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Group of prominent French women defends men’s flirting


Following the large TIME’S UP campaign in Hollywood against sexual harassment involving the scandal of American producer Harvey Weinstein, (, around 100 influential French women volunteered to defend the liberty of men to hit on women, saying this act stimulates sexual freedom. Women signatories, among which were actresses, writers, researchers and journalists, wrote an article published by Le Monde reading, “Rape is a crime, but persistent and cack-handed seduction is not a felon, nor is men flirting a sexual macho assault.” The text was co-edited by writer Catherine Millet and signed by legendry actress, Catherine Deneuve, among other women who have distanced themselves from the recent wave of accusations targeting Weinstein. They voiced their concern over the revival of puritanism and the rise of a feminist male-hater movement. The above article prompted immediate denunciation, notably by former minister for women’s rights, Laurence Rossignol, who regretted in a tweet what she called as an unfounded concern about a possible weakened presence of a woman without a man to covet or desire which drove smart women to write silly stuff. The article, Rossignol said in a radio interview, is an intentional slap in the face to all women who publicly denounce and report cases of sexual harassment and assaults. For their part, a group of feminist activists condemned the ineptness of women in their defense of the right of men to catcall women. (An Nahar, January 11, 2018)

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