Why this story matters:
The letter, signed by Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Millet, Ingrid Caven and many others, has relaunched the debate on sexual harassment inspired by the METOO movement. The signatories defend the “men’s right to hit on women” as an indispensable element of sexual freedom and warn that we’re about to enter an era of new puritanism.
In Italy, the feminist world is divided on the issue. Some believe the letter does nothing but weaken women’s cause. Others heaved a sigh of relief, believing that the #MeToo movement has triggered a wave of moralism that is spoiling social life.
Who else was relieved? The most blatant misogynists led by Silvio Berlusconi, who claimed that:
“Catherine Deneuve uttered holy words. It is only natural for a woman to be happy when a man is courting her.”
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