Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Activists slam French icon and other critics of #MeToo movement

Activists slam French icon and other critics of #MeToo movement

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

In the aftermath of accusations against the USA movie producer Weinstein, millions of women took to social media to share their stories of being sexually harassed or assaulted, using the #Metoo hashtag. We believe that the freedom to say "no" to a sexual proposition can not exist without the freedom to bother.

The women claimed that the "witch-hunt" that has followed the accusations now threatens sexual freedom.

"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", the letter argued, adding that men should be "free to hit on" women.

They continue: "The philosopher, Ruwen Ogien, defended the freedom to offend as essential to artistic creation".

Deneuve received worldwide acclaim for her acting, which included starring roles in films by renowned directors Francois Truffaut, Roman Polanski and Luis Bunuel.

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The letter got a mostly hostile reception on social media, quickly becoming the most tweeted story onTwitter in France.

Deneuve and 99 other French women on Tuesday denounced a backlash against men, saying the recent global campaign against sexual harassment amounted to "puritanism" and was fueled by a "hatred of men".

In October, Deneuve similarly called the movement "excessive," saying it was not "the right way to change things". "After "Calling out your pig" what are we going to have, 'Call out your whore?'" she said. 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. " One of the arguments the writers make is that instead of empowering women, the #MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc movements instead serve the interests of "the enemies of sexual freedom, of religious extremists, of the worst reactionaries", and of those who believe that women are "'separate" beings, children with the appearance of adults, demanding to be protected".

The passage appears to refer to the some of the names on a growing list of men who have been suspended, fired or forced to resign after having been accused of sexual misconduct in the last several months. "But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack".

"Already", they say, "editors are asking some of us to make our masculine characters less "sexist" and more restrained in how they talk about sexuality and love, or to make it so that the "traumas experienced by female characters" be more evident!" She's also been criticized for defending the director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The French broadcasting watchdog later called her comments "retrograde".

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