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Some French women say ‘puritanism’ in American feminism threatens sexual liberty

 Victimizing, androphobic, totalitarian and puritanical.

This is how a number of prominent women in France see American feminism.

While clamors of “Oprah 2020” echo around the United States following Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday, some women in France are deriding what they describe as a new strand of American feminism.

In the French magazine, Causeur, author Vida Azimi mocks the fact that show-biz women wore black at the ceremony. She questions what there is to mourn and contends that women are actually going through a regression. “We thought they were in charge of their lives,” she wrote, “and there they are, confessing they were cowardly and paid a high price for what one calls ‘success.’” Another author decries this brand of feminism as encouraging self-victimization and aiming to be “androphobic.”

Causeur founder and director Élisabeth Lévy speaks of the rise of “totalitarian feminism,” which she says will not tolerate a difference of opinion. She deplores the #BalanceTonPorc (“expose your pig”) social media campaign as the result of what she calls “2017, the year of the snitches.”

Lévy is one of the 100 prominent women who signed (alongside revered actress Catherine Deneuve) the much-decried manifesto criticizing the #MeToo movement in the daily, Le Monde, this week. On Friday, Lévy reacted to the manifesto’s critics, saying, “For two months, we’ve had an earful about the liberation of women’s speech,” adding, “Except we forgot to read the small print stating this liberated speech must strictly follow the guidelines established by the guardians of feminism. All women are therefore required to proclaim freely that they are victims, at least potentially […].”

Related: Has the #MeToo movement gone too far or not enough?

For the women who penned the manifesto, the threat of “puritanism” in post-#MeToo feminism is a threat to sexual…

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