Happy International Womens’ Day

Happy International Womens’ Day
here’s your headache

Apparently the custom in Milan at least, is for men to hand women they like a bit of Acacia dealbata [aka Mimosa] — the one with the big fat pollen.

Lovely. *ahchoooo* tkx.

to coincide with International Women’s day… The Prime Minister [Cameron] will subscribe to the agreement, already endorsed by 18 European countries including France, Germany and Ukraine.

… a new European convention …Cheeky wolf-whistles or calling someone ‘darling’ could get you arrested

Among the clauses is one that will outlaw ‘unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’.

Picture Sam Elliot asking you to pass the salt, “Darlin’.”

Illegal in EWWrope.

…it would ‘lift the standards of protection for women across Europe, give greater support for victims and – crucially – bring many more perpetrators to justice’.

Because what we all need, as a society, is to Create More Crimes.

Now I remember, I do, being young, naive and dumb as a rock and being quite flustered by cat-calls, whistles and random randy/crude remarks. It wasn’t long before I figured out — in the callowness of my youth — that it was sooooooooo easy to *cough* deflate such “advances.” Kinda fun, too. Then I discovered it was far easier — and way more fun — to deflect or even ignore them while retaining the intended compliment, no matter how unappetizingly offered.

But making it a Crime?!? To be dealt with by Government, Cops, Guns and Jails?!?? Will it soon be a Crime to eat the entree with the salad fork? Jail anyone who attempts to discuss politics or religion at a cocktail party? Paint your nails on a plane?!!?

Julia Gray, [above, left]founder of the London branch of anti street harassment group Hollaback!, told the Guardian: ‘The way we see it is if you want to tackle it you tackle all of it – you say no to all forms of unwanted sexual harassment; that includes wolf-whistling, comments, everything.’

Hollaback! is a movement dedicated to ending street harassment. The term ‘Street harassment’ is used to describe sexual harassment which takes place in public spaces, and refers to behaviour such as staring, commenting, shouting, following, touching, grabbing, groping, flashing, assault, and violence.

Their contention is that “staring = assault / violence”. Doesn’t that seem to denigrate actual, yanno, violence?

“He punched me and tried to drag me into an alley*” ≠ “He’s looooking at meeeee

Finish your assignment! »

*”…so I shot him” ought to be the end of that sentence…

OMG. Check the presuppositions in this. And the police reaction in this!

and this??!?! “Naturally, she gets scared and runs away.”

.

Well, lookie here….

The article linked by JWF and quoted above was changed to this much more serious article. I hunted for it on gloogle and all the DailyMail linkys — that still quote the original — are changed, too.

So either the original article was mistaken in its claim that the EU Convention criminalizes everything from “staring, commenting, shouting” to “assault, rape and violence.” OR it just looked as silly as it was and the Powers That Be pushed for the article change.

33 Comments!

  1. mojo
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    “Skirts is weird.”

    So, it’s called “Hollaback”, which, at least to my mind, means “give as good as you get”, but they want the PO-LEEECE to defend their (hypothetical) honor?

    Seem quite confused, actually. And not a little whiney.

  2. snap-e-tom
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

    * lifts his mug of chai * Here’s ta swimmin’ wit bow-legged wimmins!

  3. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    Just a wild-ass guess, but mebbe she looked like a urologist. HEY, lotta urologists are blond; waddaumean how do I know? Ever been to Sweden? Most all of em is urologists, so there…

  4. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

    How about this?

  5. Ironic in Denver
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm |

    Claire, this is a jewel of a post. I mean your comments, as they often are. (God, I hope that remark isn’t somehow harassment.)

    The news, while unsurprising, is depressing.

    The term ‘Street harassment’ is used to describe sexual harassment which takes place in public spaces, and refers to behaviour such as staring….

    Okay, we all know this can in fact be harassment, but to criminalize it? How’s that supposed to work? How do you even define it? Just supposed: “He was sitting on a park bench gazing at the sunset when she walked in front of him, noticed his gaze and called the police. ‘I felt threaten and harassed,’ she said. After conviction, he was entered into the permanent public records as a sex offender….”

    I’m now envisioning a society in which men will keep their gaze respectfully lowered, speak only when spoken to, and are mighty careful what they say when they do. Hmm…. well, I expect there are some women who might welcome this, and more who’d like to fantasize about it…. Still, ignoring all those social justice issues, how’s a society supposed to function like this?…. Or is that the whole point?

