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French actress Catherine Deneuve joined dozens of women in signing an open letter that calls the #MeToo movement “puritanical” and a “witch hunt.”
Among roughly 100 other French writers, performers and academics who signed the letter was Deneuve along with Catherine Millet — author of the 2002 memoir “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”
The letter went on to say, “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.” Men have been stigmatized, the letter argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually charged messages to women who did not return their attentions,” according to a translation from The Guardian.
The letter said the #MeToo movement “has led in the press and on social networks a campaign of public denunciations and impeachment of individuals who, without being given the opportunity to respond or defend themselves, were put exactly on the same level as sex offenders.”
“As women, we do not recognize ourselves in this feminism which, beyond the denunciation of abuses of power, takes the face of a hatred of men and sexuality,” the letter said. “We believe that the freedom to say no to a sexual proposal is not without the freedom to bother. And we consider that we must know how to respond to this freedom to annoy other than by shutting ourselves up in the role of the prey.”
Deneuve, 74, made her breakthrough in the film industry with the musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” and was nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for her performance in “Indochine.”
She and the other signatories argued for sexual freedom in the letter, which said, “The liberty to seduce and importune was essential,” per The Guardian’s translation.
You can see the full letter here.