Why Bardot Should Butt Out

The list of older women deriding the #MeToo movement continues ad nauseam. Back in October we had Britain’s Anne Robinson telling victims of abuse and harassment to suck it up (if you’ll pardon the association). She was singularly unimpressed with younger “fragile” women not being able to deal with sexual harassment in the work place, harking back to the good old days when she “had a more robust attitude to men behaving badly”. Still not getting how young women complaining (ie. doing something) about harassment is “fragile”, I have to say.

Then it was the turn of actress Catherine Deneuve and 99 other prominent French women who penned an open letter that read more like a Pervs’ Bill of Rights. “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.” Here’s a clue Catherine; your verb de choix was “steal”.

Next we got Hollywood’s Angelica Houston who, in an under-the-radar interview with The Times, stated “I was not born a #MeToo girl. It wasn’t who I wanted to be at school and it’s not what I want to be now — a snitch.” Question. Is anyone born a #MeToo girl? I hope not.

And then, of course, it was former actress Brigitte Bardot’s turn. Apparently, she thinks the MeToo movement is “hypocritical, ridiculous, without interest.” (She also claims never to have been sexually harassed, so…)

I have no strong feelings either way on how or what parents should feed their babies. Breast or bottle? I really don’t care; it is “without interest”, if I may borrow from Bardot. Similarly, women can pierce their lips, noses, eyebrows or belly buttons any day of the week. Apart from the last one making me wince slightly and wonder how one wears high-waisted trousers, again, I have no feelings one way or the other. Pierce away.

And what do I do about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t join in the constant Mumsnet “breast is best” battles, even if it’s only to announce my lack of interest or to tell everyone to calm the bleep down. I don’t take to Twitter posting photos of over-pierced young women, hashtagging my opinions either. Because I JUST DON’T CARE.

So why are these allegedly indifferent women opining about #MeToo? If, like Bardot, they haven’t been harassed, then please could they thank their lucky stars and voice an opinion on something they actually understand. If, like Anne Robinson however, they have dealt with harassment, then please have some sodding empathy – and then shut up. I understand that in some cases, a microphone is shoved under a nose, and #MeToo related questions posed. With Houston, the interview was to promote an upcoming project and the question arose before the project was discussed. It’s not as if she sought out the press to bestow her opinion on the #MeToo movement, like the Deneuve gang. Open letter indeed! But how about a stern smile and a swift change of subject. Or an even more direct “I don’t care to discuss it”? Like anyone’s going to argue with Angelica Houston.

So please older sisters, if the #MeToo movement leaves you cold, leave it alone.