Liberal French President Emmanuel Macron wants to make “gender insults” punishable by a fine.
Macron, 39, is a champion of gender equality who established a cabinet of 11 men and 11 women after winning the French election in April.
“Gender-based insults will be punishable by law. Offenders will face a deterrent fine,” announced Macron, adding that forms of street harassment like 'wolf whistling' could also be subject to punishment.
The new law will apply to both genders, but is specifically designed to make women feel comfortable in public. “The streets should not become hell for the women of France,” said Macron during a speech marking the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
“Many women have said that the first sexist violence they meet is in the street,” said Macron. “This is unacceptable. Women must feel comfortable in public spaces…this must be one of the priorities of the police.”
The new law, which Macron said would be finalized “in a few weeks’ time,” may also apply to forms of online harassment.
Another part of Macron's push for gender equality is a crackdown on pornography, which he views as a major cause of violence against women.
To accomplish these goals, Macron has promised to increase the gender equality budget to over 430 million Euros in 2018.
France is also considering a series of new measures related to sexual violence. These rules include:
• Extending the statute of limitation for the rape of a minor from 20 years to 30 years.
• Establishing 15 as the minimum age of consent.
• Providing an “on demand” service that would allow women to exit public transit at any time.
• Allowing victims to file rape complaints online.
These considerations come amid an explosion of sexual harassment allegations against politicians and entertainers.
Author’s Note: Apart from being nearly impossible to enforce, Macron's new law seems to be a huge waste of time and money - not to mention it is a serious restriction of citizens' freedom of speech that would be unconscionable in America.
Editor's note: Macron should be working on more important issues, like his refugee problem, terrorism, his economy, the likelihood that the EU will split into pieces, etc.