Sexual Harassment in France

Sexual Harassment

Four days ago, a French journalist known as Sandra Muller took to Twitter to talk about her experience with sexual harassment. She recalled how she had been sexually harassed by a top powerful French executive. The executive told her that she had big breasts. He went ahead to tell her that she was her type of a woman. The harassment didn’t stop there as the executive told her that he would make her orgasm all night. She then added a hashtag #BalanceTonPorc or Expose Your Pig. Three days later, French women gave her what she was looking for as they posted the disturbing sexual harassment and abuse messages that they have ever received. However, most of these women did not identify their harassers. This response in France resembles the same response to sexual harassment claims against a Hollywood producer known as Harvey Weinstein. As for this investigation, it trended under the hashtag #MeToo. However, the issue in France came as a surprise as the chauvinistic culture means that men in the country can misbehave with impunity. However, with the recent social media outcry, the debate is likely to spill out of culture into law where women should be protected against such kind of dehumanization.

At the moment, a proposal has already been put forward in France about how women will be protected against aggressive catcalling or disturbing behavior in public. At the same time, there is need to create an age ceiling that will prevent young people especially minors from sexual consent. This is a debate that is being fuelled in France by a writer and feminist known as Marlene Schaippa. She is also the junior minister in France who is in charge of gender equality. The minister was talking during an interview where she said that the government was looking into the issue of street harassment. At the same time, she confirmed that they were in the process of determining how much each case should be fined. Before the measures can be implemented, she said that workshops would be held across the country to sensitive the French people about the issue. At the same time, she emphasized that they were consulting legal professionals in regards to the issue. She was speaking to RTL radio where she confirmed that she was shocked by the response of French women in regards to sexual harassment. The gender minister further said that women have different stories related to assault and sexual harassment.

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