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Arguments For Incorporating Misogyny Into Existing Hate Crime Legislation

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In late 2018, the UK government agreed to a fully funded review with a wider scope of considering the recognization of misogyny as a hate crime following the withdrawal of an amendment to the up-skirting bill put forward by Labour MP Stella Creasy. This would in turn enable police to record a wide array of actions considered as public harassment of women. As offenses that are seen to be motivated by hostility towards certain races, religions, sexual orientation and disability exist in the current legislature as hate crime, Creasy hoped that this will be a step towards tackling misogyny as it is an inevitable part of the lives of women, altering their social and public behavior out of fear. This essay will be evaluating the arguments in favor of incorporating misogyny into existing hate crime legislature. The arguments will be structured according to thesis and will be evaluating the positive and negative aspects of : the affect of recognizing misogyny on current and potential victims, policing and actively enforcing by applying a clear definition and the factors in recognizing misogyny as a hate crime with awareness and education.

Misogyny can be defined as a “Dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women”. Incorporating misogyny into the hate crime legislation will mean that actions such as groping, using slurs pertaining to gender or taking photographs without consent, or more grave offences such as physical assault will be considered as as a misogyny hate crime. Defining misogyny as a hate crime could have possible benefits for victims who, studies have found, have had prolonged and frequent experience concerning gender based harassment. It was found by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights out of all the respondents in the UK, 68% of women experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15. This is not including the women who had been sexually harassed in the past 12 months which totaled to 25%. Another survey conducted by Plan International UK, found that 38 % of girls aged 14-21 had experienced verbal harassment including sexual comments in public places at least once a month, while 15% are being touched, groped or grabbed at least once a month. Anxiety and stress are the least of the psychological problems that public harassment can cause. Jennifer Freyd, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon found that three general physiological effects can be found in the aftermath of harassment: “betrayal trauma, betrayal blindness and institutional betrayal”, sometimes without the conscious knowledge of the victim as female targeted abuse becomes more normalized in society.

However, a counter argument that could apply to this is the fact that the current legislation states that what constitutes as an action that is motivated by a triggering factor is entirely based upon the perception of the victim. Although

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Additionally, one other argument that could be made in favor of incorporating misogyny into existing hate crime legislation is that this would open up and improve upon policing methods from the treatments of police, the act of policing, finding perpetrators and enforcing it by applying a set procedure. One term of reference for the review of the hate crime legislation states that it would search for “recommendations on the most appropriate models to ensure that the criminal law provides consistent and effective protection from conduct motivated by hatred of protected groups or characteristics” Although one counterargument may be that policing may be difficult due to the crime being of the victim’s perceptions to be motivated by hostility towards their gender, it can be rebutted that with proper police training. Pioneering the way is implementation of the recording of misogyny as hate crime and incidents by the Nottinghamshire Police in April of 2016, where the police began to recognize misogyny as a hate crime with the set definition of “

Finally, an additional argument that can be constructed in favor of incorporating misogyny into existing hate crime legislation revolves around the similarities between misogyny and other forms of crime already included in the hate crime legislation such as race, religion or transgender identity. This would provides recognition of the fact there are similarities between this behaviours, and other types which are currently recognized as being a hate crime, making people aware and education. This would tackle misogyny and hate crime on a level that is not only from the perspective of the law enforcement or justice system. However, an argument that can be made against this can be that with the recognization of misogyny as a hate crime, the list of potential aggravating factors of hate crime can increase and become problematic as the border between what constitutes as a clear motivation of hate crime is blurred.

In conclusion, the arguments in favour of incorporating misogyny into existing hate crime legislation revolve around improvements on the affect of recognizing misogyny on current victims of public harassment, allowing the proper training and actively enforcing by agents of the law and the benefits of recognizing misogyny as a hate crime with awareness and education. Although counter arguments may be prevalent in some situations involving the reality of enforcement and whether or not incorporating it into the law will be a proper solution, ultimately the recognition of misogyny as a hate crime will be a step towards a more progressive society where deeply embedded institutionalized sexism can be slowly overturned with current legislation reflecting the true reality of misogyny and how it affects 50% of the population. However, although the solution does start at the legal, social standards has to be improved by implementing more education and awareness on the effects of misogyny and gender inequality by reflecting the true scope of the problem at hand.

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Arguments For Incorporating Misogyny Into Existing Hate Crime Legislation. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/arguments-for-incorporating-misogyny-into-existing-hate-crime-legislation/
“Arguments For Incorporating Misogyny Into Existing Hate Crime Legislation.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/arguments-for-incorporating-misogyny-into-existing-hate-crime-legislation/
Arguments For Incorporating Misogyny Into Existing Hate Crime Legislation. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/arguments-for-incorporating-misogyny-into-existing-hate-crime-legislation/> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2022].
Arguments For Incorporating Misogyny Into Existing Hate Crime Legislation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2022 Dec 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/arguments-for-incorporating-misogyny-into-existing-hate-crime-legislation/
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