Hate crimes, except if you are a woman.
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About the event
Against a backdrop of a shadow pandemic of violence against women and girls, the Scottish Parliament passed a Hate Crime Bill on 11th March 2021 that excluded the protected characteristic of sex. There remains considerable concern that an opportunity to include protection of women in the hate crime framework was missed. While many feminists believe that hate crime legislation is an inadequate mechanism for challenging all forms of violence against women and girls and await the recommendations of the Working Group on misogyny, others argued for a meantime inclusion of a sex aggravator that would offer some protection and at the very least be an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem.
Liz Kelly’s article on the problems inherent in relying on hate crime frameworks to effectively tackle the continuum of male violence against women and girls and the power dynamics that normalise it is a useful read. It lays out issues with the concept of hate crime particularly relating to ideas that have acquired “powerful rhetorical focus for mobilization of victim and identity politics” while not necessarily making it easier to deliver justice. A new concept of ‘discriminatory violence’ that aligns with feminist analysis of male violence against women, equality law and human rights is suggested, you can read the full article here:
More general concerns about the Hate Crime bill have been raised regarding freedom of expression and policing of conversations that occur within the home, for example, would conversations critical of gender ideology and/or discussions focussed on protection of women’s sex based rights be considered hateful?