Currently, the police will only recognize hate crime if it falls under five protected traits: race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity.
But activists hope to add a sixth to this list in hopes of a new crime of prejudice against women.
Misogyny – as it is known – is not currently a specific hate crime crime, but the inclusion of other laws has brought perpetrators of misogynist sentiments to justice.
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However, some believe that the other pieces of legislation do not go far enough, which means that there are loopholes in the system.
Can a new hate crime misogyny address this? Some believe it is possible. But what exactly is misogyny? Who is demanding that it turn into a hate crime? And what did the government say about it? Here’s what we know
What is misogyny?
Misogyny has several meanings. Its main definition means aversion, hatred, or suspicion of women, which manifests itself in physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and more.
However, it also covers the deeply ingrained and institutionalized misogynist feelings or prejudices. In other words, institutions and individuals that have practices that women avoid or ignore, or that work actively against the interests of women.
It may not always be obvious to a person when they are misogynist and they may not believe they are, but the behaviors, actions, or words they express can indicate misogynist biases.
Who is demanding that misogyny be declared a concrete hate crime?
The campaign to turn misogyny a hate crime was led mainly by two Manchester University graduates.
Jess Bostock and Sylvie Pope have urged ministers to respond to growing prejudice against women.
Writing in i newspaper said Pope: “Making misogyny a hate crime is crucial in the fight not only to end violence against women, but also to change the culture that breeds divisions throughout society.”
Earlier this year, the duo celebrated after ministers asked police to record crimes believed to be “gender motivated”.
While this will only be done on an experimental basis, activists believe this is a great first step in recognizing misogyny as a hate crime.
At the announcement, Bostock said it was “necessary”. She told her University website : “We are absolutely thrilled that women are being listened to and that misogynist crimes are being recorded. Women from GM and the University of Manchester have advocated these issues for years.
“Tracking misogynist hate crimes is a simple but necessary step to better understand and map women’s experiences and ultimately to combat misogyny and male violence against women. By recording every woman’s history or every report of a hate incident, we can prevent patterns of abuse and redistribute funds for vital community services.
“Tackling misogyny requires community-led solutions – recording where men commit violence against women is just the beginning and there is still so much to be done.”
What did the government say about misogyny as a hate crime?
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, told us the BBC He does not support turning misogyny a hate crime and insists that there are enough laws in place to address the problem.
According to his interview with the company, “expanding the scope” of the hate crime legislation would create more problems for the police.
But in Scotland, the local Justice Minister has said that misogyny could become a crime in its own right in the country.
He said BBC Scotlands The Sunday Show that committing a particular misogyny offense would tell men that “these behaviors are unacceptable in society”.