catcalling
This is a still from a viral YouTube video showing a day in the life of a women beset by catcalls in New York City.Rob Bliss Creative

An Argentinian congresswoman has introduced a bill that would levy stiff fines on men who make lewd comments to women on the street.

The catcall clip could set an ogler back $775 (£490).

The bill comes as South American lawmakers are just beginning to take action to crack down on sex harassment in the streets — and domestic abuse. Peruvian lawmakers earlier this year passed a law calling for prison sentences of up to 12 years for men who harass women in public.

"In Argentina, street harassment is something that is widely accepted and women are subjected to hearing all kinds of comments about our bodies and our sex beginning at a young age," Congresswoman Victoria Donda told Fusion. "To change that, we have to put the issue out there for discussion."

The bill was partially inspired by Argentinian Alixa Rizzo, 20, who made a YouTube video complaining of repeated harassment by construction workers across from her home. As the catcalls got uglier, men began threatening her with sexual violence and she asked for a police detail at her home.

Another viral video last year showed a women beset by catcalls as she walked in New York City. Similar videos have revealed similar experiences in other cities around the world.

A recent poll found that 72% of Argentine women had recently been whistled at, shouted at or hissed at by men, and that nearly 60% said they felt intimidated by catcalls.

One politician who probably won't be voting for the bill is Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, currently a presidential candidate. "Women who say they don't like it, and are offended by it, but I don't believe it," Macri said recently. "There is nothing nicer than a piropo [catcall], even if it's accompanied by something offensive."