Following the murder of Sarah Everard, or rather the hysterical reaction to it, misogyny will be classified as a hate crime.
This news came as such a shock that I began to doubt my command of etymology. Let’s see: misein means ‘to hate’ in Greek, and gyne means ‘woman’. Put them together and you get hatred of women – a nasty feeling for sure, but still only a feeling nevertheless.
But perhaps, when the word was transplanted into English, it changed its meaning? Into the dictionary I go, to find this definition: hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women. Again, only a feeling.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but feelings aren’t traditionally criminalised in the English Common Law. For example, I may feel like eviscerating Tony Blair, but I’m not going to be prosecuted until I’ve tried to get into his house with a large knife (I know where you live, Tony) or at least stated a murderous intent publicly.
So why should misogyny be a crime? Turns out my knee jerked too soon. Misogyny, a Home Office minister explained, will only be considered a crime if it motivates other, violent crimes, “including stalking and sexual offences”.
Wiping my brow in relief, I realised that the new law isn’t so much idiotic as redundant. That, however, is a serious matter too.
Redundant laws encumber the justice system and, worse still, give too much leeway to arbitrary and unjust prosecution. In other words, if a law is redundant, it’s harmful.
In this case, we already have laws galore penalising violence against any of the 72 currently recognised sexes and any additional ones doubtless to be identified soon. Sexual violence, such as rape, is also covered, as is pure violence against women that’s not sullied by sexual assault.
One can see that, if a man known to hate all women commits a violent crime against one of them, his misogyny – or any other perverse motivation – may be held against him as an aggravating circumstance and, say, diminish his chances of an early parole.
But that’s basic common sense, and no legislation to that effect seems necessary. If a man tried for maiming a woman is shown to be a misogynist, surely even in the absence of this new law any prosecutor worth his salt can make this point to the jury – to secure both a guilty verdict and a more severe punishment.
Any way you look at it, this new law doesn’t seem to serve the cause of justice in any meaningful way. Yet that doesn’t mean it serves no other purpose either, and here we cross the line separating redundant and useless from sinister and evil.
Since all the usual crimes against women are already punishable by existing legislation, logically the proponents of the new law wish to penalise some new crimes, those that hitherto haven’t been regarded as such.
The key to this conclusion is hidden in the words “stalking and sexual crimes”, as they appear in the lexicon of the Home Office. Clearly the legal definitions of such transgressions are being expanded beyond any sensible limits.
For example, if your understanding of stalking is the same as mine, the word evokes an evil-doer stealthily following a woman (or lying in wait) to do her harm. He could be planning rape, kidnapping, robbery, revenge beating – you name it.
However, if our legislators shared this understanding, then again there would be no new law necessary. The old ones can do the job nicely, thank you very much.
Hence they mean something completely different, and what it is can only be inferred from the deafening feminist shrieks whose volume has been steadily increasing for decades. Following that highly publicised murder, they have reached an eardrum-busting decibel level.
Stalking can now mean, for example, trying to pick up a woman in the street, a crime I committed almost every day when a young Muscovite. In my defence I can only point out that I was motivated by love of sex, not hatred of women. Also such attempts (in my case, mostly futile) were common practice in Russia, and no one, including the women, saw them as criminal, although some – too many! – saw them as unwelcome.
A sexual crime may now include patting a woman’s rump without first obtaining a written, notarised permission – a boorish thing to do for sure, yet bad manners have never been criminalised before. But never mind unwanted physical contact.
Making a suggestive remark or a risqué joke to a woman may now also be interpreted as criminal misogyny. Even complimenting a woman on her body, particularly its secondary sex characteristics, can be classified as sexual assault.
If all redundant laws are unnecessary and therefore harmful, all ideological laws are subversive and therefore evil. There’s no doubt that this new law is designed to pander to the feminist assault on the social fabric of society. It is craven submission to a malicious ideology.
In addition to empowering zealots and ideologues, the new law undermines the foundations of the English Common Law and therefore the very concept of Britishness.
After all, even our able prosecutors can’t peek into a man’s mind to see whether or not his shout of “get your tits out for the lads” is motivated by hatred of women. To make this new law operable prosecutors must have the mandate to interpret his yobbish behaviour in any way they see fit.
This gives law enforcement the kind of powers that are incompatible with the traditional right of Englishmen. It also increases the power of the state over the individual, another development irreconcilable with the country’s constitution, developed gradually and lovingly over millennia.
As a firm believer in dialectical balance, I hereby propose that the new misogyny law be offset with laws penalising misandry. My wife, who protests when I watch too much footie, is ipso facto a prime culprit.