French actress Catherine Deneuve and 99 other French women are taking that tack.
Implying the sexual harassers are actually victims, the letter takes issue with "men who are sanctioned in their work, pushed to resign, etc., when their only wrongdoing was to touch a knee, try to steal a kiss, speak about intimate things during a professional dinner or send messages that are sexually loaded to a woman who wasn't attracted to them". They argued that forcing men to "rack their brains" and apologize for alleged misconduct from decades ago "recalled totalitarian societies". Deneuve was among about 100 performers, scholars and others who signed an open letter published Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, by the newspaper Le Monde saying the "legitimate protest against sexual violence" stemming from the Harvey Weinstein scandal has gone too far and threatens hard-won sexual freedoms.
Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not - nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack.
"As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality".
A bizarrely common trend in the wake of the growing number of sexual assault allegations post-Weinstein has been the weird conflation of unwanted sexual advances with regular human interaction.
Some 30 women's rights activists slammed the letter, writing on the Franceinfotv website: "Pigs and their allies are right to worry".
The letter signed by Deneuve said some women may see being rubbed against by a man in the metro as an expression of "sexual deprivation" or a "non-event".
Writer Abnousse Shalmani, one of those who signed the open letter, said she was surprised by the "extremely violent reactions" it prompted.