Dominic Raab stunned viewers of the BBC breakfast during an interview with Sally Nugent with comments about misogyny.
The Justice Secretary attended the BBC Breakfast live stream from the Conservative Conference in Manchester when Sally questioned the Deputy Prime Minister about demands to turn misogyny into a hate crime.
Mr Raab caused astonishment on social media after suggesting that misogyny should also apply to men.
Following comments yesterday by Boris Johnson who believes that current issues of effectively dealing with crime and violence against women should be addressed first, Sally asked the former Secretary of State:
“I just wanted to start with something the Prime Minister heard saying on this broadcast yesterday. He said he does not support calls to turn misogyny into a hate crime. What is your opinion on that?”
Mr. Raab replied, “Well, you see, we have often seen people in the criminal justice system for decades trying to pass laws that pose an enforcement problem.”
Then he added: “Of course, I find insults and misogyny absolutely wrong, whether man against woman or woman against man.”
A short time later, Sally replied, “I just want to clarify something you said at the beginning of our conversation this morning, you said that misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether man against woman or woman against man, is that what you mean?”
Raab replied, “What I was trying to say is that when it comes to things that are below the misdemeanor of harassment intimidation, all of which are rightly criminalized when we talk about effective sexist insults, I don’t think so that criminalizing these thoughts will solve the problem we have at the heart of the Sarah Everard case … “
The moderator then gave Raab the definition of misogyny: “The dictionary definition of misogyny is ‘hatred of women,’ to which Raab avoided answering directly.
He added, “Well, if any of this, like incitement to hatred, intimidation, harassment, is already a criminal offense, then I would say you don’t cause other low-level crimes. We have laws that protect women from the kind of intimidation and harassment.” Protecting harassment you are likely to focus on.
“Lowering the bar and saying ‘offensive should be criminalized’, in my opinion, is not going to deal with what women in this country are afraid of, namely the danger to life or life, the danger of intimidation, the danger of harassment – All of these things are criminal at the moment, the question is how do we enforce these laws much more effectively and much more sensitively against women. “
Viewers on Twitter were quick to comment on Raab’s comments.
@ vijram92 said, “So Raab doesn’t even know what misogyny means? Since it was on the news, the prime minister was asked about it, he looked it up. Too much of a job, I suppose.”
@mancgas tweeted: “Ms. Raab …… .I think he would like a dictionary and a thesaurus for Christmas. One less gift to think about.” To which @ Kernowboy1971 replied: “He’s already getting an atlas.”
“Hard for the UK government to fight misogyny if the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary don’t really know what it is …” added @proukakis
@stutakesphotos said, “Mansplaining misogyny. Mankind is crying.”
“I think Justice Minister Dominic Raab has never looked for the meaning of ‘misogyny’ in a dictionary – let’s get it straight: Misogyny, according to Merriam Webster, is: hatred, aversion or prejudice against women – not men,” @BiancaJagger tweeted .
BBC Breakfast airs every weekday morning from 6am on BBC One.