Madame Deneuve, Stop Glorifying Gallantry Macho Aggression

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First of all, congratulations are in order to Madame Deneuve and her cheerleading squad for men’s “Freedom to pester”. They seem to have discovered a time travelling machine which takes them to an alternate reality made of 90s Indian cinema, where a girl’s no was retaliated with persistent pestering by the hero. Harassment so intense, the girl would fall head over heels for this Gallantry Macho Aggression masquerading as love.

Deneuve should have also included our popular Hindi Film catch phrase from the 90’s. “Ladki ki na me bhi uski haan hai!” in her open letter.


Just ask the women who have endured puberty and youth with this misconception printed into every roadside Romeos head in India. The gallantry macho aggression, which Deneuve is defending is unpleasant to many women on her continent. However, on our continent it leads to acid attacks, rapes and mass molestation of girls and women alike. But that is an entirely different story. But even if women don’t like men grabbing them casually, or stroking their knee, then men should stop.

If you are wondering why such a vehement outburst? Then read on my friend:

Almost hundred French women think that there is nothing wrong with ‘display of gallantry macho aggression’ by men, while pursuing them. Apart from writers, academics and businesswomen these women include a popular female actor Catherine Deneuve.

They think that the #MeToo movement has gone too far. Hence, they signed an open letter published in a French daily on Tuesday. This letter warned about a new movement of “puritanism” sparked by recent sexual harassment cases.

Decency calls for understanding what no means. Gallantry macho aggression and persistent pestering call for #BalanceTonPorc (“squeal on your pig”), the French version of #MeToo.

Another point on the agenda of Deneuve and Co. is that #MeToo movement chains women to the status of “the eternal victim” by framing them as “poor little things who are dominated by demon phallocrats.”

Yes, I agree that many women are going out of their way to settle scores in the name of playing victims. They are using the tide of #MeToo to ride over innocent men. Also, this reaction has led to a hypersensitivity in some women who hurl out their sandals and their tweets at even accidental brushing and bumping.

The movement against sexual harassment is like a walk on a tight rope.

One missed step, and the entire thing tumbles down into an abyss of over accusations, framing of innocent men, and increased resentment in men towards women. Worse would be that the entire thing would lose its steam, and many monsters would still get to lurk around freely.

However, this calls for strict checking of conscience from women themselves. They should not tolerate moronic behaviour in the name of “intense flirting” and “pestering”, for the sake of sexual freedom.

The gallantry macho aggression, which the women are defending in the name of sexual freedom has always led to bad consequences. It will get worse, if it finds a way to wriggle out from under the mammoth weight of #MeToo movement.

Deneuve may continue entertaining persistent flirting by men all she wants. But the rest of the womankind is not going to tolerate this non-sense behaviour anymore.

Pic Credit: France 24

Also Read: #MeToo Could Have Backlash Against Women: Sheryl Sandberg

Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.