In the 1967 film Belle du jour, French actress Catherine Deneuve starred as a woman who works as a prostitute while her husband is at work. Almost twenty years later, Canadian author Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale, depicting a dystopian and completely misogynist America. Thanks to their influence in their respective fields, both Deneuve and Atwood were prominent figures in the sexual revolution and women’s liberation movements of the mid-to-late twentieth century, which worked to expand women’s sexual freedom and their role in the workplace. Fast forward to 2018, and the two women have made headlines once again, this time for their reactions to the #MeToo movement exposing sexual harassment in the film industry. But unlike the radical success they received in their heyday, Atwood and Deneuve’s reactions seem more out-of-touch with today’s feminism than anything else.

A few weeks ago, Margaret Atwood published an op-ed in a Canadian newspaper entitled “Am I a Bad Feminist?” expressing her worries that the #MeToo movement, which she believes to have highlighted the “broken legal system,” will do away with due judicial process altogether and resort to a guilty-because-accused “witch hunt” standard. While she does bring up a good point about the value of judicial process, Atwood’s conservative doubt undermines the main intent of the #MeToo movement: to reveal the endemic sexual harassment both in the film industry and globally.

Just days before her, bastion of French cinema Catherine Deneuve, as well as over 100 French women prominent in the entertainment, academic, and publishing industries, sent a letter to the French publication Le Monde criticizing #MeToo. In her letter, Deneuve, alongside her co-signatories, cautioned that the “puritanical” #MeToo movement endangers the sexual revolution and freedom that she and her contemporaries, namely iconic feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, had fought for in the mid-sixties. It is indubitably difficult to see someone once so politically outspoken, publicly revealing her history with illegal abortion in 1971, denounce the feminist movement’s current evolution. Initiatives with the international scale of #MeToo’s already have enough difficulty finally coming to pass, and the divisions Deneuve creates with her letter detract from their power and potential.

Both Deneuve and Atwood took part in the second-wave feminist crusade of past generations, emphasizing sexual liberation and women’s role in the workplace, so it doesn’t quite make sense that they would now turn around and criticize a similarly liberal protest. These women, as well as older feminists on the whole, seem to be prioritizing concerns from the movements of their youth—like base legal equality—and fail to see how feminism has evolved since then. It follows that the heart of this debate lies in the widening generation gap within the feminist movement, between the younger, internet-savvy feminists of today and more reserved, older feminists with distinct memories of the movement’s history.

It’s the same generation gap seen during the 2016 elections, when Bernie Sanders’s liberal rallying cry attracted today’s feminists much more effectively than Hillary Clinton’s less far-reaching policies. And moreover, this generation gap is damaging to feminism itself. As with any political movement, disunity posits a direct threat to the power and impact feminism can have on society. To succeed, the movement requires both the experience and maturity of older women and the resilience and determination of younger feminists.

So, how do we bridge this gap? For starters, everyone, young or old, needs to hit the books. Young women need to study the history of the movement with which they identify so strongly. We need to realize that a large portion of the liberties we take for granted results from landmark legal turning points like Roe v. Wade, which set a federal precedent for legal abortion, and Title IX, which helped integrate women within educational institutions and the workforce. And importantly, it was many of today’s older feminists, when they were our age, who fought for these victories. Likewise, older feminists need to understand that, thanks in part to the success of their contributions, the nature of feminism itself has changed. No longer are we fighting to have our voices heard alongside a patriarchal society; we’re fighting to dismantle the patriarchy itself. It’ll be a long, hard fight, but with the mature experience of older feminists working in harmony with the determination of their younger counterparts, we’ll be one step closer.