Outlawing sexist comments made in public will only make women look like victims
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As I walked down the street one recent morning, a man exiting a convenience store directed a low noise somewhere between a hiss and a whistle in my direction. Perhaps he was clearing something from his teeth, perhaps not: I did not bother raising my eyes to find out. Instinct quickly kicks in. Keep your head down, swerve across the sidewalk, push it to the back of your mind.
Such incidents are so common for women the world over that it took me a while to even make the connection with the topic on my mind at the time: a bill, expected to be approved by the Belgian Senate this month, that would make Belgium the first country in the world to define and criminalize sexist insults in public spaces.