The letter was the response of 100 powerful women in France to the #MeToo Movement. It defended men's rights and criticized the movement.
Reporter Annabel Crabb meets with radio host Brigitte Lahaie, who signed the Le Monde letter. She believes French seduction is more balanced than in other European countries. Women are more likely to be sexually harassed on the streets in France than in any other country.
The Le Monde letter expressed sympathy for men who have been disciplined in the workplace and called #MeToo a Puritan attack on sexual freedom. Scientist and philosopher Peggy Sastre wrote most of the letter's content. She finds the movement excessive and thinks it will lead to numerous false accusations.
It is not uncommon for French men to have numerous affairs. Gender equality is a major goal for President Emmanuel Macron. Crabb speaks with a group of Frenchmen, who agree with the Le Monde letter, but are more comfortable using dating apps than approaching women on the street.
Many see a generational shift away from the old models of flirtation and seduction. The sexual freedom movement in the 1960s took a strong hold in France. The country has no age of consent law and rape is often not treated as a serious crime.
A clinic for women who have experienced sexual assault or violence operates in a working-class neighborhood near Paris. Many view the ideas in the Le Monde letter as old-fashioned and out-of-touch with modern French society.
Credits: The French Letter
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Is it OK for a man to proposition a woman in the street or at work? Some leading French women say yes. In Paris, guest reporter Annabel Crabb asks what happens when #MeToo rubs up against Pepe Le Pew.
Length: 29 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
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