In today’s “holy shit, this happened!” news, 100 famous French women — from actress Catherine Deneuve, 74, to writer Catherine Millet, author of the explicit memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M, — have penned a letter speaking out against the #MeToo movement and its French counterpart #BalanceTonPorc (Call out your pig).
On Wednesday, the group of women published a letter in the newspaper Le Monde defending, essentially, men’s right to hit on women.
This fever to send “pigs” to slaughter, far from helping women to empower themselves, actually serves the interests of the enemies of sexual freedom, religious extremists, the worst reactionaries and those who believe name of a substantial conception of the good and Victorian morality that goes with it, that women are beings “apart”, children with an adult face, demanding to be protected.
The letter goes onto say that a woman can “in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a ‘slut’…or a vile accomplice of patriarchy. She can ensure that her salary is equal to that of a man, but not feel traumatized forever by a rub on the subway, even if it is considered a crime.” I think, if I may humbly say, what these women are fundamentally misunderstanding is that the #MeToo movement isn’t trying to take away our slutty rights, rather it’s trying to ensure that we can do so without being harassed, without being raped, and that we can call out sexual misbehavior.
This letter is the latest in a small wave of controversial backlash essays being penned. Writer Daphne Merkin wrote a New York Times op-ed titled “Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.” Yesterday, a wave of concern spread on Twitter when rumors began circulating that Harper’s was planning to publish an article by controversial writer Katie Roiphe that would out or “dox” the creator of the “Shitty Men In Media” list. Harper’s has confirmed they are publishing a piece by Roiphe, but a spokesperson said they “don’t discuss the content of pieces until they are published.”