Catherine Deneuve has said that men’s rights need to be defended following the Hollywood sex scandal, and that men should be free to ‘seduce’ women.
The actress is among 100 well-known French women who have signed an open letter published in the newspaper Le Monde yesterday.
“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,” it said.
“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or clumsily, is not – and nor is men being gentlemanly a chauvinist attack.”
The letter also warns of a new era of ‘puritanism’, and that the recent spate of outing men for sexual misconduct has now got out of hand.
“As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality,” it goes on.
“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 are regarded as complicit and traitors.
“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.”
Deneuve, 74, has previously referred to the #MeToo campaign.
“I don’t think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive,” she said last year. “After ‘calling out your pig’ what are we going to have, ‘call out your whore’?”