An attempt to declare the insidious practice of taking photographs up women’s skirts, without the knowledge of the women, was put to a vote and quashed by a single lawmaker from UK’s Conservative Party voting against it. Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her deep disappointment in the result, claiming to have this bill pass through parliament with the full backing of the government. The bill was originally brought to life by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse.
The Conservative MP who voted against the bill is Christopher Chope, a 71-year-old member of parliament who was knighted this year. While he was not immediately available for comment, and while he did not provide a reason for his decision to vote against the bill, his action is seen as unnecessary by many in his own party as well. Nick Boles, Conservative MP, said, “In every party, there are one or two MPs whose knuckles drag along the ground. Today, unfortunately, a sensible reform to protect women was blocked by one of ours.”
In a show of necessary outrage, Labour Party spokesperson for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler asked the obvious question, “What possible reason could there be to block a law that supports women and girls?” The practice of upskirting is seen as wholly exploitative of women, and a threat to the individual women whose rights are being directly and blatantly violated. The proposed bill to criminalize this activity came with a suggestion for a prison term of up to two years, if convicted after being found guilty of committing this act.