The government is to agree to legislation that will make many acts of harassing behaviour criminal offences. This has strengths in that it will bring heavy punishments for acts such as stalking, however, could it be interpreted too pedantically and lead to people fearing giving compliments in case they get a criminal record for it.
Of course, there are some acts that will be outlawed that will improve the quality of life of many individuals. No one should be subjected to stalking, physical sexual harassment, or vulgar sexual terms being slung at them from all angles. Taking a stand against some of these clearly is for the good of the nation and will improve relations between individuals.
However, issues may arise when an employee makes an effort with their appearance for a particularly important business meeting and the employer offers encouragement by complimenting their attire. If these words can be interpreted in a derogatory manner, then this could lead to the employer holding back next time when this opportunity to ease the nerves arises. The workplace may become a very sterile and tense atmosphere where no one passes comments on another’s actions or appearance.
It is a shame that the world has got to this stage, whereby it is deemed necessary to clarify in very basic terms what is and is not allowed. Making comments based on an individual’s appearance is very common and, as such, has been divided into guidelines. The wolf-whistle may soon be a thing of the past, but surely there must be a defence offered that an individual can offer: “she asked if her bum looked big in the dress.”