Why are we letting these asinine laws come into our lives. Belgium officially jumped the shark by passing one of the stupidest laws into effect. In the latest attempt to create a “sexism free society” Belgium has moved forward with The Penalization of Sexism Act.
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…
The law moves past just saying shit and enters the truly illogical and vague realm of punishment for where the sexist remarks are read or received.
It’s not where something is said, composed, hosted, written or uploaded that provides us with the relevant legal jurisdiction. It’s where something is read that does.
Bloggers, journalists and basically every living and breathing human being beware, Belgium will now hunt you down for any insulting remarks and hurtful comments made and read within the European utopia of unicorns and snowflakes known as Belgium.
The law will indeed cover not just face-to-face insults, but also things said about people in print or in other forms of mass communications. Thus, I infer, it would be a crime to publish newspaper articles or blog posts that say a politician, journalist, criminal, or whoever else is inferior because of his or her gender, or intentionally show contempt for the person because of his or her gender, or “reduce them to their sexual dimension,” and which has the effect of violating someone’s dignity.
For excellent legal context see the Washington Post breakdown here: