Libertarians often make the statement that liberals are right on civil liberties and conservatives are right on economic liberties. The truth, of course, is that conservatives are awful on economic liberties and liberals are horrible on civil liberties. To liberals, racial and gender egalitarian trumps everything, including civil rights and liberties. This is why when a black thug murders people, they call for mercy, but when wealthy white college students are accused of raping a black stripper, they get out the pitchforks and torches.
Despite the fact that liberals are reputed to support freedom of speech, they really support a warped version of it (I refer to it as liberal free-dumb). They believe that freedom of speech means students can disrupt a Tom Tancredo speech or shut down an interstate to whine about budget cuts, but it does not apply whenever someone says something that offends NAMs or feminists. The recent shutdown of the AmRen conference is one example. Now an article has been written by a Huffington Post feminist arguing for legal restrictions on street harassment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with feminist buzzwords, street harassment is when say things, sometimes offensive, to a woman who is dressed sexily in public.
Holly Kearl argues that since sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace, it should be illegal in public. Of course, she fails to explain the legal basis for the illegality of sexual harassment in the workplace. Essentially, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s (so much for Kearl's claim that workplace sexual harassment was illegal 19 years before she was born) that sexual harassment constitutes gender discrimination, which is prohibited by the Property Rights and Freedom of Association Destruction Act of 1964 (more commonly called the Civil Rights Act). I do not have a legal background so I do not know why the courts have not struck down the Civil Rights Act as infringing on freedom of speech, but I'm guessing it has to do with the facts that 1) as mentioned above, liberals have a different definition of free speech and 2) it involves businesses, which the courts have allowed the federal government virtually unlimited reign to meddle with since the 1930s.
Anyways, she goes on to praise the Egyptian Parliament's recent passing of a law banning street harassment and suggests that the same happen here. Considering that Egypt has been ruled by the same man since 1981 under a state of emergency, if Egypt passes a law, it's probably a bad idea to pass the same law here. The idea of the federal government banning street harassment reminds me of the South Park episode Cartman's Silly Hate Crime, where Cartman (a 4th grader) throws a rock at a black kid and ends up getting arrested by the FBI and sent to prison (before being pardoned when his friends explain to the governor how hate crime laws are a "savage hypocrisy").
A federal law that banned street harassment would certainly be unconstitutional even with a strict originalist interpretation - it literally bans speech in public places simply because someone finds it offensive (of course, it would also violate the 9th and 10th Amendments, but that's another topic). SCOTUS consistently ruled in favor of an expansive view of freedom of speech. For example, it ruled in the 1970s that it is not constitutional to arrest someone for wearing a jacket reading "Fuck the Draft" into a courthouse, so I really can't see them upholding a law like this. And to enforce this law would simply expand the police state that liberals are so fond of attacking and would undoubtedly lead to the arrest of thousands of young black men. It would be amusing to see liberals' reactions when black men are disproportionately arrested under a street harassment law.
If women want to end street harassment, there's a really good way: don't dress like a slut. The fact is, when a woman wears a short skirt, high heels, and a sleeveless or strapless shirt, she is asking for attention. True, some of these "victims" are professional women dressed for the office, but many of these "professional" women wear only slightly more clothing than women going to nightclubs. Ten or fifteen years ago, professional women wore knee-length skirt-suits or dresses, closed-toed shoes, and hosiery. Now, it seems to be acceptable for "professional" women to go bare legged and wear sandals, short(er) skirts, glorified T-shirts, and even sleeveless shirts.
Yes, I realize I am being politically incorrect and "blaming the victim," but I simply do not care. If women do not want attention, then they should not do their best to attract it.
I find a lot of things that people say offensive, but I don't go around calling for laws to make them shut up. Kearl and other feminists completely miss the point of freedom of speech. The idea of freedom of speech is that people have the right to say things that offend others. If you don't like the fact that a strange man said something about your short skirt, then either insult him back, don't dress like you are trying to attract men's attention if you don't want it, or ignore him and get on with your life like an adult. Feminists wanted wanted to be treated like equals so they should act like it, instead of acting like helpless little girls. Plenty of men have been insulted or harassed by strangers in public, yet you don't see men clamoring for street harassment laws.
However, I really can't blame Kearl for want to ban street harassment. Looking at her picture, it's clear she's never been "street harassed" in her life. She's probably jealous.
EDIT: Fixed a minor error.