Viral video footage of woman getting slapped by harasser sparks fury online
Catcalling and wolf-whistling are not as innocent as some will have you believe. There are men out there who will happily shout a remark across the street at a stranger, just to let her know their opinion of their appearance - but it's rarely, if ever, a welcome comment. And when those remarks happen time and time again, you can understand why some women will lose their patience.
Recently, CCTV footage of a man hitting a woman in public has gone viral on the internet - and not just because of the unexpected attack, but his reasoning for doing so. The incident occurred in Central Paris, where 22-year-old student Marie Laguerre was walking home.
Walking past the terrace of a bar in the middle of the day, he reportedly insulted her, wagged his tongue and made sexually suggestive comments and "groans".
Describing the ordeal on her social media, Laguerre wrote:
“He wasn't the first one and I can't accept being humiliated like that, so I replied ‘shut up’.
“He then threw an ashtray at me, before rushing back to punch me, in the middle of the street, in front of dozens of people.”
You can see what happened in the video below, where Marie can be seen wearing a red dress, though please be warned that some might find the footage upsetting:
Speaking to Le Parisien, Laugerre said she now had a “damaged cheek bone and eyebrow”:
"I knew he was coming to hit me, it was clear from his gestures, it was clear from the exchange of words and his intentions.
"He rushed towards me. I looked at him straight in the eyes. And I took the blow with the utmost pride just to show him that if he thought he could put me back in my place, it hadn't worked."
France’s gender equality minister Marlène Schiappa, who is backing plans to introduce fines for public harassment including wolf-whistling, called this assault an attack on the "freedom of women".
As the viral nature of the video and the fury it has caused goes to show, people have had enough of men getting away with sexual harassment.