French film star Catherine Deneveu (74, net worth $185 million, 12th wealthiest actress in the world) and 99 other famous French women have written a manifesto (full translation) denouncing the puritan witch hunts (not only) in the U.S.
Gallantry or clumsy flirtation isn't rape or an attack of machismo, they emphasize, and the war against these innocent acts has established a totalitarian atmosphere, has already hurt the movie industry and the society as a whole, and resembles the witch hunts.
Lots of wise women have praised the letter. For example, honorary woman Silvio Berlusconi has called those comments "blessed words". On the other hand, some feminazis have reacted, too. Deneuve has been turned into a "serial defender of pedophiles and predators" etc.
Previously, Deneuve has pointed out that a woman may be a boss of a team and minutes later, she may turn into a sexual object – and still avoid becoming a slut. These days, women who dare to express such good old common sense – and live lives in agreement with this common sense – must be considered heroes. So dear Mrs Deneuve, you are both a hero and a heroine (not to mention a ballsy woman).
On one hand, we have gotten used to framing the radical feminists as postmodern leftists.
On the other hand, what they promote is the old puritanism – which could be considered a radical application of some outdated, conservative Christianity (or Islam, for that matter). The only modern aspect of this puritanism is the new marketing brand, "MeToo", which may sound sexier to its defenders than "16th and 17th century puritanism reloaded".
Well, everyone who thinks that "MeToo" is interesting, modern, or innovative has been fooled by a baguette. In particular, all the journalists in the Time Magazine (which declared "MeToo" their "Man of the Year") are full of šit.
America has been more puritan than Europe and some of the differences in the European and American reactions may therefore be blamed on the cultural differences between the continents. After all, the French have been rather relaxed about these matters. They have also invented the French kiss and 69 other maneuvers that you thought to be topologically forbidden.
It's not quite a coincidence that the U.S. song "The Bad Touch" became a hit in Europe but a failure in America.
However, a big portion of these differences between the nations are overstated stereotypes. The Western civilization is being constantly mixed and the U.S. as well as the Western European trends get quickly emulated on the other side of the pond.
Let me pick Jessica Valenti's feminist reaction in the Guardian as a representative of the reactions that are still dumb as a doorknob but that have been at least tamed by the editor. Well, the text starts with the title:
Abuse isn't romantic. So why the panic that feminists are killing eros?Just check the title. Is abuse romantic? Well, abuse is "defined" to be a negative word, and because "romantic" is supposed to be positive, they're the same thing. The only problem is that to apply this logic in practice, we need an independent definition of "positive" and "negative". And there just doesn't exist any definition that would confirm that the sets "abuse" and "romantic" are disjoint.
The main problem is that what one side of the interaction could call "abuse" may be considered "romantic" by the other side. You know, the sexual attraction itself may be and often is asymmetric. And that basic point – misunderstood or denied by the feminists – is crippling their whole paradigm. After mentioning several wise observations of the harm done by this feminist puritanism, Valenti writes:
...Ross Douthat is even worried that the push to end sexual harassment could stunt population growth. Who knew that humankind’s very existence depended on women’s silence in the face of abuse?Well, the humankind's continued existence doesn't depend on women's silence – they may even scream "oh my God", it doesn't make much difference. ;-) Instead, what the humankind's continued existence depends upon is some men's indifference to the women's screaming. Whether some women or feminists are screaming or not, these men just f*cking continue their fuc*ing, and that's actually needed for the survival of the humankind.
So the society may invent various taboos and ways to talk about these issues but at the end, the biological instincts prevail. A dystopian feminist society may assign the life in prison to every man who has sex. But make no mistake about it. Some men will do it, anyway! Even the punchline of the Polish cult film "Sexmission" agrees that Nature always finds its way.
After Valenti unsuccessfully tried to suggest that she isn't actually attacking the innocent, cute, daily gallantry, she realized that her argumentation made no sense and she admitted:
Perhaps instead of mourning the loss of office “flirtations”, we should consider the idea that some women never liked them much to begin with.Right. Feminists have always disliked "flirtations", especially because it wasn't happening to them. In most cases, no one would touch them with a 5-meter-long wooden stick. ;-)
When will we have more concern for the women hurt by abuse than the men accused of it?If she asks me, my answer is a resounding Never. A girl or a woman who is a target of flirtation enjoys a great compliment, a reaffirmation of her aesthetic and biochemical credentials. It's a great thing for her and, as Silvio correctly said, she should be happy. Why should I be compassionate with her? It's the men who are being harassed for having unavoidable instincts – and, often, just for being in love in the genuine sense – who deserve our sympathy.
Her last paragraph states:
This moment isn’t about romance, it’s about abuse. Perhaps the fact that so many people can’t tell the difference is part of the problem.The fact that so many people can't tell the difference isn't a part of any problem. It's a consequence of the fact that there doesn't really exist any difference. Whether some flirtation looks like "abuse" or "romantic gallantry" is in the eyes of the beholder. And a decent society simply cannot criminalize men for acts whose assessment is this subjective.
This educational General Electric video about sexual harassment is funny but it conveys the deep essential point, too. Whether the ladies consider some acts "sexual harassment" mostly depends on their attraction or the absence of it towards the men. The two men may otherwise do exactly the same things following exactly the same previous reactions by the women. The very survival of the mankind proves that most women actually do allow men to do things that would be demonized in other contexts – and worse things.
And a civilized society simply shouldn't punish a man just because a woman finds him unattractive.
Remotely related: Sometimes, women sexually attack men. Presidential elections started in Czechia. President Zeman came to vote for his favorite candidate, himself. In the polling station, he was attacked by a nude and unattractive member Ms Angelina Diash of Female Semen (Femen), a Ukraine-based feminist terrorist organization named after the most intelligent cells in the female body (semen). She screamed "Zeman's Putin's slut" (that proposition was written on her "chest", too). Trump and others have enjoyed a similar treatment as Zeman so he's in a good company.
Women – and men – like that are complete nut jobs. Zeman is an old man who barely walks, as you can see, and he has rather balanced opinions and a history of bringing his and our country to the West, too. Why would someone attack him like that? And did the Femen activist think about Zeman's wife and how she would be affected? Needless to say, Zeman described the episode with humor and praised his guards (which didn't do a good job by allowing her to be this close, but finally saved his life LOL; she should be extremely grateful that they didn't neutralize her – there could have been good reasons for that).
Incidentally, I give him a net plus but I didn't vote for Zeman this time. I chose the right-wing ex-PM Mirek Topolánek who isn't perfect in my ideological books (and ex-president Klaus had reasons to call him a "vacuous and phony poplar tree" in a famous SMS message; the name Topolánek is derived from topol, a poplar tree) but he has done some progress and has OK views on most things I care about. Zeman's self-evidently suboptimal physical condition plus excessive cooperation with Babiš are the top reasons he lost my vote.
Update Saturday afternoon: Zeman (41%) and the politically correct, opportunist physical chemist Jiří Drahoš (25%) will go to the second round in 2 weeks. I guess that Zeman will win although less clearly than these numbers show.