    Regarding the RoP Imam:

    “He provided concrete examples of the manner in which wives should be beaten, how to isolate them inside the family home and how to deny them sexual relations…”

    Well, see on that last point — about the denying? If I were the lady in question I might be thinking that at last I was being rewarded for something…..

  6. Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:05 pm |

    Would it be wrong of me to note that her boyfriend looks pretty tough?

    *figured*

  7. Susan Lee
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm |

    Yipes! what to address first?

    It’s helpful to have a Mother who didn’t take s**t from anyone.
    It’s helpful to have a Father who was a model for how men SHOULD treat women.
    It’s helpful to know, wherever you are, how you would exit if ANYthing should happen – masher, nuclear explosion, doesn’t matter…

    I never minded being ogled, or whistled at. I treated it as a joke between me & the guy (yeah, this was in the ’60′s). But, I avoided all possibility of being groped. When in my 20′s, I travelled with a thin screwdriver in my pocket at all times – which would be “not a weapon” if I had to stab someone…

    Nowadays, I travel with my DH, or a girlfriend. (There’s a reason why girls haveta go to the Ladies Room together)

    Susan Lee

  8. icemaned13
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    The way they stare in their photo makes me feel violated.

  9. icemaned13
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    Square Pegs,Square Pegs, Squaaare, Squaaaare!

  10. Merovign
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

    New European law requires people in public to stare at their feet, remain silent. Unless they are of an “approved class,” like socialists, women, and swarthily-complected people.

    The good news is, it can’t last, so probably just the next generation or so will suffer under these yokes.

  11. Maria Edi
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    Somehow, you don’t feel you are part of that Stallone’s movie, “Demolition Man”? Everything is “verboten”, even sex is a virtual experience. I’m afraid. I’m very afraid!

  12. Posted March 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm |

    So, if a woman (or gay guy) stares at my crotch, can I have them arrested? It makes me feel so violated and fearful when they do that.

    How’s about if a woman pinches my butt (it’s been a while, butt still), is that a felony?

  13. Paul
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    So how do we know if the ‘wolf-whistling, comments, everything’ is wanted or not?

    Some women like wolf-whistles. Some like comments like, “who, you are a hot chick!

    Do the women wear signs on their backs?

    Geeze…

  14. PeggyU
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:09 pm |

    To those women who feel so violated … give it 20 or 30 years! You’ll be grateful for any whistle you get. :D

  15. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:19 pm |

    Seems to me any yob who commits unsolicited grabs and gropes on strangers, male or female, deserves to have his hand broken.
    Right then and there.
    Now, OTOH, any woman over there who even thinks about criminalization of mere looking deserves to have her hand broken, for commiting a hate crime. Any woman over there who thinks that way also gets the death penalty for staring, even glancing, at my crotch.

  16. Posted March 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm |

    Any woman over there who thinks that way also gets the death penalty for staring, even glancing, at my crotch

    dick, nqdg: I have been fighting the good fight against this form of unwanted ‘eye rape’ ever since puberty. I like to call it “The Battle of the Bulge”.

    Thank you for allowing me to share my feeeelings about this.

  17. Ironic in Denver
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm |

    So how do we know … is wanted or not? … the women wear signs on their backs?

    I’ve known a good many women over the years who’ve commented on the subject of loud & simplistic enthusiasm from strangers, and none have expressed enthusiasm for it.

    So your odds of favorably impressing a woman you don’t know with it aren’t all that good.

    The women I know favor approaches that are suaver, more creative, and more likely to lead to a date….

    But however that may be, if you’re in a right to carry state and the her t-shirt says “go ahead, make my day” you might want to be careful how you interpret this.

  18. joe
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

    If the Brits are ogling either of those two, they need their eyes checked.

  19. mech
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm |

    Is “Hollaback” Brit speak for Ellen James Society?

  20. PeggyU
    Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:36 pm |

    Joe – Quite possible, if their optical care is anything like their dental care.

  21. Thunderbottom
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:57 am |

    “… a new European convention …Cheeky wolf-whistles or calling someone ‘darling’ could get you arrested…” which would mean that a number of waitresses (along with some customers) at your average truck stop would get charged (the truck stops could also be cited for serving high-sodium, high-cholesterol entrees). That redhead in the picture looks like she’s had more than her share of “bangers ‘n’ mash” (I’m surprised that the World Court in The Hague hasn’t cited English cuisine as a “crime against humanity). She probably took that “letter jacket” from some unfortunate American tourist whom she and her friends kicked the crap out of (probably during the London riots that occurred not too long ago).

