Deneuve, others denounce the #MeToo movement

Deneuve, others denounce the #MeToo movement

An open letter signed by movie star Deneuve and dozens of other French women about men being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations has prompted a backlash in the French press and on social media.

The actor denounced the #MeToo movement and its French equivalent, #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig), in a letter, signed by over 100 French actors, and said the movements have created a totalitarian climate by publicly prosecuting private experiences.

They write: "This expedited justice already has its victims, men prevented from practising their profession as punishment, forced to resign, etc., while the only thing they did wrong was touching a knee, trying to steal a kiss, or speaking about "intimate" things at a work dinner, or sending messages with sexual connotations to a woman whose feelings were not mutual". 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".

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

Some women who were strong enough to demand equal pay, it claimed, would "not be traumatised forever by a fondler on the metro", even if it is a crime, preferring to see it as a "non-event".

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

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

"Catherine Deneuve spoke blessed words", said the 81-year-old Berlusconi, who resigned in 2011 mired in scandal over his wild "Bunga Bunga" parties with young women and under investigation over having sex with an underage prostitute. However, it's not the first time she's denounced #MeToo-she called the movement "excessive" last fall.

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

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.

"Sexual violence is not 'intensified flirting, '" they wrote.

Author Colleen Doran said that Deneuve's views would have been completely different if she were not rich and attractive.

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