French lawmakers are in the process of debating a new law that proposes to force men that could be “seen as likely to be violent towards their wives” to wear a tracking device at all times. Even worse, lawmakers are also considering outlawing putative “psychological violence“:
If you insult your wife or husband repeatedly, you could soon find yourself in court if you live in France.
Once considered a purely private domain, rows between married or cohabiting couples could now prompt intervention from the state.
The French government wants to take the controversial step of introducing a new law banning “psychological violence” between married couples or partners living together.
This, to put it frankly, is utterly insane. The potential for abuse (no pun intended) is staggering. This is idiotic college speech codes, which exist to “ensure” that no one’s feelings get hurt, turned into law, with the coercive power of the state to enforce it. While there is a convincing case that most physical domestic violence is committed by men (though the numbers are a bit fuzzy, since cases in which men are the victims are frequently underreported or simply ignored), I’m not sure that the same argument can be made with regards to ostensible “psychological violence,” which both sexes seem to engage in in roughly equal proportions.
In any case, it isn’t difficult to imagine that, as with custody cases, men will more often than not find themselves on the losing end of such laws. Moreover, if the aforementioned legislation mandating tracking devices for any man deemed “likely” to commit physical violence against his partner passes (and as far as I can tell, that law is specifically targeted at men only), any man could potentially be marked as a dangerous predator and forced to wear a humiliating tracking device until further notice for little more than saying a few unkind words.
That, apparently, does not count as “psychological violence.”