Men in France to face on the spot fines for wolf-whistling at women

Womens take part to a "slutwalk" with placards reading "I have breasts and a ass, I am a women" (R) and "Flirt but not violence" (L) on October 1, 2011 in Paris. Hundreds of women swapped business suits for short skirts and revealing tops Saturday to protest against sexual violence and victim blaming. AFP PHOTO JOHANNA LEGUERRE / AFP PHOTO / JOHANNA LEGUERRE

A new law banning cat-calling (or wolf-whistling) and harassment of women on French streets will see men fined on the spot for lecherous and aggressive behaviour, France’s women’s minister said Monday

The legislation is being piloted by 34-year-old Marlene Schiappa, a feminist and early supporter of French President Emmanuel Macron who wants to tackle sexist male attitudes in public spaces

“It’s completely necessary because at the moment street harassment is not defined in the law,” she told RTL radio on Monday in a major interview to outline the law, which is to be voted next year

The escalating scandal over Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults on a string of actresses has rekindled debate on sexual harassment and predation in France

The hashtag MeToo encouraging women to share their experiences is among the top 10 trends on French Twitter, and a new one has emerged — #balancetonporc (“Expose the Pig”) — to report sexual harassment in the workplace.Asked about the difficulty of drawing a line between harassment and flirtation, Schiappa replied: “We know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street

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