Men should be free to hit on women as they please you silly’s! So says French actress Catherine Deneuve.
In the wake of all the Harvey Weinstein hullabalooo she and some 100 other French women have signed an open letter claiming that the whole thing has got witch-hunty and poses a threat to sexual freedom.
They attacked campaigns like ‘Me Too’ and the French equivalent ‘Balance Ton Porc’ (call out your pig).
Here are some points they made in the letter published in the newspaper Le Monde:
‘Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not – nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack.
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.
(‘Steal’ – good choice of words!)
Men had been dragged through the mud for talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.
They argued that legitimate protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives had turned into a witch-hunt.
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 [to the new realities] are regarded as complicit and traitors.
‘I don’t think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive’, Deneuve said last year, ‘After ‘calling out your pig’ what are we going to have, ‘call our your whore’?’
They went on to say:
Instead of helping women this frenzy to send these (male chauvinist) ‘pigs’ to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty – religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries.
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.
Women are sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack.
Woah! There’s a lot to unwrap here!
The thing about humans is that no one or anything involving them is black and white. This means that on both sides there are degrees of merit and hogwash.
I don’t understand Deneuve’s ‘witty’ ‘call out your whore’ comment because surely the whole problem was caused by the inequality and imbalance between men and women. Why would you call out your whore when most people working in that profession are not the ones who hold the power in the situation – unlike the Trumps, Weinsteins and Polanskis of the world.
Of course the movement is going to pull too far in one direction. This is to be expected because it has been pulled too far the other way since the beginning of time. And I tried but I couldn’t find the open letter written by Deneuve denouncing the disparity toward women during all that time. Either that or Google has hidden it.
Men Love Me!
I’m not a fan of the women taking it too far either. There is definitely a type of woman who wants to see all men locked up for offering her a seat on a bus or smiling at her and saying ‘Good morning.’ But as ever there are always those women who think that men are so weak that they need women to stick up for them. They are the types who are ‘really cool about going with men to strip clubs.’ The ‘men love me… I’m just one of the boys!’ brigade. And the minute ANY pro women movement emerges (right or wrong) they are the first in the front line to go into battle for the poor helpless men. Remember the ‘grab my pussy’ tee shirt wearers? There’s definitely a type on the other side of argument also.
There are swivel eyed loons in all quarters, but each will tell you that the crazy exists only on the other side.
Neither am I under the impression that men just ‘hitting on women’ is the main problem. It is the persistent arrogant, ego-driven, entitled, potentially dangerous and aggressive forms of pursuit that both sides would do well to keep the focus on.
You deserve to be ‘dragged through the mud’ if you are talking intimate crap or going in for a (romantic) kiss in a professional setting – whatever your sex. Pull your socks up and have some standards Deneuve!
And men today don’t just send ‘sexually charged messages’ to women, they send unsolicited pictures of their knobs. She neglected to mention that – or maybe she thinks that is just flirty banter also.
And frankly not ALL women are ‘clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack’, particularly younger, inexperienced women who are often the focus of that sort of unwanted attention. These women clearly have short (addled?) memories when it come to remembering the confusion and vulnerability of youth and puberty.
It is because of a millenia of similarly ingrained women-haters (or indeed men-preferers) that women are damned whatever they do.
If they keep things to themselves: ‘Why didn’t you speak out when it happened?’ Regardless of the fact that many did and were ignored and ‘Your silence makes you as culpable as Weinstein!’
If they speak out: ‘Oh I see, jumping on the bandwagon.’
The Real Bullies
I always say you can tell who the real bullies have been historically and in the present by the amount of abusive and derogatory terms culturally available for the victims. Compare the lengthy list of standard, roll-off-the-tongue, derogatory abuse aimed at women to the one reserved for men and get back to me. This fun game works with other social groups also!
Any historical movement asking for great change has been forced to be ‘excessive.’ If men had listened when women politely said ‘No thank you, I don’t wish to see your penis, I’d just like the job?’ excess would not be necessary. Unfortunately they didn’t. But I agree that ‘men being gentlemanly a macho attack’, I’m also not into the mob-handed PC shouting down of people’s right to their own opinion – however stupid – and sexual liberty doesn’t need anyone’s help – between consenting adults.
Unfortunately there will be some people (both women AND men) who will use the emerging movements as a revenge tool or to gain some extra income. A woman won £9k yesterday because a man at her work told her she was not a real woman if she didn’t have kids.
That sort of thing is down to the idiocy of the courts, not the movement. At least let the ‘new dawn’ get off the ground and establish something of a structure before the men love me strip club goers start knocking it down. But in truth it will take the pull and push from both sides to create the new direction.
WHAT SAY YOU??!!
A) Shut up The Ed. Deneuve was right. Men should hit on women whenever they please, particularly at work, the poor things! Selfish women should actually provide schedules so colleagues at work know the best times to repeatedly hit on them. That way they can still pick the kids up and get the dinner on the table in time. The moaning minnies are not busy enough.
b) You’re right The Ed some women just hate other women and will always be a divisive force to them whatever they do or say, whilst constantly seeking the kudos of men.
c) You’re drunk again aren’t you The Ed?
PS Happy New Year!
Artwork taken from ‘Sassmouth‘ A short illustrated story on wolf whistling and catcalling.