An indictment was filed Thursday against Jerusalem resident Shlomo Fuchs, 44, an ultra-Orthodox man who hurled sexist slurs at a female soldier on a public bus in the capital.
The court also stated that sexual harassment does not only apply when the harasser demands something of sexual nature from the harassed, but also when the harassed is humiliated based on remarks relating to his or her sex. The judge ruled such was the case in this incident, since “there is no dispute that Fuchs spoke bluntly and shouted harsh and humiliating words at the soldier aboard the bus, calling her a ‘slut’ three times.”
And that’s harassment? Really? It’s not just a little harmless fun? It’s not a joke? It’s not a touch of boorishness? It’s actual harassment? Who knew?
Fuchs’ attorney claimed this was not a criminal offense. “We live in a free country. We’re allowed to curse, it’s part of the freedom of expression,” he explained.
If the court does decide this is a sexual harassment case, said the attorney, then any man who calls a woman a “bitch” or other curse words would be considered a sexual offender.
Or a cunt or a fucking cunt or a smelly snatch or a fucking fat slag or an ugly fucking cunt bitch or – you get the idea.
It looks like a stupid claim, on the face of it (though it’s probably the only claim Fuchs’s attorney could make). Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to shout curses at a particular person on a public bus because she won’t obey an unlawful bullying coercive order to move to the back of said bus. Passengers on buses aren’t allowed to do whatever they like to other passengers. Being allowed to curse is not the same thing as being allowed to harass people.
The Jerusalem police on Wednesday arrested Fuchs for calling Doron Matalon, the female soldier, a “slut” after she refused to sit at the back of an Egged bus travelling from the Neve Yaakov neighborhood to the Central Command base in Jerusalem.
Another female passenger who was approaching the front of the bus in order to pay the driver was told by Fuchs that “a woman shouldn’t pass through the front of the bus to pay.” He then demanded she return to the back of the bus.
Matalon said, “I wanted to make room for her, but a man sitting nearby said to her: ‘Why are you at the front of the bus? You’re a woman.’ He looked at me and asked: ‘You too, why are you here?’” Matalon responded: “Women are not restricted to the back of the bus.”
“I told him that just as he doesn’t want to see my face, I don’t want to see his, and that’s when he called me a ‘slut, shiksa.’”
Matalon added that Fuchs yelled: “Slut, slut, slut. You have no respect. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s shameful.”
Fuchs was arrested by the police, and during his interrogation he admitted to calling Matalon a “slut”, explaining that the slur was a proper response to “her provocative behavior.”
Sure. That’s what they all say.