W olf-whistling is set to be banned in France after a recent survey showed nearly all women in France have experienced some form of harrassment on public transport, the street, and other public places.
President Emmanuel Macron pledged to end the harassment of women this year. Repeatedly asking women for their phone numbers, following them and wolf-whistling at them could all be seen as a criminal offense.
Only a small number of countries, including Belgium and Portugal, have banned behavior that could be deemed as harrassment.
Other countries such as the UK have broader laws which target harassment in general but do not have any specific laws on actions that could be classed as ‘mysoginistic’.
The Sun reports that certain lawyers believe men should only be prosecuted if a police officer witnesses an offense, however, others say that women should have the opportunity to file criminal lawsuits against these so-called criminals at a later date.
Marlène Schiappa, the under-secretary for gender equality, believes the plan is a great move to combat sexism in France.
She even gave an example of behavior that could soon become illegal.
“You are a woman in an underground train. I am a man. I follow you,” she said. “You get off the train. I get off.”
“You get on another train. I get on too. I ask you for your telephone number. I ask again. I ask a third time,” she continues. “You feel oppressed. That is street harassment.”
A lawyer named Gilles-William Goldnadel has accused Schiappa of trying to make “heavy Latin chat-up lines” illegal.
He said the law will only benefit feminist lawyers and will fill the legal system with nonsense.
Featured Image Via Flickr/Jeso Carneiro