David Cameron’s wolf whistle politics – making saucy whistling a crime
The Guardian writes:
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”.
Unwanted? How do you qualify unwanted?
Better to rebrand the wold whistle to something less predatory, like the frog whistle or the teddy bear whistle. Wolves don’t whistle. But rabbits might.
Helen Rumbelow told Times readers in 2011:
When the news emerged that two builders were suspended from work for wolf-whistling a woman in Royston, Hertfordshire, I wasn’t shocked. I was jealous. No, not of her, of course. Of them.
She can’t whistle. And if Roger Whittacker and One Man and His Dog have taught us anything it is that this country loves a Great British whistler.
Of course the legislation is not just about whistling. It’s about protecting women, and the men in charge looking like they can. Cameron and his ‘fag’ Nick Clegg mark International Women’s Day by saying:
“The agreement is not just a piece of paper. It’s going to lift the standards of protection for women across Europe, give greater support for victims and – crucially – bring many more perpetrators to justice.”
Good oh. But the whistling will get the headlines.
Julia Gray, founder of the London branch of US movement Hollaback, dedicated to getting rid of street harassment, said: “The way we see it is if you want to tackle it you tackle all of it – you say no to all forms of unwanted sexual harassment; that includes wolf-whistling, comments, everything.”
But what if you want the whistle? What if women whistles at a man? Can he be offended? Does his finding offence make the whistle a crime? Are parrots perverts?
What of former boxer Chris Eubank, who told the Sun:
“Officially, the lisp has gone. However, I now have a whistle. I’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. I certainly wasn’t expecting it. Everyone thinks it’s hilarious. But at least I prefer the whistle to the lisp.”
If he orders six sizzling sausages in a loud voice across a crowded canteen as, say, a buxom lady wanders across his path, would Eubank be arrested?
This is “wolf whistle politics”, Cameron shouting at women to show how much he loves ’em…