Crassness does not merit same punishment as assault

Simon Heffer, the renowned political commentator and historian, turns his gaze to French politics

Since France is renowned as the land of seduction and Ooh la la, it was inevitable that a French woman would make a telling contribution to the international debate about the sexual harassment of young women by older and more powerful men. In the Anglosphere the debate has been conducted on social media by the #MeToo movement; the French offshoot is #balancetonporc, which roughly translates as ‘squeal on your pig’. The original campaign against these unpleasant men was triggered by last year’s Harvey Weinstein scandal, after a regiment of actresses complained about the ageing director’s disgusting behaviour towards them, including allegations not just of harassment but of indecent exposure, physical assault and rape.

#balancetonporc was not the last word by French women on the subject, however. During January 100 women put another side to the argument. Catherine Deneuve and 99 others used the columns of Le ...

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