French star Deneuve defends men's 'right' to chat up women

Source: AFP | 9 Jan 2018 | AFP

France’s most revered actress Catherine Deneuve hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.

She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted women over decades.

They claimed that the “witch-hunt” that has followed threatens sexual freedom.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.

“Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone’s knee or try to steal a kiss,” said the letter, which was also signed by Catherine Millet, author of the hugely explicit 2002 bestseller “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”.

Men had been dragged through the mud, they argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”

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  •  EVERYDAY #20920

    Miss Deneuve is right. I’d feel differently if we were talking about rape and physical attacks, But much of this so-called inappropriate behavior does not rise to the level of criminality. And many of the accusations made have not been and cannot be proven. As Ms. Deneuve says, men are being ruined because of a harmless word deed that might not be for real. How does a guy prove he DID NOT touch a woman “inappropriately” or say something “offensive?”

    This Me Too campaign is mostly a lot of nonsense. I think many of these women are making so much noise over incidents that might not even have happened –for what? Fame? Money? Maybe vindictiveness? I don’t know. I find myself skipping over and ignoring the endless, almost daily stories of some tearful snowflake crying that some famous man called her “honey.” That’s not good because if enough people feel that way, a real victim of rape might find her story will be ignored too. We had come a long way from the days when rape cases weren’t taken seriously or a woman might be blamed for what happened to her. All these possibly phony stories of “inappropriate behavior” could potentially reverse the progress made in dealing with rape and its victims.

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