Man convicted, fined for sexism in Belgium

Posted at 4:13 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 12:03:59-05

(RNN) – A man in Belgium who told a female police officer “shut your mouth” has been convicted in a first for an anti-sexism law the country passed in 2014.

The man, who has not been publicly identified, was stopped in 2016 by the officer for jaywalking. After telling her to shut her mouth, he said he didn’t talk to women and that “being a police officer is not a job for women” according to the public prosecutor’s office in Brussels.

He was convicted of “a serious violation of the dignity of the person because of her sex.” He was fined 3,000 euros (more than $3,700).

“This is the first time we have used this law to prosecute someone,” Gilles Blondeau, the spokesman, said.

The man could go to jail if he fails or refuses to pay his fine.

The law bars public expression “intended to express contempt of a person based on sex.”

“It is quite common for people arrested by the police to insult and threaten,” said Blondeau. “But to personally blame a policewoman because of her sex is special.”

A Belgian advocacy group, the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, said in a statement: “The educational role of this law is essential to change attitudes and behaviors.”

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