Oscar-nominated French actress Catherine Deneuve is just one of over 100 female French writers, academics, and performers who holds the belief that men shouldn't fear repercussions of hitting on women, and that "trying to seduce someone" doesn't constitute being called an "attack."
French newspaper Le Monde on Tuesday published an open letter, signed by Denueve and company, that denounced the massive wave of sexual misconduct accusations against men sparked by the #MeToo phenomenon, propelled forward by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
What was in the letter?
Agence France-Presse reported that the women said a "witch hunt" over purported sexual misconduct against men threatens sexual freedoms, noting that "the liberty to seduce and importune was essential."
The letter noted that rape is clearly a crime, but "trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not – nor is men being gentlemanly — a macho attack."
"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," a portion of the letter read.
According to AFP, the letter went on to renounce such social media campaigns like #MeToo and its French equivalent, #BalanceTonPorc ("Call out your pig"), and said that these movements were to blame for the resulting "puritanical ... wave of purification."
The letter added that a movement that "began as freeing women up to speak" has rendered opposite results.
"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 added.
Is there more?
In response to the #MeToo phenomenon, Deneuve said last year that she doesn't think the "excessive" social media movement "is the right method to change things."
"After 'calling [out] your pig' what are we going to have, 'call [out] your whore?'" she asked, and noted that this type of "feminism" takes on a "hatred of men and sexuality."