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French actress defends men's 'right to hit on' women

10 January 2018

In France, the #MeToo campaign is known as #BalanceTonPorc, meaning "Squeal on Your Pig"-and some women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, say it has gone too far".

The letter also denounced a "new puritanism" and the tide of "denunciations" that have brought down scores of men following the sex-scandal that rocked Hollywood past year. However, they feel that other accusations against men, such as "talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women", are insulting to the conversation about actual sexual violence against women, particularly in the workplace.

Curiously, the women who signed the letter do not believe that this new feminist movement is a step forward for women, believing that women are now being forced to "speak in the right way, to keep quiet about what makes them angry, with those who refuse to obey regarded as traitors and accomplices".

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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"It is the characteristic of Puritanism to borrow, in the name of a so-called general good, the arguments of the protection of women and their emancipation to bind them to the status of eternal victims, poor little things under the influence of the demon patriarchy, as in the good old days of witchcraft".

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

Deneuve, who played a prostitute in the 1967 film Belle de Jour, said they were defending sexual freedom, for which "the liberty to seduce and importune was essential".

Deneuve had earlier expressed annoyance with the #MeToo social media campaign to shame men accused of harassing women. "After "Calling out your pig" what are we going to have, 'Call out your whore?'" she said.

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The letter denounced the wave of "puritanism" which has been unleashed by the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations.

"This urge to send men to the slaughterhouse, instead of helping women be more autonomous, helps the enemies of sexual freedom", the letter said.

Deneuve said she found the word rape "excessive", and subsequently received a rebuke from France's state broadcaster.

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

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French actress defends men's 'right to hit on' women