Sonntag, März 23, 2014

Neues Gesetz in Belgien: "Sexistische" Äußerungen werden mit Gefängnis bestraft

For the purposes of this Act, the concept of sexism will be understood to mean any gesture or act that, in the circumstances of Article 444 of the Penal Code,* is evidently intended to express contempt for a person because of his gender, or that regards them as inferior, or reduces them to their sexual dimension, and which has the effect of violating someone’s dignity.

Anyone found guilty of [such conduct] will be punished with a prison sentence of one month to one year, and a fine …, or one of these penalties alone ...

Über dieses neue Gesetz berichtet die Washington Post. Zwei belgische Gastautoren der Zeitung kommentieren:

To begin with, several religions will come within the crosshairs of the ban. Do many faiths not deny gender equality in the name of patriarchal authority and divine revelation?

The law also has the potential to decimate the shelves of bookstores and libraries: we are heading for a new Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Countless books could give rise to prosecution, and we need not only think of usual suspects like E.L. James and Stephenie Meyer. Virtually every romantic airport novel is essentially made up of sexist stereotypes.

And what about rappers whose lyrics routinely refer to women as ‘bitches’, and whose video-clips feature scantily clad women that are “reduced to their sexual dimension”? (Be sure, in any case, to remove Serge Gainsbourg from your party playlist before any of your friends has you reported.)

On the other side of the debate, it is important to point out that feminist action groups would be forbidden to depict men in an unfavorable, ‘reductionist’, light as well. Combined with the aforementioned fact that they will be prohibited from calling men ‘sexists’, their new motto will have to be ‘just sit there and look pretty’; backed up with the threat of criminal prosecution.

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