The #MeToo movement is one of the most important things to come out of 2017—an otherwise pretty awful year. It gives women a chance to use their voices and fight against sexual assault. It gives us a chance to be heard, and more importantly, to be believed. And more than that, it's helped to expose sexual assault among prominent members of society who would have otherwise gotten away with abusing women.
But the movement isn't without its detractors, including iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve, who signed an open letter (opens in new tab) published in Le Monde along with 100 French women accusing #MeToo of being a "witch-hunt (opens in new tab)." (The headline was: "We Defend Freedom to Importune, Indispensable to Sexual Freedom.")
Deneuve and her fellow letter writers say they're concerned that "denunciations" will inhibit men, and lead to a new era of "puritanism." They also argue that men should be able "to hit on women."
"Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not—nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack," the letter reads. "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."
Everyone's voice deserves to be heard, but to imply that men are the victims in the #MeToo movement is problematic at best, and dangerous at worst.
Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.
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