French Actress Catherine Deneuve Denounces #MeToo 'Puritanism'

The French newspaper Le Monde published an open letter by 100 women on Tuesday, accusing the "Me Too" movement of unfairly punishing men for flirting and infantilizing women.

The letter was signed by prominent women in France, including Catherine Deneuve, a famous actress who's been working since the 1960s.

The letter says that the "victims" of the "Me Too" movement 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 men should always have the "indispensable freedom to offend and bother" women, for the sake of sexual freedom. On the of the coin, the letter accuses the "Me Too" movement of promoting "puritanism."

The letter also references the French equivalent of "Me Too," which is "#balancetonporc," or "Squeal On Your Pig." It says that the "fever to send the 'pigs' to the slaughterhouse is far from helping women to become autonomous," but rather "serves the interests of the enemies of sexual freedom, religious extremists, the worst reactionaries and those who deem, in the name of a conception of goodness and Victorian morality, that women are children with adult faces who want to be protected."

Deneuve is the biggest star to sign the public letter, but others include actresses, journalists, authors and psychologists.

The backlash against the letter was swift and brutal. While many prominent figures in the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" campaigns ignored the article, some took it as a personal attack and responded in kind. Asia Argento, one of the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, tweeted that the letter was a display of "interiorized misogyny" which had "lobotomized" the signatories "to the point of no return."