  22. Walt
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 7:34 am |

    On the other hand, many women just won’t notice men who are unfailingly courteous and respectful to all womenkind, just as their mothers indoctrinated them. So, those sort of men have already been taught not to approach.

    And now the other kind of men, the ones who present a whiff of danger, are going to back way the hell off off for fear of prosecution for real or imagined crimes against vaginity. (I made that word up but I think it’s a good’un.)

    And then the women, now near completely unapproachable, will feel invisible themselves and wonder what’s wrong with them. And seek comfort from the predatory gay sisterhood.

    Is that the plan?

  23. mojo
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    A woman destined never to receive a pat on the ass EVER AGAIN!

  24. Ironic in Denver
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:49 am |

    ^^ Walt, I had some of the same thoughts.

    As to whether it’s the plan, regardless of intent, this is likely to be the result. Actually, predators of both sexes, likely enough. By nature, successful predators are clever, adaptive and not adverse to risk. But in any case, it reduces to likelihood of successful, long term partnering.

    Going off on a bit of a tangent:

    I’ve been around for a while and have observed a good deal of human behavior, including mating behavior. What I’ve noticed is that it is not uncommon for men who think they are being courteous & respectful to women to unintentionally disqualify themselves as potential mates in the process. This has resulted in the widespread belief (at least among men) that “nice guys finish last” and so forth.

    While I don’t pretend to understand the female psyche (no man does, and I have doubts whether women do either) I suspect that a thing in men that attracts women is a sort of personality/behavior cluster that involves things like assertiveness, self confidence & self respect.

    Assholes often display something that mimics this, while guys showing courtesy & respect to women often do it in a self-depreciating way which suggests they haven’t got those things. This tends to result in the Asshole getting the girl while the “nice guy” winds up being her frustrated pseudo-gay friend.

    One of the unintended outcomes of criminalizing unwanted courting behavior and/or any evidence of men appreciating women (however badly done) is that this dichotomy will be accentuated.

    Which gets us back to what Walt’s point.

  25. Ironic in Denver
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    I meant: “Which gets us back to Walt’s point.”

    These days I’m having some kind of problem with the predictive typing feature (or whatever the hell it is) of the technology I’m using, and I’m getting a lot of typos and other nonsense in whatever I write.

  26. ZZMike
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:27 am |

    About that hollaback post: For some odd reason, the title of this one – I first read it when I was 5 or 6 – has always stayed with me:

    The Dong with a Luminous Nose (by Edward Lear, published in the 1800s).

    In today’s context, the image is a bit weird.

  27. ZZMike
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    Ironic: “Okay, we all know this [staring] can in fact be harassment, but to criminalize it?”

    In some sections of the Inner City, that can get you killed.

  28. Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    And now the other kind of men, the ones who present a whiff of danger, are going to back way the hell off off for fear of prosecution for real or imagined crimes against vaginity. (I made that word up but I think it’s a good’un.)

    I like vaginity.

  29. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    There ain`t enough cops in ALL of Italy—-to enforce this crap!

  30. mojo
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm |

    “To drive a cab in Roma, you must be a REAL man!”

  31. Paul
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm |

    Hey! I now AGREE with the two women and I know just how to institute LAW to solve this.

    Why, just use MUSLIM LAW. SHARIA LAW!

    Then no wolf-whistles, right?

    Yep, that would do it!

  32. Ironic in Denver
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm |

    There ain`t enough cops in ALL of Italy—-to enforce this crap!

    I don’t know about Italy, but if we would only legalize marijuana over here, it would free up about 25% of the justice system, which could then be redeployed to chase babe staring, wolf-whistling men.

    By the way, I’ve been dragged in for jury duty for some poor minority kid that some cop claimed he saw with a joint in his pocket. I can hardly wait to get dragged in again to sit on a case about: “he stared at me, and I felt so violated.”

    Some people would resent being one of about 50 citizens who get to not earn a living, attend classes, or whatever they do for a day or two while cops, lawyers, judges and so forth get to participate in a grand waste of tax payer money (of which there is obviously plenty to spare) to make our society a better place with this kind of crap.

    I’m not just referring to “street harassment” here.

  33. PeggyU
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

    Paul – Good idea. :) I will trot right down to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and pick up a couple of black tablecloths to throw over those two. Problem solved!