The Belgian singer Stromae, whose release of the 3rd album Multitude is a real tidal wave, caused another surprise on Friday with a title dedicated to the children of prostitutes. In various media, he explains that he was inspired by a testimony in the program Ça begins Demain on France 2. There, the Perpignanis Jimmy Paradis, a tireless defender of the rights of sex workers, told his story. That of a “bastard” who is proud of his mother. The song moved him.
Jimmy hesitated for a moment. †When I heard the song he trusts the next day, for a large coffee in a bar in the city center, without knowing what it was about, my ear tilted at the phrase ‘bastard’. She bumps into that expression. With a mom who’s been on the doorstep for 40 years, I’ve heard it so many times. And I’ve used it often myself. At first I thought he was talking about him, I said to myself ‘Nice, I’m going to like it!’.” And then the chorus twisted his guts. These words, he knows them, they are almost his own. †hey ho! So leave my mother. Yes, I know, it’s true she’s not perfect. He’s a hero! And it will always be proud that I will talk about it. I’m an asshole as they say…“Emotion overwhelms him.”If I die tomorrow at the limit, there will remain a sound that says ‘Beware of this topic’‘” blurts Jimmy Paradis, in the middle of a continuous flow of words where the disbelief, the memories, the musical notes resounding in his mind collide.’I must have listened to the song at least 100 times that night.”
That same evening, the Perpignan sex worker rights activist received a call from the chairman of Strass, the union he founded in 2007 to decriminalize prostitution, fight human trafficking and…protect the children of prostitutes. A status he knows well as the son of a prostitute and a pimp. It is in this capacity that Jimmy, 44 years old today, testified on Faustine Bollaert’s show last year It starts today† †Of the three witnesses to the show, one was a woman, the other had not known her mother, lists the PerpignanaiLe Strass confirms to him that the production of the TV show has signaled the rapprochement. Jimmy is eventually convinced that he is the only “son of joy” Stromae has heard.”If you know me, you know it’s me, it’s been my speech for 25 years.“More than a speech, it’s a real ‘cry for help’ that he tirelessly launches. Often in a vacuum.”But Stromae listened to what we said. He took the trouble to listen. At least someone heard us today. He was sensitive to our words, it is very moving. And he is the voice of all these children of prostitutes, of their reality that deserves to be heard. The reality of an environment he describes is imbued”of sorrow, misery, contempt and shame”†
Stromae’s stroke of genius at tackling this theme is to take the phrase “bastard” out of the field of insult, to make it normal. †Like a railroad man’s sonJimmy Paradis hopes.
Thank you for the new breath it offers me. I was so pumped up
†I wanted to talk about a topic that everyone knows, but no one wants to talk about, explains the singer in a video posted Saturday afternoon† To approach the subject, I didn’t want to take the prostitute’s point of view. I wanted to take everyone’s point of view, since everyone has an opinion about her and we don’t often ask her for her opinion. That’s why I speak instead of the son, the client, the pimp, the police officer.†
Jimmy Paradis now wants to meet Stromae. If the production of Faustine Bollaert’s show manages to bring them together, what would he say to her? †I would hug him like I would hug my dead brother because he acted like a brother helping me get the words out. I want to thank him, thank you for the new breath he offers me. I’m so shocked! And also thank you for the honesty in claiming the origin of this inspiration. Jimmy shares one more dream with his mother: “That one day there will be no more prostitution without mutual consent. If I leave home at 44, I still see what I saw at 2.”