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France’s New Sexual Harassment Law Still Too Vague?

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“Soul-searching” About the Treatment of Women in France After DSK Case

While legislators claimed the accusations of sexual assault against former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn had no bearing on their support for the new law, that case indeed set off “soul-searching about France’s laissez-faire attitude toward the impunity of the powerful.” Strauss-Kahn, at one time considered a leading contender to be the next president of France, saw his political fortunes and personal reputation turned upside down after he was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in a Manhattan hotel last May; the charges have been dropped but he still faces a civil suit. He has since been detained by French police for questioning about a prostitution ring.

50 percent of the members of France’s cabinet are now women. But, just days before the July 17 vote on the new law, catcalls and hoots from male politicians in the National Assembly were directed at Housing Minister Cécile Duflot while she spoke about an architecture project. The incident is evidence for why the law is more than needed. But it also show how very much still remains to be done to ensure that women are truly regarded and treated as equals in France.


Related Care2 Coverage
Catcalls Plague France’s National Assembly, a Country Without a Sexual Harassment Law

French Feminists: Eliminate “Mademoiselle”

Attempted Rape Charges Dropped Against DSK in France

DSK Walks Free But Not Exonerated


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9:01AM PDT on Aug 12, 2012

Wow. That's kind of sad.

4:35PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

@Angie H: and if we are all mad as you put it, so what? The thing is, bullies don't always go away. Ask Anita Hill. Men and women can still flirt and laugh without it being seen was asking for sexual favours. As for PC, well, many people don't remember what it was like without it - a guy I know said to me not so long ago - 'before PC I could have called you spastic (I have CP) and got away with it', MY answer - 'I sympathise - before PC I could have punched you in the face for being so damn rude!'

3:28AM PDT on Aug 2, 2012

Try evolving your own country first, maryam.

6:00PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

The rules against sexual harassment in the US are just a paper tiger anyway. It's virtually impossible to ever go up against someone no matter how much of a sexist bully he is.

1:19PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

can expect much from france, they still live in dark ages, not to mention they eat horse meat...come on france evolve!!

5:52AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

too vague

5:52AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

too vague

5:51AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Still to vague: this is sad and sexist.

5:51AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Still to vague: this is sad and sexist.

5:22AM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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