The French actress Catherine Deneuve is one of about 100 female writers, performers and academics who have put their names to an open letter denouncing the "puritanism" they claim has emerged in the wake of the recent sexual harassment scandals.
The letter, published in Le Monde, also condemns the denunciations, which followed allegations of rape and sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, as a "witch hunt", and claims that men should be allowed "to hit on women".
"Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or cack-handedly, is not – nor is men being gentlemanly a macho attack," the letter, which has also been signed by Catherine Millet, author of the 2002 bestseller The Sexual Life of Catherine M, says. "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."
The letter also criticises social media campaigns, such as #MeToo, for unleashing a "puritanical [...] wave of purification".
"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 are regarded as complicit and traitors.
"Instead of helping women, this frenzy to send these 'pigs' to the abattoir actually helps the enemies of sexual liberty – religious extremists and the worst sort of reactionaries.
"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.
"[Women] sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive. But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack."
This is not the first time that Deneuve, 74, who is best known for playing a prostitute in Luis Buñuel's 1967 film Belle de Jour, has spoken out on this issue.
"I don't think it is the right method to change things, it is excessive," she said last year, referring to the #MeToo hashtag. "After 'calling out your pig' what are we going to have, 'call out your whore'?"