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#MeToo frenzy deprives men of ‘indispensable freedom’ to hit on women – Catherine Deneuve

A hundred prominent French women, including actress Catherine Deneuve, have denounced the #MeToo campaign, saying it patronizes women and summarily punishes men for minor misdeeds, which only plays into the hands of “puritans.”

In an open letter published in the newspaper Le Monde, the women acknowledged that while the campaign helped expose many cases of “sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives,” it had now gone too far.

“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,” read the letter. “Instead of helping women this frenzy to send these ‘pigs’ to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty – religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries.”

“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.”

The women who signed the letter also criticized the #MeToo campaign for throwing around accusations about men who are immediately branded sex offenders “without being given the opportunity to respond or defend themselves.” The signatories compared the situation to a “totalitarian society” in which men are being forced to make “public confessions … and having to rack their brains and apologize for ‘inappropriate behavior’ that might have happened 10, 20 or 30 years before.”

The letter went on to say that grown-up and independent women should be able to tell the difference between menacing behavior and an awkward pick-up, and that to assume otherwise denies basic sexual freedom.

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