U.K. County to Record Misogyny and Catcalling as Hate Crimes

Nottinghamshire, a county in the U.K., is going to start recording misogyny as a hate crime — yes, seriously. 

According to Newsweek, the category will include “everything from verbal comments and wolf whistling to unwanted physical approaches.” 

“What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” Chief Constable Sue Fish told the BBC. “Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.”

The police force defines misogyny as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.”

Now, notice that this definition says nothing about transgender or gender-fluid individuals. What if someone outside of the gender binary harasses a woman? Is that a hate crime? Does it apply to men only, or to transmasculine people, too? What percentage masculine do you have to be to be guilty of a hate crime for whistling at a woman? What percentage of a woman do you have to be for a man to be guilty of a hate crime for whistling at you? 

In fact, to me, all hate crime legislation is ridiculous. As Kyle points out in one of my favorite episodes of South Park, hate crime laws are “a savage hypocrisy, because all crimes are hate crimes.” 

“If a man beats another man because he was sleeping with his wife, is that not a hate crime?” Kyle asks. 

“If a person vandalizes a government building, isn’t that because of his hate for the government?” his friend Stan adds, before concluding “It is time to stop splitting people into groups.” 

Now, those may be the words of cartoon boys, but guess what? They’re correct. All that these laws do is further divide people, and risk creating resentment by giving some people better treatment than others. 

#related#Even aside from my general opposition to hate crime laws, this specific law is offensive to me as a woman. Fish’s allegation that being whistled at by a construction worker as I walk down the street would be “extremely distressing” is really not giving me enough credit as an emotionally stable adult. Losing a loved one is “extremely distressing.” Falling off of a cliff and breaking your legs is “extremely distressing.” Someone saying “hey sweetie” to you as you walk down the street is, at worst, just kind of annoying, and if you feel differently about that than I do, then perhaps you have not had much experience with real, actual problems. 

Nottinghamshire is the first county in the U.K. to do this — hopefully more do not follow suit. 

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Coming Shellacking

Two years ago Donald Trump hijacked the Republican party. Now it’s time to think about what steps might have to be taken to regain control of it. The tocsin of doom that sounded this week in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District could hardly have been more clear in its meaning: This November the GOP ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Leave McMaster Be

About every two months, there are rumors that Gen. H. R. McMaster might be let go as Trump’s national-security adviser (along with many other stellar appointees). The world, however, is a much more logical and predictable place than it was 14 months ago. We’ve restored ties to the Gulf monarchies; Israel ... Read More
Economy & Business

What Kudlow Got Right in 2007

Lawrence Kudlow’s appointment to be director of the National Economic Council has brought out the critics, who have combed through his copious writings to find every wrong call he has made over the decades. One passage that has come in for some ridicule, though, doesn’t deserve it. Here’s Kudlow, writing ... Read More
Film & TV

Love, Simon Outs Hollywood’s Youth Exploitation

Simon (Nick Robinson), the 17-year-old white gay high-school student in Love, Simon, appears to be a comic version of the protagonist in Moonlight. Rather than blatantly copy that Oscar-winning black-gay-victim film, Love, Simon remakes the pathetic Moonlight in the more marketable guise of a sitcom about a ... Read More