January 10, 2018

ANGELO CODEVILLA: Sex vs. Political Correctness?

The Left has some reason to worry that the newfound solicitude for sexual propriety spread by #MeToo might overflow the traditional bounds of political-correctness-as-weapon.

No different from demands regarding race and identity politics generally, the strictures of political correctness concerning sex do not define rights and wrongs. Rather, they claim authority to suppress such evils as the powerful may impute to their enemies. They also serve the ruling class’s war against Western Civilization. But current demands for “sensitivity” for women’s sense of sexual self-worth, rather than merely enhancing the power of better-connected people over less-connected ones, might actually lead America to consider what proper or improper sexual behavior is.

Neither P.C.’s partisan nature nor its corrosion of our civilization are in doubt.

Related: French star Catherine Deneuve defends men’s ‘right’ to chat up women.

France’s most revered actress Catherine Deneuve hit out Tuesday at a new “puritanism” sparked by sexual harassment scandals, declaring that men should be “free to hit on” women.

She was one of around 100 French women writers, performers and academics who wrote an open letter deploring the wave of “denunciations” that has followed claims that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped and sexually assaulted women over decades.

They claimed that the “witch-hunt” that has followed threatens sexual freedom.

“Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not — nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack,” said the letter published in the daily Le Monde.

“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,” said the letter, which was also signed by Catherine Millet, author of the hugely explicit 2002 bestseller “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.”.

Men had been dragged through the mud, they argued, for “talking about intimate subjects during professional dinners or for sending sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their attentions.”

The letter attacked feminist social media campaigns like #MeToo and its French equivalent #Balancetonporc (Call out your pig) for unleashing this “puritanical… wave of purification”.

– ‘Witch-hunt’ –

It claimed that “legitimate protest against the sexual violence that women are subject to, particularly in their professional lives”, had turned into a witch-hunt.

“What began as freeing women up to speak has today turned into the opposite — we intimidate people into speaking ‘correctly’, shout down those who don’t fall into line, and those women who refused to bend” to the new realities “are regarded as complicit and traitors.”

She’s not wrong.