Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Catherine Deneuve defends men's right to 'seduce', denounces #MeToo campaign

Catherine Deneuve defends men's right to 'seduce', denounces #MeToo campaign

Many including women rights activists have criticized the open letter by actress Catherine Deneuve and other eminent Frenchwomen about men being unfairly targeted in the post-Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo movement era.

The letter attacked feminist social media campaigns like #MeToo and its French equivalent #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig) for unleashing this "puritanical. wave of purification". "This vigilante (online) justice has punished men in their jobs, forced some to resign, when all they did was touch a knee, try to steal a kiss, talk about "intimate" matters in a work dinner".

The signatories of the letter claim that "a legitimate protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives", has turned into a "witch-hunt".

"Dozens of women responded in a counter letter published this morning".

However, there are others who though not fully agreeing to Deneuve, said she may have some valid points to make.

The letter got a mostly hostile reception on social media, quickly becoming the most tweeted story onTwitter in France.

"Instead of helping women, this frenzy (...) actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty - religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries".

"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive", she said previous year.

In the letter, Deneuve et al address the patriarchy directly and point out some of the hypocrisies of the movement we are living in-where a women can recognize the difference between a sexually depraved act, such as having a man expose his privates on a subway, and catalogue it as a non-event-but can't accept a coworker sending a sexually explicit text message. "After "Calling our your pig" what are we going to have, 'Call out your whore?'" she said past year. But the women go on to argue that it infantilizes women to believe that they need protection from making the distinction between sexual aggression and the naturally "offensive and primitive" nature of sexual impulses. They argue that the movement has become a witch hunt against men and will usher in an era of sexual puritanism. 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. The French broadcasting watchdog later called her comments "retrograde".

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