Deneuve, others denounce the #MeToo movement

Erika Holt
January 13, 2018

House Speaker Laura Boldrini said Wednesday she was "astounded" by Catherine Deneuve's call for men to be allowed to still hit on women amid the sexual harassment storm.

"Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not - nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack", the letter says.

The unsolicited letter, signed by 100 prominent French women, said that the "Me Too" movement was creating a new form of puritanism. The French government, according to the Wall Street Journal, has also launched a public service campaign called "Stop Them" to explain the existing penalties for sexual harassment, which include five years imprisonment for non-consensually touching a woman's butt or rubbing up against a girl on a bus.

"Sexual violence is not 'intensified flirting, '" they wrote. They address the need to expose the power behind certain acts and believe "the Harvey Weinstein scandal sparked a legitimate awakening about the sexual violence that women are subjected to, particularly in their professional lives, where some men abuse their power".

"The philosopher Ruwen Ogien defended the freedom to offend as essential to artistic creation".

Oscar-nominated Deneuve, 74, is best known internationally for playing a bored housewife who spends her afternoons as a prostitute in Luis Bunuel classic 1967 film "Belle du Jour". "She does make a valid point about persecuting the accused by social media-its turning people off".

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Deneuve and 99 other French women on Tuesday denounced a backlash against men, saying the recent worldwide campaign against sexual harassment amounted to "puritanism" and was fueled by a "hatred of men".

"Instead of helping women, this frenzy (...) actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty - religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries". However, it's not the first time she's denounced #MeToo-she called the movement "excessive" last fall.

"After 'calling out your pig, ' what are we going to have, 'Call out your whore?'" she said.

They insisted that women were "sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive".

The spectacle of men being forced into "public confessions. and having to rack their brains and apologise for "inappropriate behaviour" that might have happened 10, 20 or 30 years before. recalled totalitarian societies", the letter went on. And, in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine back in 2015, rocker Chrissie Hynde, 66, said she took "full responsibility" for a sexual assault incident she experienced at age 21, in which she was raped by a motorcycle gang member who offered her a ride to a party.

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