There’s a bad idea:
Verbal abuse isn’t pleasant. Nobody likes to be called a fat cow, or crazy or stupid, but when life’s a bitch because your partner is crude, mean-spirited or cruel, who ya’ gonna call? Traditionally you call your mom to vent, or a friend, or a therapist – or nobody, you just deal with it – but if a new bill backed by the government is passed by France’s parliament, the French will indeed soon be able to call the police when their partner bad-mouths them and he will be charged with “psychological violence.”
I assume it is always going to be “he” that gets charged, since in the longish BBC news article about this proposed innovation, including interviews with women psychologists and lawyers, I saw no mention of men being victims, only perpetrators. That tells me the bill is ideologically inspired by feminists, who seem to think that women are too fragile to fend off an insult from their boyfriend, too timid to give as good as they get, or too stupid to know where the front door is and use it.
If a woman, or a man, believes his partner is deliberately inflicting psychological cruelty on him, it is his responsibility to insist it stop, or insist they get help, or walk out. Allowing the state to decide and punish the offending party (and how would you do that? Fines? A jail term for calling your girlfriend ugly?) basically says people have no moral agency to set the rules of engagement in their most intimate relationships, essentially an idea so totalitarian that even Communist countries have never tried to implement it (Communists bugged people’s homes to ferret out politically incorrect thoughts, not to monitor domestic intimacy).
Now there are of course cases where verbal abuse leads to actual physical abuse. And there is also such a thing as verbal cruelty that is bad enough to be considered abuse. Certainly in some cases police intervention is warranted. But a bill that would allow anyone to call the cops any time their partner loses it and calls them something unpleasant? That’s just crazy.by