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Old 02-07-2018, 04:42 PM   #720
We have to go back, Kate!
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 25,510
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey View Post
With one caveat - the pre-existing laws pre-existed.

ie, they did not perform the function this law is intended to perform. That's not to say that this one will, either, as it is also vague, but saying that the police could apply existing law in a certain way to achieve the desired result doesn't help if they don't.

The problem seems to have been that the police didn't take the issue seriously. Would the 40 training sessions have been enough to fix that, if they weren't accompanied by a law that also made the offense more serious?

(not a rhetorical question)
For the more serious cases of catcalling or sexual threat there has been a lack of enthusiasm for pursuing under the laws that are currently available - partly because it's not been taken at all seriously until fairly recently.

For most of the other stuff, what is needed is not another serious offence added to the books. If it's a particular problem in a particular town at any given time, police can go looking for that stuff and use the public order offences to discourage it, without criminalising people.

Or if someone tells them a guy on that street shouted lewd comments to them as they walked past, see if he's still there and have a word with him - point out its not acceptable behaviour in a public place. Doesn't have to be heavy. It's no different to telling someone they shouldn't be playing their music at its loudest volume late at night when they live in a small apartment block.

I think there has to be, and we are in the middle of it, a sea change in how we think about certain aspects of gendered experience and the ways in which our social structures and institutions respond to it, as well as how we navigate a world in which the gender roles have changed so quickly.

I say we're in the middle of it - perhaps I should say I think we were in the middle it when the Interwebz happened and threw everything into overdrive.

The speed everything moves now. #revolutions sweep across the twittersphere, are consumed by other movements and implode in a matter of days. A company launches a product with a questionable advertising strategy on Monday, the calls for global boycotts are in full voice by Tuesday morning, the advert is pulled on Tuesday afternoon, and a low level executive is fired on Wednesday.

That builds an expectation of rapid change and winnable battles. Which can be very alluring.

If we try to do this by criminalising more and more interaction - that is not going to help.

I think there are better ways to effect change. Slower - because it's complicated and messy and because whatever lines we draw in the sand we still have to live with each other.

Sometimes it's a good thing to march in the streets, give voice to a grievance and demand justice. Sometimes you have to find a livable solution to a complicated problem in which lots of people have a stake. And that's a much slower thing.
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae

Last edited by DanaC; 02-07-2018 at 04:59 PM.
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