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Feminists have set up a fake ‘anti-stalker’ phone number
The automated service sends an automatic reply to the man who forced the woman into giving him her number, telling him that he has made a woman feel “uncomfortable” and to understand that “no means no”.
The two French women behind the campaign were sparked into action by the Harvey Weinstein, which provoked a global movement against sexual abuse, and encouraged victims of harassment to speak up and name and shame their harassers.
If a man sends a message to the fake number (06 44 64 30 21 – a French mobile phone number), he will receive the following reply within one hour of hitting send: “Hello! If you’re reading this message it’s that you’ve made a woman feel uncomfortable. With you, she didn’t feel safe.
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If a man sends a message to the fake number he will receive the reply within one hour
Men need to know that no means no… consent is not optional
“It’s quite simple really: if a woman says ‘no,’ just drop it. Don’t insist. Learn to respect women’s rights and decisions.”
The hotline, which is called “anti-relou,” a French slang word used to describe an annoying person or situation, was set up by Clara Gonzales, a 26-year-old feminist who told France Info radio that she hoped the message would teach overly keen men to treat women with respect.
Mrs Gonzales said: “Men need to know that no means no… consent is not optional.
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The service was inspired by a similar initiative launched in the US
“If you’re walking down the street or sat at a bar and then a pushy – but not necessarily threatening – guy asks for your number, which you don’t want him to know, then the idea is that you give him the fake number instead.”
Mrs Gonzales said that it had taken her and her friend just “one hour” to launch the hotline last week.
The “anti-relou” automated service was inspired by a similar anti-street harassment initiative launched in the US called ‘The Mary Sue Rejection Hotline’.
Mrs Gonzales said: “It’s actually quite sad that women need this number to feel safe.”