UK Justice Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab is under fire for comments about misogyny.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast, Raab rejected that misogyny should become a hate crime in the UK. Activists are pushing for misogyny to be labeled a hate crime in the wake of now-former police officer Wayne Couzen’s kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year.
When asked about his stance on misogyny, Raab said that misogyny is absolutely wrong, and incorrectly added, “whether it’s a man against a woman, or a woman against a man,” showing that Raab does not actually know the meaning of misogyny.
The definition of misogyny is hatred or prejudice specifically against women. When corrected later in the interview about the actual definition of misogyny, Raab did not retract or correct his previous statement, and instead doubled down on his stance against making misogyny a hate crime.
The newly appointed justice secretary equated misogyny to “insults with a sexist basis,” and argued that making it a hate crime would lead to criminalizing insults. Critics have said his stance shows not only does he not understand the definition of misogyny, he also seems not to understand hate crimes.
A hate crime is a crime carried out against someone, and it is proven to be about the person’s race, sexual orientation, transgender identity, religion or disability. The crime could be assault, harassment, or criminal damage.
The campaign to make misogyny a hate crime says that sex and gender should be added to the list as well. Making misogyny a hate crime is backed by two opposing parties, Labour and Lib Dem.
The justice secretary has previously said he is not a feminist, and has also defended remarks that he called feminists “obnoxious bigots.”
His recent comments about misogyny have been called insulting, callous, out of touch, and factually incorrect.