There are so many valid reasons to dislike the French. They get almost everything wrong. But even the biggest dick you know once said something that made total sense, even if it’s hard to admit it.
Legendary French actress, Catherine Deneuve, and a hundred other annoying French female persons of the arts and academia and other chain smoking professions penned an open letter condemning the American celebrity led #MeToo movement which has spread more recently to the shores of the Gallic motherland. Roughly translated, they see a witch hunt taking down the mustached men they love to stay up with until four in the morning discussing Flaubert. Fuck you, I picked a name.
“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.”
You have to give it up for the French when it comes to sex. They handle it like adults. Really even the rape mostly flies. That whole “stealing a kiss” sounds cute from them; over here it’ll cost you your entire reputation and FX TV shows. The French liberally see underaged prostitutes as chic. Mistresses as a must for the powerful man. And they revel in the romance of their nation’s first lady mounting the President when he was 15 and she was his married mother of three 40 year old teacher. They’re very big on the heart wants what the heart wants mentality. Rightly or wrongly, it’s more rational than most nations when it comes to gender play, courtship, and shtupping.
Deneuve, et.al., point out the clearly idiotic stance of applauding a woman’s right to speak out, while castigating all the women who speak out no in perfect agreement. Free speech, provided you say what we’ve written down for you here to say. The French artist ladies believe that the #MeToo fervor and denunciations will only lead to more sexual oppression and religious extremism. That point isn’t argued particularly well, but it’s still a sweet rhetoric bomb in a Parisian paper open letter.
There have been some counter- rumblings by women of note in the U.S. to the witch hunt against men for being too much like men in media and entertainment. But it’s been light and apprehensive and half-hearted. Not like a letter with your name signed on it sent to the paper of record. A thousand women signed the Time’s Up letter in the Times. Zero have yet to sign a counter stance. Viva la France. For up to an hour, then that shit goes back to as before.