Over the last year, protests have broken out in France and abroad over the subject of sexual harassment.
The #metoo movement, which calls on women to publicly call out their sexual harassers, found a French voice with journalist Sandra Muller, who started #balancetonporc (“squeal on your pig”). But the movement has recently faced some backlash, with French actress Catherine Deneuve and some 100 other influential French women signing and publishing an open letter in Le Monde decrying #metoo. The women claimed that the movement serves, “the enemies of sexual freedom, of religious extremists, of the worst reactionaries,” and that women must not, “confuse a clumsy come-on and sexual assault.”
But this has not slowed down Minister of Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa who is currently working to write French legislation that would allow fines of up to €900 for catcallers and other sexual harassers. Whether this bill will pass in the French parliament is uncertain, but it is definitely a huge step towards changing French culture for the better.