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@Doog_de_Jour takes a controversial stand
A battle has broken out in France between campaigners against sexual harassment and a group of prominent women who argue overzealous misconduct allegations threaten the country’s embrace of sexual freedom.
Film star Catherine Deneuve and more than 100 French women this week published a letter in the newspaper Le Monde defending the lustful advances of their male compatriots, and denouncing what they call “puritanism” of the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment that has taken root in the U.S. and other countries since the publication of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
“Insistent or awkward pickups aren’t a crime,” the letter said. “This fever for sending ‘pigs’ to the abattoir [slaughterhouse], far from helping empower women, in reality serves the interests of the enemies of sexual liberation.”
The letter signed by Ms. Deneuve sparked an angry response from many other French women, including former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, who have rallied behind the outpouring of stories of sexual abuse on social media under the hashtag #balancetonporc, or “expose your pig.”
Ms. Deneuve, for her part, has long been an icon of empowered sexuality in France and abroad, with performances that helped define the sexual revolution of the 1960s. In “Belle de Jour,” one of her best-known roles, she plays a repressed Parisian homemaker who decides to become a prostitute by day.