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French Petition Attacking ‘Totalitarian’ Feminism, Feminists Begin to Respond.

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Image result for catherine deneuve petition balance ton porc

« Nous défendons une liberté d’importuner, indispensable à la liberté sexuelle »

Reads the controversial public statement that made headlines published in Le Monde this week.

Le viol est un crime. Mais la drague insistante ou maladroite n’est pas un délit, ni la galanterie une agression machiste.

Rape is a crime. But chatting up,  however pressing and clumsy, is not an offence, and compliments are not a macho aggression.

Note: the French verb drageur comes from the English to trawl, to drag line as in Fish.

Variety sets out the story,

Iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve is among 100 women who have signed a public letter blaming the #MeToo anti-harassment movement for creating a “totalitarian” climate that unfairly punishes men for flirting “insistently or clumsily,” infantilizes women and undermines sexual freedom.

The letter says that #MeToo, the hashtag that emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, has led to a campaign of public denunciation and summary justice. The victims have been “men who are sanctioned in their work, pushed to resign, etc., when their only wrongdoing was to touch a knee, try to steal a kiss, speak about intimate things during a professional dinner or send messages that are sexually loaded to a woman who wasn’t attracted to them,” the letter says.

“Rape is a crime. But flirting with insistently or clumsily isn’t a crime, and chivalry is not a machismo aggression,” the letter says, adding that men should have the “indispensable freedom to offend and bother” women and that the #MeToo movement encouraged “puritanism.”

French star Catherine Deneuve defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women.

France 24.

France’s most revered actress, Catherine Deneuve, hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.

She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed women over decades.

They called it a “witch-hunt” that they feel threatens sexual freedom.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.

French feminists were not slow to note that Deneuve was also a very recent defender of Roman Polanski.

 

In the continuing case against the charge that he had violated a minor, she stated last March that that the 13 year old woman was brought to Polanski’s by her mother and that she did not act according to her age, and that the word “rape” was excessive in the context. (En mars dernier, l’actrice Catherine Deneuve avait déjà fâché des associations de défense des femmes en estimant à la télévision que Samantha Geimer, la jeune fille de 13 ans dont Roman Polanski avait abusé en 1977, « avait été amenée chez Roman par sa mère », et « ne faisait pas son âge de toute façon ». « J’ai toujours trouvé que le mot de viol avait été excessif », . BALANCE TON PORC: BATAILLE DE TRIBUNES AUTOUR DES VIOLENCES SEXUELLES FAITES AUX FEMMES

 

I note that one of the signatories, Elisabeth Lévy, is a writer at the contrarian magazine Causer. 

This is her most recent article,  9th of January, denouncing ‘totalitarian’ feminism.

2017, l’année des balances Le totalitarisme féministe a (encore) progressé

Bang on cue Spiked on Line defends, er the same line.

 

Background, from the Petition side:  Une tribune de femmes face à une “guerre des sexes en train de prendre un tour absolument absurde et hallucinatoire”.Abnousse Shalmani explains, or tries to explain, that the petition is against “puritanism” not in favour of any kind of sexual harassment (drague lourde). It is against the idea that women are not all “victims”. Shalmani does not like the idea that ‘balance ton porc’ (grass up your pig) is a kind of call for a puritan purge.
The author also claims the title, which could be (very easily) interpreted as an apology for ‘importuning’ in the English sense of the word, was supplied by Le Monde.
Comment, she spends a lot of time trying to wriggle out of the way the Petition was obviously going to be interpreted.
More from their critics here:

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 10, 2018 at 12:23 pm