A video of a woman named Marie Laguerre being assaulted by a catcaller after brushing him off has gone viral in France, and now politicians are taking action by putting into place a $870 fine for catcallers. After seeing the video of the incident, my honest to God first thought is – how cute are French cafes? Are those repurposed old wooden school desks? Patios in my current city of Chicago have the ambiance of a Costco parking lot. But this. This is adorable. I bet they have tiny glass bottles of hot Coke too.
Getting back to sexual harrassment, allegedly the attacker hurled an ashtray at Laguerre before she hurried away. He chased after her, leading to the altercation caught by CCTV. She stated of the encounter:
Last night, as I was coming back home in Paris, I walked past a man who sexually/verbally harassed me. He wasn’t the first one and I can’t accept being humiliated like that, so I replied ‘shut up.’ He then threw an ashtray at me, before rushing back to punch me, in the middle of the street, in front of dozens of people. This is an unacceptable behaviour. It happens everyday, everywhere and I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t have a similar story. I am sick of feeling unsafe waking in the street. Things need to change, and they need to change now.
A politican named Marlène Schiappa, who according to Buzzfeed News is the “architect of the new anti-sexual harassment law,” stated:
Harassment in the street has previously not been punished. From now on, it will be.
We kind of already started hashing this out in America, but I guess the French were too busy enjoying their adorable cafes to listen in. Don’t blame ’em. Catcallers in France can now be punished on-the-spot thanks to the new fine. But I can’t help but wonder if we’re conflating two somewhat different crimes. The crime of being an annoying catcaller and the crime of being a verbal or physical assailant. I’m also curious to know how the country will concretely define “catcalling.”
This le douche with a le limp French dick initually catcalled Marie, but obviousy his failed attempt to harm her with an ashtray and later successful attempt to punch her are where his actions became criminal. I already find the process of complimenting a woman insufferable, so I for one am glad that at least in France it’s now illegal.
« La loi contre les violences sexistes et sexuelles vient d’être votée à l’unanimité. Merci aux parlementaires. Ce n’est pas une finalité mais le commencement d’une mise en œuvre résolue pour éradiquer les violences envers les femmes, un changement de société. » #BFMTV pic.twitter.com/FHRgnNnN7Q
— 🇫🇷 MarleneSchiappa (@MarleneSchiappa) August 1, 2018
Photo Credit: French Secretary of Equality Marlène Schiappa from Facebook / Insagram / Twitter