A fine and up to six months in prison: this is what Finnish senders of "dick pics" or, in French, unsolicited sex photos, could incur. An official from the Finnish Ministry of Justice shared the information with AFP on Tuesday, October 13, 2020. The bill plans to extend the definition of sexual harassment to include the fact "to harass orally, by photos or messages, to take pictures of others or to show off oneself", can we read in the Obs.
The phenomenon, as old as instant messaging, was not yet the subject of any device in the country, despite being considered feminist. Its government is in fact predominantly female and it is regularly presented by researchers around the world as an example to follow in the fight against discrimination. This bill, which will be examined by the Finnish Parliament in 2021, could therefore well influence other states.
The dick pics phenomenon
Sending dick pics is widespread all over the world. Plan International, an NGO which defends the rights of girls, indicates that 35% of young girls and women say they have received this type of unsolicited snapshot. In 2018, the magazine GQ published a survey by the medical teleconsultation company Zava, revealing that 41% of European women, all age groups combined, have already suffered the sending of unwanted sexual photos … and 52% among women aged 18-24. Nothing of an epiphenomenon, therefore. And if the "trend" is so widespread, it is because it is linked to the very structure of our societies.
As you will have understood, the problem is obviously not sending photos of a sexual nature, but the lack of prior consent. Interviewed by RTBF, sociologist Illana Weizman analyzes this phenomenon as a corollary of toxic male domination. "We are in a power relationship where the man decides on his own that he can impose the vision of his sex on a woman who has asked for nothing, she explains. We are not in a relationship of seduction. Because swapping photos, sexting etc., when the two of them are okay, okay, that's okay! But here, we are really in the mode: YOUR desire, YOUR desire… and your consent? I don't care! I am coming, with MY overpowering desire to crush you ". Once we understood (oh, surprise) that it was still a dirty trick of the patriarchy, like curbing the phenomenon? Not easy, knowing that it has become a classic of networks, dating apps and other social platforms …
A law to mark the occasion
For the moment, few states specifically sanction this act, even though Scotland and Texas, in the United States, have already legislated. In Scotland, a 2010 law provides for a prison sentence of up to 2 years and placement on the sex offender register for those guilty of "cyber flashing", the local name for the offense. In Texas, the culprit can be fined $ 500. In France, there is still no law dedicated to this scourge, but a solution does exist. As the Lawyered law news site explains, it is now legally possible to have the practice convicted. Article R.624-2 of the Criminal Code provides that the sending of messages contrary to decency "home" and "without prior request from the recipient" is punished by a fine of 750 euros.
Dick peaks can also be sexually harassed, if they are sent repeatedly or come from someone who has control over the person receiving (a supervisor, for example). Finally, if the recipient is under 18, the act is a corruption of minors and is severely punished. When corruption passes by "an electronic communications network", the penalties are up to 7 years' imprisonment and a 100,000 euro fine. The interest of a specific device? Informing the general public (i.e. perpetrators as well as victims) that an unsolicited spike dick is never OK. In the absence of a text, some activists no longer hesitate to send back photos of pruning shears or bloody penises … To good understanding, phallus!