French lawmakers want catcallers to face fines for harassment
Guys in France may have to shut up or put up if they’re caught harassing a woman on the street.
French lawmakers are considering legislation that will fine catcallers who engage in street harassment.
Marlène Schiappa, France’s junior minister for gender equality, is proposing legislation that will fine men on the spot for catcalling women and other public harassment.
Schiappa told RTL Radio that making harassment a crime was “completely necessary because at the moment street harassment is not defined in the law … we can’t currently file a complaint.”
It won’t be voted on until next year, after cross-party crafting and consultation with law enforcement to come up with a legal definition of street harassment.
A cost for the fine has yet to be determined.
Guys in France could face penalties if they catcall or verbally harass a woman on the street.
(Riccardo Livorni / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm)
Legislation is also being considered that would extend the statute of limitations on cases of sexual assault involving minors from 20 to 30 years and strengthen statutory rape laws.
The issue of verbal sexual harassment is especially a hot-blooded issue in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein Hollywood scandal and the recent #MeToo Twitter campaign that followed, where women were highlighting their experiences with sexual assault and harassment. In France, a similar campaign ran last week under the hashtag #balancetonporc, which translates to “expose the pig,” where women have shared stories of street harassment.
In 2014, Shoshana Roberts participated in a video of herself walking through the streets of New York, called “10 Hours of Walking in New York as A Woman” exposing the harassment she encountered over the course of 10 hours of walking. There were 108 instances of catcalling or street harassment by men in the video.
According to Stop Street Harassment, New York has laws involving verbal harassment, including indecent exposure and lewdness, harassment in the second degree (being harassed by the same person more than twice), stalking, groping, and unlawful surveillance, but none against street harassment.