Quantcast
Channel:
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 25628

In The Next Year, France Will Vote On A Law to Fine Street Harassers & Outlaw Catcalling

$
0
0

France’s minister of state for gender equality just proposed a law that would outlaw street harassment and get men fined right then and there for doing so, reports Bustle.

Minister Marlene Schiappa says the law is necessary because women currently have no legal recourse when they’re feeling unsafe on the streets. Harassment laws, like any laws, however, are useless unless they are well-enforced. As street harassment is currently not defined by law, Minister Schiappa says that’s something she plans to address in the near future with new and updated legislation.

She used examples of men following women down the street for long periods of time or asking for their numbers many times in order to explain what would be defined as street harassment: “We all know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street,” she said.

The issue is a personal one for Schiappa, because she is one of the countless women and female-presenting people who has experienced some form of street harassment firsthand. In an interview with NPR, she said she and her sister were frequently catcalled from a young age and that they would often have to find different routes to get to school or other places just to try to avoid it.

Canada and Portugal, as well as other countries, have made street harassment and catcalling illegal already. As far as the U.S. goes, laws vary from state to state. Most of them, if laws are in place at all, involve a fine or a brief stay in jail and require at least two offenses for legal action to be taken. This is where the problem lies: because there are plenty of men who can just afford to pay the fine and go right back on their merry way of harassing. That's also why Holly Kearl, founder of the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, said she would like to see some better alternatives that include some kind of educational element.

The exact details of the law are still being worked out by French politicians, who will seek the opinions of judges and police officers to help them better define what sexual harassment entails. Once that’s done, the law will be brought to a vote. Currently, there are plans for it to go beyond the protection of women in the streets and establish stricter rules about sex with minors, as well as extending the time people who were sexually assaulted has children have to go to the police with their story.

The gendered issues the U.S. has been dealing with are similar to ones France is facing. President Emmanuel Macron revoked the nation’s Legion d’Honneur award away from Harvey Weinstein after learning of the dozens of women accusing him of sexual assault.

They also have their own version of the now-viral #MeToo campaign, where women share their personal stories of being sexually harassed or assaulted. French women use the hashtag #balancetonporc. It has been translated to both “squeal on your pig” and “rat on your dirty old man.”

Schiappa has proved she’s dedicated to making public spaces in France safe for everyone, with ending street harassment being just the beginning. Like she told La Croix newspaper, “The idea is that society as a whole redefines what is acceptable or not.”


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 25628

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images