Catherine Deneuve defends right of men to 'pester' women

Catherine Deneuve defends right of men to 'pester' women

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.

The letter noted that rape is clearly a crime, but "trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not - nor is men being gentlemanly - a macho attack".

The letter deplores a wave of "denunciations" after claims that U.S. movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has raped or sexually assaulted dozens of women.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations and a Golden Globes ceremony that saw Hollywood rallying behind #Timesup, a movement to take action on sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace, the open letter raises issues that it is unleashing a "puritanical. wave of purification".

Overall, it seems part of the women's concern is the negative effects the movement has on relationships going forward, particularly in light of revelations that publishers seek to make male characters "less sexist", and a bill in Sweden will require couples to give explicit consent before engaging in sexual relations.

The French actor Catherine Deneuve has sparked a furious worldwide backlash after she denounced the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment as a "witch-hunt" against men.

"This letter, it's a bit like the awkward work colleague or annoying uncle who doesn't understand what's happening", it said.

The letter, which has been signed by 100 actors, academics and writers, argues that these movements are promoting a "hatred of men", and are damaging "sexual liberty".

The letter defended "a right to pester", which was described as "vital to sexual freedom".

"Deneuve and the authors of the letter also blasted the "feminist social media campaign #MeToo" as well as the comparable campaign in France called, "#BalanceTonPorc" (Call out your swine, pig) and stated that those crusades have turned the seriousness of violent sexual assaults [VIDEO] into the same witch-hunt against men.

In the letter, the French women say what began as a move aimed at allowing women to speak up has turned on itself and that any women who do not fall into line are viewed as complicit or traitors.

Though the letter does not attempt to define what constitutes sexual misconduct and what does not, they state they are, "sufficiently farseeing not to confuse a clumsy come-on and sexual assault".

"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive", Deneuve said past year, referring to the #MeToo hashtag.