An unbiased working group on misogyny and felony justice, established a yr in the past by the Scottish authorities, revealed its report and proposals final week.
Probably the most vital a part of Misogyny: A Human Rights Subject is its advice of a Misogyny and Prison Justice (Scotland) Act. As a part of this act, misogyny would grow to be a stand-alone hate crime, which implies that a felony act, whether it is deemed to have a sexist motive, could be punished extra severely. The working group additionally recommends creating three new offences: for the ‘stirring up’ of hatred towards ladies and ladies, for ‘public misogynistic harassment’, and for issuing threats or utilizing phrases associated to rape or sexual assault or disfigurement of ladies both on-line or offline.
In fact, this being Scotland, a nation whose elites are main the best way in wokeness, the report is shot by way of with trans ideology. It successfully defines a girl as anybody who defines him or herself as a girl – ‘it’s our most popular view that no offence needs to be created that requires a girl to show that she is a girl’. So there you’ve it – a report recommending the criminalisation of sexism that ignores the existence of organic intercourse.
Nonetheless, we should always take Misogyny’s suggestions critically. Not least as a result of, whereas none of its suggestions are regulation but, it absolutely gained’t be lengthy earlier than most of them are. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has already embraced the report. And it’s unlikely that she’s going to meet a lot in the best way of opposition to it in Holyrood.
However there are many the reason why folks ought to oppose the report’s suggestions. They’ll flip admittedly obnoxious and typically immoral behaviour into felony behaviour. For instance, behaviours that might be criminalised embody: telling a girl she is fats, ugly and sexually loathsome; gesticulating in a graphic sexual method; and a road-rage offence the place sexist abuse is used. It’s unhealthy behaviour, definitely. However worthy of being deemed a felony offence?
To grasp the reasoning of this unbiased working group, it’s value remembering that it’s nearly fully made up of feminist lecturers, feminist activists and feminist professionals. Furthermore, its members have been handpicked by its chair, Baroness Helena Kennedy – the exact same Helena Kennedy who has argued prior to now that we dwell in a misogynistic world through which even the regulation itself is an instrument of patriarchal oppression.
Certainly, within the introduction to Misogyny, Kennedy writes of the ‘gendered nature of regulation’, and asserts that ‘misogyny is… deeply rooted in our patriarchal ecosystem’. Girls, she continues, are continuously beneath siege from males. Violence, abuse and degradation are ‘a part of ladies’s and ladies’ day by day lives’. And this fixed abuse of ladies by males, she believes, ‘confirms [women’s] subordinate standing, seeps into their burgeoning sense of self-worth and destroys self-confidence’.
This then is why the Scottish working group is recommending turning sexist behaviour right into a felony offence. As a result of Kennedy and people she has assembled round her consider that sexist language and behavior replicate and reinforce ‘our patriarchal ecosystem’. Such language and behavior ought to subsequently be criminalised with a purpose to assist the ladies whose ‘self-worth’ and ‘self-confidence’ has been destroyed by it.
This reveals a lot concerning the nature of latest feminism. Feminists used to advertise the concept ladies are as robust and as succesful as males. They argued for ladies’s freedom and for equal remedy. However not anymore it appears. As a substitute, the likes of Kennedy see ladies as profoundly susceptible and fragile – so fragile, in actual fact, that disagreeable male behaviour destroys them. They’re subsequently in determined want of the safety of the regulation and the police.
Kennedy and the working group should not simply concerned with altering the regulation and criminalising males, nevertheless. They’re simply as eager on ‘chang[ing] the tradition’ of misogyny that they consider to be ‘so deeply embedded’ in society.
Within the on-line dialogue that adopted Misogyny’s publication, the Twitterati and others steered that boys might be focused by way of training. And people boys who present a very sexist angle might be made to attend coaching classes after faculty and on the weekend. None of that is past the realms of chance. It’s additionally possible that if there’s a Misogyny and Prison Justice Act in Scotland, the worldview of the misogyny working group will grow to be half and parcel of awareness-training classes held at colleges, universities and even workplaces. Everybody would then be taught about what it’s prefer to dwell in a ‘patriarchal ecosystem’, through which males and boys are an issue to be solved, and girls and ladies are in want of safety.
Each Nicola Sturgeon and Helena Kennedy little question assume they’re doing the precise factor. That policing the ‘appropriate’ attitudes into existence is the best way ahead. But it surely’s not. It would solely encourage and deepen a way of victimhood amongst ladies and assist create a brand new and debilitating type of paternalism. This isn’t progress. It’s a enormous backwards step for women and men. And it have to be resisted.
Stuart Waiton is a lecturer at Abertay College.