France Just Outlawed Catcalling and Street Harassment

Aug 2, 2018

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Bad news for men who somehow think it’s OK to tell women to smile or whistle at them as they pass by on the street, especially in France — now it’s illegal.

This legislation has been in the works for about a year now, but it’s official as of Thursday morning, according to Reuters.

The law would introduce on-the-spot charges of up to 750 euros for catcalling or other inappropriate, unwanted behaviors. While the government is not looking to “kill the culture of the French lover,” it will “forbid insulting, intimidating, threatening, and following women in public spaces.”

This news comes only a few days after a disturbing video went viral in France. In it, a young woman was punched in the face by a passerby after she told him to “shut up” when he catcalled her.

Additionally, this new piece of legislation extends the statute of limitations for filing a sexual-assault report. Until now, this statute was 20 years from when the survivor turned 18 — it’s now been extended by another decade.

Gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa, one of the proponents for the new law, further explained that “We want to preserve seduction, chivalry, and ‘l’amour à la francaise’ by saying what is key is consent.”

This has been a long time coming and serves as a reminder that there’s a big difference between exploring the City of Love with someone you love — and being harassed by someone you don’t.

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash

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