Catherine Deneuve defends men's 'right to hit on' women

Catherine Deneuve defends men's 'right to hit on' women

'As a result of the Weinstein affair, there has been a legitimate realization of the sexual violence women experience, particularly in the workplace, where some men abuse their power.

The letter is likely an example of problematic generational divides that complicate the #MeToo conversation and fail to hold men accountable for their behavior: previous year, designer Donna Karan, 69, apologized after saying that women who were assaulted by film producer Harvey Weinstein were "asking for it".

Italian actress Asia Argento-one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct-tweeted "Deneuve and other French women tell the world how their interiorized misogyny has lobotomized them to the point of no return", while a group of about 30 activists, led by French feminist Caroline De Haas, responded by saying that Deneuve and the co-signers had conflated flirting and sexual violence.

"Men have been sanctioned in their professions, forced to resign, etc., when their only wrongdoing was touching someone's knee, trying to steal a kiss, talking about "intimate" things during a professional dinner, or sending messages with a sexual connotation to a woman who wasn't attracted to them", they wrote.

According to the writers, this is creating a public mood in which women are seen as powerless, as perpetual victims.

The signatories - which included a porn star-turned-agony aunt - claimed they were defending sexual freedom, for which "the liberty to seduce and importune was essential".

Revolting: French feminists hit back at actress Deneuve over defense of sleazy men
Silvio Berlusconi backs Catherine Deneuve on #MeToo: 'Women are happy when men court them'

Ms Deneuve, an Oscar-nominated actress, has been in more than 100 films, making her debut in 1957.

Many people have already come out on social media in anger against the publication of the letter.

"Instead of helping women, this frenzy to send (male chauvinist) "pigs" to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty - religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries", the collective of women who signed the letter said.

"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive", she said previous year. "As women, we do not recognize ourselves in this feminism, which, beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality". It accused women involved of pursuing "expeditious justice", and said that it was important to give men the "indispensable freedom to offend and bother".

Last year, Deneuve also defended director Roman Polanski, who in 1977 was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl at a party in Los Angeles. The actress had said in a TV interview that she "always found the word "rape" excessive" in the circumstances. The French broadcasting watchdog later called her comments "retrograde".

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