No matter where you are in the world, no matter what you’re wearing, or what time of day it is, catcalling and street harassment are part of the female experience at some point. Some regions and cities have been found to be higher than others when it comes to rates of street harassment, most notably in metropolitan areas.
Whether someone is whistling, catcalling, or invading your personal space, it’s a culture that shouldn’t be tolerated and one that needs to be taken more seriously. France is doing something about it, as forms of public harassment are on the path of becoming a criminal offense.
Ne pas écouter la voix des victimes, c'est laisser leur malheur prospérer, jusqu'au jour où il nous frappera tous. C'est oublier que nous avons chacun, à un moment de notre histoire, été ces opprimés et que d'autres ont entendu nos voix. C'est oublier que leur vie engage la nôtre. Ne pas écouter ceux qui nous appellent à l'aide c'est croire que les murs et les frontières nous protègent. Mais c'est notre volonté d'agir qui nous protège, c'est notre refus d'accepter que l'histoire s'écrive sans nous. #AGNU #UNGA
According to The Times, males will face prosecution for chasing women and persistently asking for numbers or other information.
Newly-elected President Macron discussed this topic during his campaign, and it seems that he’s following through. This follows the publication of nation-wide surveys that reveal that all French women have been harassed on public transit or some other public place. The trouble lies in proving allegations and coming up with a legal definition of public harassment.
It’s long been a debate about how one should handle street harassment. Females are generally told to ignore it, but in several cases gone public over the years, women have spoken out about how silence has only further provoked persistent harassers, leading to dangerous situations. Researchers are finding that those with higher levels of education are more likely to engage in street harassment due to increased societal pressure and stress.
According to Complex, catcalling has been illegal in Belgium since 2014, and it’s also banned in Portugal in the workplace and the streets. Other nations have expressed intentions of implementing legal prosecution or, at this point, have made small steps towards attempts of eradication.