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FEMINISM

French icon Brigitte Bardot slams #MeToo ‘publicity-seeking’ actresses

French film legend Brigitte Bardot attacked the #MeToo movement Wednesday, claiming that actresses who complain of sexual harassment were just looking for publicity.

French icon Brigitte Bardot slams #MeToo 'publicity-seeking' actresses
Photo: AFP
“The vast majority are being hypocritical and ridiculous,” she told the French magazine Paris Match.
   
“Lots of actresses try to play the tease with producers to get a role. And then, so we will talk about them, they say they were harassed,” declared the 83-year-old Bardot.
   
“I was never the victim of sexual harassment. And I found it charming when men told me that I was beautiful or I had a nice little backside,” said the actress, who became a sex symbol overnight for “And God Created Woman” in 1956.
 
 
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Deneuve feminist row sparks yet more soul-searching in FrancePhoto: AFP   

She signed an open letter by 100 prominent women that claimed that #MeToo had become a puritanical “witch-hunt” which threatened sexual freedom.
 
It also implied that women fondled on public transport should just get over it.
   
But Deneuve later distanced herself from some of the other signatories after one claimed that women can orgasm during rape.
 
'Distrustful of the human race'
 
The 74-year-old went on to apologise to victims of sexual assault, saying there was “nothing good” about harassment.
   
Bardot, who ended her film career in 1973 so she could dedicate herself to her animal rights charity, has a long history of provoking feminists.
   
Yet she admitted to the magazine that she has not digested what happened to her when she was at the height of her fame in the 1960s, and her love life made international headlines.
   
“I still find it difficult to understand what happened to me,” she said.
 
“That uncontrollable time made me very distrustful of the human race.”
 
French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot to get statue in Saint Tropez
Brigitte Bardot. Photo: AFP   
 
Bardot said she “has almost no contact these days with the entertainment industry” other than phone calls from her old friends like veteran actor Alain Delon.
   
Instead she looks after her six cats, nine dogs and some 50 other animals at her farm and animal sanctuary near the French Riviera resort of Saint Tropez.
   
She said that when she is gone she wants to be known as the “animals' fairy godmother”.
   
A supporter of the far-right National Front, Bardot said she prefers the late pope John Paul II to Pope Francis and prays to the Virgin Mary, which she calls “my little Virgin”.
   
But she said that if she was reincarnated she would be like to be a “mustang, that wild and free horse of the American West”.

FEMINISM

Strike calls in France on International Women’s Day

Men and women are being called on to finish work at 3.40pm on Monday to highlight the gender pay gap, one of many actions and demonstrations taking place around France to mark International Women's Day.

Strike calls in France on International Women's Day
Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

Several organisations and unions are calling for a strike to denounce pay inequality.

“On March the 8th, we will be on strike along with women all over the world to refuse to pay the price of the crisis with our jobs, our salaries, our bodies,” several unions including the CGT, FSU and Solidaires said in a press conference.

The objective is to denounce the gender pay gap that continues to impair women’s rights, but also to denounce the unfair burden that the past year’s health crisis has put on women.

“The lockdowns have been very heavy burdens on women for the past year, whether it’s in the health, work or home environments, increase in domestic violence. Not to mention the large amount of predominantly female jobs that have continued to maintained a level of normality during the lockdown,” the co-secretary general of FSU, Murielle Guilbert, told Les Echos.

The below map shows the actions planned around the country on Monday.

In Paris, a demonstration will start in Port-Royal at 1pm and move towards the Place de la République.

Organisations including Osez le féminisme, Les Effrontées and Unef have called women as well as men to go on strike on Monday from 3:40pm, in order to denounce the gender pay gap.

For a full list of actions around the country, click here.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been criticised by a junior minister for having only one woman among his closest advisers.

“I told him ‘Mr President, you are not giving a good example,” Elisabeth Moreno, a junior minister in charge of gender equality, told French media on Sunday.

She declined to say how the 43-year-old reacted, but she praised him for making gender equality a public priority and for ensuring balanced governments throughout his time in office.

Every cabinet since Macron came to power in 2017 has featured equal numbers of men and women, although both prime ministers have been male and the majority of the top cabinet jobs are currently held by men.

Macron has also been criticised for appointing Gérald Darmanin as his interior minister – the man nominally in charge of the country’s police force – while he is under investigation for rape.

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