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NEW BILL IN FRANCE IMPLEMENTS FINES FOR GENDER-BASED HARASSMENT

By Anna Tingley

 

Marie Laguerre, a 22-year old student living in Paris, confronted a man who verbally harassed her on her way home before he slapped her across the face.

The video of the incident, which shows some onlookers jumping up in response to the attack, went viral in July. Now, French lawmakers have passed a bill that essentially bans public gender-based harassment, fining perpetrators $105 to $875 depending on the case.  A fine of $17,000, one of the law's higher fines, will be punishment for people taking pictures under someone's clothes without permission, an act coined "upskirting."

This new bill is just the most recent of a slew of legislation coming out of France's own #MeToo movement, with an $105 fine for street harassment implemented in March.

More than just fines, the new bill also introduces the idea of "abuse of vulnerability," aiming to protect rape victims under the age of 15. Lawmakers were pushed to make the provisions after two controversial court cases in which men were acquitted from rape trials because the courts were unable to determine whether these young girls (one being 11 years old) were forced into to the act. 

While a wave of new legislation takes over France as the country grapples with their own #MeToo movement, many politicians criticize bills such as this one for not going far enough, with some left-wing politicians even abstaining from voting out of protest.

Anna Tingley is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tough to Tame, and an advocate for all things feminist, politics, or ramen-related. Her writing can be found at Billboard Magazine, Her Agenda, The Daily Bruin, and The Richmond Pulse. But for all the dirt, check her out on Instagram @annatationz and Twitter @annatingley.