France Considers Criminalising Catcalling

The bill will be voted on by MPs next year. By Ella Alexander

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France is considering making catcalling illegal under new plans to crack down on sexual harassment and violence.

French gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa proposes on-the-spot fines for catcalling and lecherous behaviour in public. The BBC reports that police and magistrates will now work with politicians to ascertain what behaviour is defined as sexual harassment.

“The idea is that society as a whole redefines what it is acceptable or not,” she told La Croix newspaper. When asked what actions would fall foul of the proposed legislation, she said it could be following a woman for several blocks, or “asking for your number 17 times”.

“We know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street,” she asserted.

The plans come in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, in which more than 30 women have accused him of sexual assault and harassment. French President Emmanuel Macron this week said plans were in place to strip the producer of the Legion of Honour that he received in 2012.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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