The US should pass a law that prohibits catcalling


Savanna Briscoe, Contributing Writer

A few months ago, the French minister for gender equality, Marlene Schiappa, petitioned that Paris, France should make “catcalling” illegal. The French legislation recently passed this law banning all public sexual harassment by fining catcallers so that women walking the streets will no longer have to live in fear. Do you think the US should follow suit?

Many women from all around the world have been victims of catcalling. As a matter of fact, 81 percent of women have been affected by sexual harassment while walking along the streets. This number is awfully high and it raises a lot of red flags.

There is a reason why France passed this law; the safety of women is important to them and France’s legislation noticed that it had become a larger problem in recent years. According to the article in Maxim regarding France’s new law, author Zeynep Yenisey says that there is a fine for catcallers ranging from 90 to 750 euros (that’s between $104.69 and $872.44 in US dollars).

This movement should raise a few eyebrows and questions as to why the United States has yet to pass a law prohibiting street harassment. This has been a major issue for years now to the point where some women are afraid to leave their homes due to the fear catcalling has brought upon them.

Yes, we do live in a country where one has the freedom of speech, but if the U.S. government continues to allow men to shout at women in a crude and disrespectful way, then there will never be an end to this unruly action. It is extremely unfair that women are afraid to walk places by themselves because they are worried they will be put in an uncomfortable situation.

There is a reason why most women are disturbed by catcalling: not only is this a rude and disgusting action, but it also belittles a woman. It makes her feel like she is just a body when there is so much more to a woman than just her physical appearance. When a woman is catcalled, she feels threatened and uncomfortable.

This is where men get it all wrong; yes, it is true that some women do enjoy attention, but not in a negative way. Most women are only seeking positive attention and polite compliments, not nasty, rude comments from random men on the streets. Yelling and shouting at a women to get her attention is downright disrespectful and if the United States government does not take action, there will never be peace.

Sometimes, sexual harassment leads to women being followed by the male who called at her if she does not engage in conversation with him. Women are taught to just walk away from the perpetrator and ignore any language that is directed at them. She also runs the risk of being followed and often, the harassment does not end here. But even when a woman walks away, she still leaves with a strong feeling of disgust.

The bottom line is that, there is no harm in passing a law that prohibits catcalling and sexual harassment. In fact, this law most likely would put an end to this problem due to the fines that come along with it. If the U.S. decided to pass this law, women would no longer have to live in fear, and after all, why wouldn’t our government want to protect the women of this country?