Misogyny is hate, so why aren’t crimes motivated by misogyny considered hate crimes? That’s a question a lot of people in the UK have been asking for a long time.
The discussion has a particularly raw edge to it these days, in the wake of the brutal rape and murder of a 33-year old London woman named Sarah Everard, a mortifying event that has UK citizens worried about the safety of women on the streets. Especially since the killer was a cop.
But not everyone is on board with the idea of making misogyny a hate crime. Oafish British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of them. Asked about the issue recently, he explained that making misogyny a hate crime would just make more misogyny.
After declaring that violence against women is “the number one issue in policing,” he went on to argue that the real solution would just be to enforce current laws more stringently. Because making misogyny a hate crime would give police and the courts so much new work to do that it would just overwhelm them. And somehow this would cause misogyny to get worse.
“To be perfectly frank, if you simply widen the scope of what you ask the police to do, you’ll just increase the problem,” he recently told reporters.
It’s a little hard to take this logic seriously. It’s not as if making murder a crime increased the number of murders. Johnson’s argument is less an argument than a rather flippant excuse for the status quo, and UK women deserve a lot better than that.
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