jeter des rats morts au visage


English -- U.S.
Bonjour! I am translating a play in which the character is berating her companions for their color prejudice. She says that activist women have certain duties: "ne pas nous dérespecter, ne pas nous jeter des rats morts au visage pour des comparaisons de couleur de peau!" "Throwing rats in the face" is a powerful image, but I didn't now if the phrase might also be an idiom. How should this be translated in this context?
Merci beaucoup!
  • It is a direct quote. She is a native French speaker and a decorated author. Perhaps it is an anglicization. Any thoughts on my original question?

    Throwing dead rats at one's face might be another idiomatic West Indies expression.
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    Thank you both for your responses. I didn't want to miss the possibility that it was a common figure of speech in French. I'll run it by some friends in Guadeloupe to see if it is a common saying there or just an image painted by the author.
    Trouvé deux occurrences dont la première est justement une question posée par une traductrice italienne à l'auteure Suzanne Dracius :
    p. 187, « qui va encore… me jeter des rats morts dans la figure ! » : cette exclamation de Cidalise, c’est une expression qui a un signifié métaphorique ?

    — Oui, le sens d’insulter, de jeter des choses désagréables, horribles, à la figure de quelqu’un.

    et dans un autre contexte :
    ensuite il m' a jeté des rats morts au visage en crachant sur mon arbre généalogique.
    Bref, je dirais que l'expression n'est pas très commune mais imagée et compréhensible.
    I fully agree with Cath. The author either invented it, or used a hardly-known local expression (or some family turn).
    But it is strong, evocative and immediate.
    Throwing dead rats in the face should be as evocative as the French - unless it happened to be close to some different-meaning English colloquialism.

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    Thank you so much Cath.S. and Jean Desponde. Since I was translating a play by Suzanne Dracius, it is interesting to see it is a term she has used before and seems to be fond of. I agree, it is a strong, and very colorful insult.