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    Sunday, 18 November 2018

    Actress defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women


    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 sexually assaulted and harassed women over decades .
    They called it a “ witch- hunt ” that they feel threatens sexual freedom .
    “ Rape is a crime , but trying to seduce someone , even persistently or cack -handedly , is not — nor is 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 memoir,

    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. ”

    The letter attacked feminist social media campaigns like # MeToo and its French equivalent # Balancetonporc ( Call out your pig ) for unleashing this “ puritanical … wave of purification. ”
    It claimed that “ legitimate and necessary protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to , particularly in their professional lives , ” had turned into a witch - hunt .


    “ 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 . ”

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