You wot?

Salacious whistles and sexist comments may fall foul of new laws against sexual harassment to which Britain is signing up, the prime minister will announce on Thursday.

The pledge to criminalise “verbal, non-verbal or physical” sexual harassment is one of the commitments in the Council of Europe’s convention on violence against women, which David Cameron will commit to signing at a special event to mark International Women’s Day.

Among the pledges in the convention, which has already been signed by 18 countries including Germany, France and Ukraine, is one to pass legislation or other measures to criminalise or impose other sanctions for “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”.

Another clause would outlaw “psychological violence” – defined as “seriously impairing a person’s psychological integrity through coercion or threats”, language which suggests serious bullying could be covered by new laws.

Sid James would have probably faced life imprisonment.



  1. msbpodcast says:

    Next we’re going to criminalize humor and music. (That worked so well for mullah Omar and the Taliban. Afghanistan is a shining beacon of civilization.)

  2. splod says:

    @msbpodcast, your reaction shows both how ingrained misogyny is in western culture and why legislation is the only avenue available to tackle it.

    • msbpodcast says:

      I would refer you to Alfred Hawthorne (Benny) Hill and then dare you not to laugh.

      We know that we’re not suposed to emulate it, but we should at least know what it is that we’re not supposed to emulate.

      Ridicule is a far more effective regulator of behavior than are legislation, regulation or censorship. (Someone always thinks that it doesn’t apply to them, when it specifically and clearly does.)

      • Animby says:

        Benny Hill was from a different era, a time when it was permitted and expected to objectify women.

        Also known as the good old days…

    • msbpodcast says:

      Your way leads self-appointed stiflers of culture, art and self-expression, much like the Taliban’s way led to the detonation of the inoffensive giant stone Buddhas carved into a cliff.

      Legislation is precisely the wrong way to attack it.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        msbpodcast perhaps without thinking says:
        3/8/2012 at 9:38 am

        Your way leads self-appointed stiflers of culture, art and self-expression, much like the Taliban’s way led to the detonation of the inoffensive giant stone Buddhas carved into a cliff.

        Legislation is precisely the wrong way to attack it.Thats too simplistic a responsw msbpodcast. The truth is there are pros and cons to passing or not passing such legislation. Different interests are affected in different ways.

        How much actual physical and mental violence/harm/mental aberration IS caused to women by a general misogyny in the culture? How much innocent good humor will be lost if such legislation is passed/enforced? What will the exceptions be? How many rapes, slaps, assaults, harsh words would Benny Hill be worth? I’ll meet you half way: 10 rapes a year because of Benny Hill is worth the other humor of his show. Now–where would you draw the line?

        And so it is with ALL LEGISLATION. Lets not pretend the issues aren’t real just because we have a lazy unexamined bias based on what we grew up with and what we would personally do?

      • splod says:

        > Legislation is precisely the wrong way to attack it.

        I agree – it’s a blunt instrument. However, I think that societal progress has slowed considerably. We’ve eliminated most of the coarse, explicit biases but I believe that western society, in general, still carries plenty of residuals – just look at most advertising, music videos etc.

        This legislation is only a few steps away from introducing thought crime as it relies on subjective judgement and in some jurisdictions harassment is only deemed to have occurred if the victim feels harassed.

        However, I don’t think relying on societal norms and values will get us the rest of the way towards equality. The only instruments left are constitutions and statutes. Do you have any better suggestions?

  3. Yaknow says:

    That puts the kibosh to foreplay.

    • Lynn says:

      The word ‘unwanted’ should suggest something to you. Unwanted foreplay is already criminalized as a sexual assault.

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        Yes, yes, of course. But will: “Does this smell like chloroform to you” be actionable or not?

        • hahaha…:-)
          That never worked for me.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Yea, I’ve never used it except after the pick-up. (…D’oh!)

            But let yourself be overheard saying: “Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can break your heart.” /// The babes think you’re all sensitive and stuff.

            So far, its worked 50% of the time, but the clubs have gotten too loud.

