will have to wait a little longer because the writing of Match imposed on her.

“I knew my publisher was waiting for Volume 3 ofananbut chronologically I had to in my head Match happens at this point, ”she says, assuring that the writing of the last volume is going well.

This story, she explains, has especially taken root in a reflection that has animated her around the strong woman for several years. “It motivated me a lot to write this story. Like the character of Émilie and myself, it is something I have asserted a lot in my life and to which I have often been attached as a profile. But in the end, I think it is a double-edged sword that can easily turn against the so-called strong woman. »

Being considered a strong woman sets a goal on your back and it can also pick up some people who will put you in your place, bringing you back to a more classic feminine ideal.

Lili Boisvert, author

But just as for the character Émilie, who, strong woman as she is, will be caught in the net by an abusive situation that she will have a hard time getting out of, Lili Boisvert could state that being a strong woman does not protect you from everything. “I was even dazzled by this idea of ​​a strong woman that I am able to take it, that I have control over the situation. But I realized that it is not true at all; Just because you are able to feel a behavior does not mean that it does not affect you. ”

There is an ironic dimension to it Matchadds the one who now works as deputy information director for the newspaper Subway. “He is a character who sees himself so strongly, but who at some point in his life will decide to protect himself. And it is precisely in this moment that she will meet the man who will finish her, who will make her docile, submissive, and pitiful. »

The origin of the assault

With MatchLili Boisvert sheds a harsh and uncompromising light on a type of abuse that often goes under the radar because it does not necessarily end in a bloodbath or in a heroic tale where the woman bravely pulls herself out of the clutches of a violent man.

“I wanted to show the creation of an abusive relationship. Often when it is made very clear that the woman is being abused, you rarely see the development. I wanted to dissect what is going on in the brain of a person who falls into a There are a number of other stories that are more vague, more gray … These stories are also legitimate. ”

The abuse, the author notes, often settles in a destructive way, in the details and also in the confusion that toxic people install in the other. A context that she believes is favored by the current culture of dating.

that dating is very open, very liberated today. This creates, in my opinion, many possible shifts and leaves room for offensive and unequal dynamics of power to develop.

Lili Boisvert, author

Thus, in an increasingly catastrophic battle in which Émilie and Ludwig send the money, the narrator gradually becomes convinced that it is a bit of her problem that she has to “calm down”, lowering expectations. Her lover is fragile, suffering from a abandonment syndrome, which forces him to behave like this; he is weak and she is strong. Little by little, she agrees to lose weight, to submit to his manifold demands, his rigid perception of sex, enduring his contemptuous comments, his insults, his seizures, his sudden mood swings.

“Sometimes people use their vulnerability as a weapon,” she notes. We apologize for a lot of toxic behavior because of it, but in the end, it’s power play, ways to establish one’s authority, to manipulate another person. »

In the end, as Lili Boisvert demonstrates in this short and powerful story, no one is immune, strong women no more than others. “Before, I thought there were some people for whom it could never happen. I do not believe that at all now. Studies show it: the only real risk factor for being in an abusive situation is being a woman. »

In bookstores March 16th



VLB editor

192 pages

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