Catcalling to be Banned in Rotterdam

Some time ago, Amsterdam took the decision to ban catcalling, and Rotterdam is about to follow suit with another ‘catcalling ban’.

84% of Rotterdam Women Harassed

A recent study showed that some 84% of women in Rotterdam between the ages of 18 and 45 have had to deal with catcalling or other forms of public sexual harassment. Many of the women surveyed even changed their behavior because of it, deciding to avoid certain neighborhoods or wear different clothes.

Ah this classic vid:

Catcalling should not be acceptable

The Rotterdam alderman Joost Eerdmans spoke to the NOS, stating very clearly that “The fact that women feel so limited in their freedom that they must dress differently or avoid certain neighborhoods is unacceptable.”

In order to combat the issue, Rotterdam’s city council has now decided to enact a new law to ban cat-calling. Currently, offenders will be let off with a warning, but once the law is enacted next year the act of catcalling or other forms of verbal sexual harassment will be punishable for up to 4,100 euros or 3-months jail time. Amsterdam has already enacted a ban on catcalling and The Hague’s city council is also discussing the law. 

Obviously, the main problem with such a ban on catcalling is how to enforce such legislation. I mean some douchebag could easily just say some tire was deflating when a girl accuses him of ‘saying’ pssssssssssst. Offenders would have to be caught in the very act of hissing and such.

So what do you think of this catcalling ban? Is this a step in the right direction or is this way too much attention for an obnoxious but still small problem? And how should such a ban be enforced?

Noah Bloem
Noah grew up in Dhaka, Jakarta, and New York City before finding his way to Rotterdam (and now back to New York again). Despite having recently snagged a bachelor’s degree at Erasmus University College, he is fully committed to postponing adulthood as long as possible.



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