Since the revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual misconduct it has had a flow on effect with other male celebrities not just in Hollywood but around the world being exposed for similar behavior.
In the aftermath there has been a campaign by the feminist movement which has been promoted on social media to out more men who they believe are guilty of sexual misconduct. Women have been sharing their own experiences of sexual harassment under the hashtag #metoo.
It should be noted that these male celebrities were assisted in getting away with their sexual exploits by senior people in the entertainment industry. This is why it is especially hypocritical by women in this industry to lecture the common man not to engage in sexual harassment when they have been the ones who have been enabling and have remained silent on what was going on in their own backyard until now.
As we have seen with feminist campaigns against sexual harassment and assault it turns into a witch hunt where even staring, telling a women she looks nice and asking her to dinner are now defined as sexual harassment. This is how they have been able to claim that there is a sexual assault epidemic on university campuses.
However there are some women willing to call out the hysteria from the #metoo campaign and how it has contributed to the further demonisation of all men.
In France a group of 100 female writers, performers and academics published an open letter in the French daily newspaper Le Monde condemning the “puritanism” that had resulted from the #metoo campaign and declared that men should be “free to hit on” women.
The letter argued that men trying to seduce women is a perfectly natural masculine trait “Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is being gentlemanly a macho attack”.
The letter also spoke of the persecution some men have faced in this new witch hunt “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” and had their reputations ruined for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions”.
The letter was signed by famous French actresses Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Millet who have starred in their own fair share of racy films. In France #metoo has a more blunt name #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig).
Not surprisingly the letter was condemned by France’s feminist establishment and its own social media lynch mob. It was also crticised by France’s minister for equality between and men and women Marlène Schiappa who stated “I think it’s dangerous to hold this view”. French feminist Caroline De Haas organized a response letter which could only muster 30 signatures where she accused these women of “putting the blame on women”.
In Australia there has been a concerned effort to out men in the entertainment industry accused of sexual misconduct. This has been led by former newsreader Tracey Spicer who pledged to out 40. Fairfax Media and the ABC have a joint investigative unit on this subject which has outed Don Burke and Craig McLaughlin. Geoffrey Rush was accused by the Daily Telegraph and is taking defamation action against the paper.
While nobody can disagree the entertainment industry has protected many sexual predators for a number of years, the excesses of the feminist movement will always hijack such a movement and we should be vigilant as these French women have written that innocent men who are simply displaying natural heterosexual tendencies do not have their reputations and livelihoods dragged through the mud.