Culture

Catherine Deneuve accuses #Metoo of having a hatred of men

Catherine Deneuve accuses #Metoo of having a hatred of men”

French movie star Catherine Deneuve and other prominent French women say men are being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations and should be free to hit on women.

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.

The letter, which was published in the French daily Le Monde, said, "Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not - nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack, ' explained the letter, which was published in the daily Le Monde". "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".

On social media, many expressed either anger or sadness at the open letter.

"What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite - we intimidate people into speaking "correctly", shout down those who don't fall into line, and those women who refused to bend (to the new realities) are regarded as complicit and traitors".

"What we are once again witnessing here is puritanism in the name of a so-called greater good, claiming to promote the liberation and protection of women, only to enslave them to a status of eternal victim and reduce them to defenseless preys of male chauvinist demons", the letter said.

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

Australian novelist and broadcaster Van Badham, who wrote past year of her own ordeal at the hands of a prominent abuser, said women "who have exposed the damaged tissues of the shame inflicted on us by our predators are also quite "clear-eyed" on the distinction".

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Oscar-nominated Deneuve, 74, is best known internationally for playing a bored housewife who spends her afternoons as a prostitute in Luis Bunuel's classic 1967 film Belle du Jour.

The letter has stirred debate in France.

"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive", she said past year. "After "calling out your pig" what are we going to have, "call our your whore"?"

In the letter, the women also denounced #MeToo for punishing men too abruptly. 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.

The signers add that "we are also able to tell the difference between an awkward attempt to pick someone up and what constitutes a sexual assault".

Deneuve sparked an outcry last March for her fulsome support of French-based director Roman Polanski, who is still wanted in the United States for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The French broadcasting watchdog later called her comments "retrograde".



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