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Catherine Deneuve defends men's right to 'seduce', denounces #MeToo campaign

13 January 2018

Veteran French actor Catherine Deneuve has decried the MeToo movement, which started as a result of the sexual harassment scandal in the Hollywood, saying that it unfairly punishes men for flirting "insistently or clumsily". "And had some empathy", tweeted New York Times cartoonist Colleen Doran. The letter's signatories include Catherine Deneuve, a beloved actress who has appeared in French films since the 1960s. The letter said, in part, "Rape is a crime". They address the need to expose the power behind certain acts and believe "the Harvey Weinstein scandal sparked a legitimate awakening about the sexual violence that women are subjected to, particularly in their professional lives, where some men abuse their power". The women argue that the movement is using social media as a way to prosecute private experiences in a public forum, and created a type of censorship that has put free speech and sexual liberation up for debate.

The letter is likely an example of problematic generational divides that complicate the #MeToo conversation and fail to hold men accountable for their behavior: previous year, designer Donna Karan, 69, apologized after saying that women who were assaulted by film producer Harvey Weinstein were "asking for it".

It also said women who should be strong enough "not to be traumatised by gropers in the metro".

Author Colleen Doran said that Deneuve's views would have been completely different if she were not rich and lovely. While women in the USA may feel a strength in numbers and solidarity in speaking out French women may fear that "naming names will more likely win you accusations of being a 'collabo, ' or turncoat, not to mention an affront to your own sex appeal".

Now I must admit that the signers of the letter are probably just a soupcon more open to being-uh-bothered than their slightly more puritanical sisters this side of the Atlantic, including me, a well-known prude.

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Feminist activist Caroline De Haas said the column was "trying to build back the wall of silence we have started breaking down", while France's equality minister Marlene Schiappa said: 'It's risky to put it this way'.

"One means treating the other as your equal, respecting their desires, whatever they may be. The other is treating them as an object at your disposal, paying no attention to their own desires, or their consent".

In the aftermath of accusations against the United States movie producer Weinstein, millions of women took to social media to share their stories of being sexually harassed or assaulted, using the #Metoo hashtag.

"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive", she said past year. He eventually pleaded guilty to unlawful intercourse with a minor, but fled the 1978 before he was sentenced for the crime.

Catherine Deneuve defends men's right to 'seduce', denounces #MeToo campaign