France, having solved all other major problems in its country, has found an untouched area of people’s free speech for big government to weigh in on: stereotypes against regional accents.
In fact, people who make assumptions based on others’ regional accents are committing a new type of prejudice that the French are calling glottophobie. The Assemblée Nationale “has adopted legislation making linguistic discrimination an offence along with racism, sexism and other outlawed bigotry,” according to the Guardian.
The legislation was voted in 98 to 3.
Despite the overwhelming vote, it was widely debated in the house.
Jean Lassalle, a former presidential candidate, said of the law: “I’m not asking for charity. I’m not asking to be protected. I am who I am.”
But Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti said he was “super convinced” the law was necessary.
The law was proposed by Christophe Euzet, who called accents a “grave matter”. He commented: “At a time when visible minorities benefit from the legitimate concern of public powers, the audible minorities are the poor cousins of the social contract based on equality.”
While some arguing against the bill proudly spoke in their respective accents while debating, others “complained that many broadcasters with strong regional accents were pigeonholed into reporting on rugby matches or delivering the weather.”
Perhaps someone should notify France that in many counties, including England, the United States, Ireland and Australia, people take pride in their respective regional accents. Often times there are “stereotypes” (for example, an accent from a port town might lead one to believe a person in a fisherman) – but stereotypes can also be objectively accurate.
Either way, it’s freedom of speech that loses wholeheartedly with this overreach and waste of government resources to try and protect people from who they are and where they are from.