    • Yaknow says:

      I can see see in a Pub, a woman of sexually desired by a bunch of men instead of catcalling, the room goes in a furious flurry of fotball signals, and slurred sign language

      No, wait that is wrong….I can see that happening in a gay pub. Of course a straight walks in instead.

      Why do people think it always about women? Don’t homosexuals have foreplay too?

      It really is going to put a damper on Butch Lesbians catcalling and gesturing.

      Woe the art of seduction.

  4. ECA says:

    He
    She
    IT
    Mankind, are know all against the law.

    Barefoot, naked in the kitchen,
    is NOW a bad thing.

    male chauvinist pig
    is now against the law.

  5. TooManyPuppies says:

    So, how do they plan to do weather reports without using the words “cold” or “frigid”?

  6. Dallas says:

    Don’t see this law being enforced because it’s too vague. I would stick with the existing law.

    Exodus 21:17 : “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”

  7. B. Dog says:

    Yo,

    Albania, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Macedonia, Turkey and the Ukraine all signed up in 2011.

    • And what is your point?

      • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

        That Britain is not alone in joining the civilized world in not maintaining an anti-woman culture.

        All too soon, it will only be the USA (Fundie Christian) and the Middle East (Fundie Muslim) who will be maintaining these archaic social caste systems.

        What did you think it meant?

        • spsffan says:

          Britain maintaining an anit-woman culture?

          They’ve had at least 4 heads of state that are women, and at least one prime minister!

  8. Tacotrainwreck says:

    So making flirtatious remarks while being ugly and/or poor will be criminalized? That’s what sexual harassment is, right?

    • msbpodcast says:

      Being ugly and/or poor and overfed with chemical preservatives is now the new normal, unless you’re a 1%er of course.

      We’re all supposed to lust in our hearts after Kim or Paris or Snookie or Mookie or Pukey Wasstheirname this week. (I don’t watch Fox or GMA or TMZ so I’m spared all these distractions of the week.)

      The beauty of being selectively but wisely poor is that I can’t/don’t/won’t buy any of that processed crap, so my body will actually rot when they haul it to a body farm.

  9. AC_in_Mich says:

    Dang, what will this do to Rush?

  10. dcphill says:

    Watch out Rush, your broadcasts covered overseas will be next.

  11. spsffan says:

    Anyone who signs this can blow me.

    And, when exactly, will the British acknowledge that “Prince” Harry is not the biological child of Prince Charles?

    It’s getting harder to be an anglophile these days.

    • Yaknow says:

      After watching Prince Harry dance down in Jamaica, I have my doubts too. Would someone please arrest that man for sexual harassment!

      Opps…guessin’ not he be in Jamaica mon. Day don’t have dem rules. Day-o, day-ay-ay-o. Daylight come and he wan’ go home.

  12. Ken says:

    So it’s wrong for two private citizens to threaten each other, but just fine for government bureaucrats to threaten people with all sorts of harm (kidnapping, caging, ransoms, etc.) for violating any one of a million political dictates.

  13. Yaknow says:

    OMG, this is going to kill the Hip Hop culture in England, Germany, France……

    It a hidden racist conspiracy agains the Hip Hop culture…England already has enough issues with the Hip Hop culture. Then will come be the dismantling of Jazz and Blues song lyrics….oh my I fear for Sade. Oh no! It could even lead to Naomi Campbell!

  14. Yaknow says:

    One more time….

    After watching Prince Harry dance down in Jamaica, I have my doubts too. Would someone please arrest that man for sexual harassment!

    Opps…guessin’ not he be in Jamaica mon. Day don’t have dem rules. Day-o, day-ay-ay-o. Daylight come and he wan’ go home.

  15. deowll says:

    One of the things I wanted to do after I retired was travel. The head of the list was Britain. You can get arrested for taking pictures. Carrying a pocket knife is good for jail time. There is no freedom of speech. They have laws on top of laws on top of laws.

    I think I’ll stay home and avoid the TSA as well as the rest.


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