On Lorraine today (Wednesday July 28), viewers were divided during a debate about whether wolf-whistling and other street harassment should become illegal.
Host Ranvir Singh welcomed in two sisters who head up the Our Streets Now campaign, which seeks to outlaw the harassment of women and girls on the streets.
What happened on Lorraine today?
Ranvir explained that Home Secretary Priti Patel last week launched a new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls.
But there were no specific laws against street harassment announced.
She then welcomed in Our Streets Now campaigners, Maya and Gemma Tutton.
Gemma explained that her first experience of harassment happened when she was only 11-years-old.
Two men rolled down their car window and made sexual comments about her body, she explained.
Legislation and education needed
Maya then addressed the subject of wolf-whistling on Lorraine today.
She said: “I think [the term wolf whistling] is used to trivialise and belittle what’s happening: ‘Oh it’s only a bit of wolf-whistling’.
“The really sad thing about comments that are shouted at underage girls on the street can be said on the street and nothing happens, but I can’t say them on the tell or on the radio.
“We’re talking about threats of a sexual nature to girls as young as 10, what men might do to them. A third of girls in their school uniforms have been harassed.”
Maya and Gemma called for not only legislation but education in school.
Great to see Gemma and Maya from @OurStreetsNow on #lorraine talking about just how young sexual harassment starts. By refusing to talk about it in schools for fear of “scaring kids” they’re adding to the taboo of talking about it and missing an opportunity to educate young boys!
— Emma Jarrett (@EmJarrettWriter) July 28, 2021
#lorraine yes my daughter is constantly intimidated every time she goes out on her own
— Debbie Keane (@DebbieKeane1) July 28, 2021
How did viewers react to the debate?
The debate continued on Twitter.
Some agreed with Maya and Gemma and recounted their own experiences.
One viewer wrote: “Great to see Gemma and Maya from @OurStreetsNow on #lorraine talking about just how young sexual harassment starts.
“By refusing to talk about it in schools for fear of ‘scaring kids’ they’re adding to the taboo of talking about it and missing an opportunity to educate young boys!”
Another said: “I sat waiting for the bus a few years ago after work, I was fully clothed in a big coat shivering as it was October.
“15+ cars/lorries beeped at me with some outright staring and smirking.
“Please tell me what I did to attract that attention other than being a young girl? #Lorraine.”
These 2 are getting way too much air time #Lorraine
— linda (@lindafraser852) July 28, 2021
Oh there's bigger fish to fry then wolf whistling…jeez. whilst i get it for underage girls it wrong…but come on..all they want is glory for there own profiles n insta pages …#lorraine pic.twitter.com/0Evg6DU1Hv
— Jasmine (@JasmineToretto7) July 28, 2021
Why did some people disagree on Lorraine today?
However, not everyone agreed with the campaign.
One wrote: “I’m sure the police have more important things to deal with than finding the people who whistle at another person.”
Another said: “Oh there’s bigger fish to fry than wolf-whistling… jeez.
“Whilst I get it for underage girls is wrong… but come on… all they want is glory for there own profiles and Insta pages #lorraine.”
If you want to get behind the Our Streets Now campaign and share your stories of public harassment, go to the campaign’s website here.
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