Nottinghamshire Police Force have just expanded their growing list of hate crimes to include misogyny. Quite frankly I’m shocked that they only just got around to including it now, and there is a definite case to be had for suing them for this delay which, under their own definition, is almost certainly misogynistic in nature. And here is their definition:

“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.”

I hope your initial reaction to that was to let out a mighty horse laugh. I have rarely, if ever, read such a badly worded official statement. So the attitude is by a man (singular) towards a woman (singular), but the behaviour is by men (plural) against a woman (singular). And what of “because they are a woman”, rather than “because she is a woman”? Is this just bad grammar, or is it an example of the force’s own ingrained misogyny where it cannot bring itself to use the singular “she” when referring to “a woman” but must instead depersonalise her? The statement looks like they took it from an initiative launched by Portuguese police, and ran it through Google translate.

The other big problem with the statement itself is that it is so vaguely worded as to be essentially meaningless. It could include just about every attitude or example of behaviour men exhibit towards women (or should that be men exhibit towards woman?), and is thus at the mercy of entirely subjective definitions of what does and what doesn’t constitute a misogynistic hate crime. Does it include a man attempting to give up his seat for a woman on public transport? The definition is vague enough to include it if the lady in question perceives it to be demeaning.

Of course you might say that this is not the sort of thing Nottinghamshire police are talking about. What they are actually trying to address is real, low-level harassment that women in their area often face. What do you say to that then?

Simply that this is a hopelessly foolish way of dealing with it, and the method merely confirms that we took a wrong direction way back when. In the first instance, police forces continually complain about overstretch and of the need to free up resources. How does this woolly-worded initiative achieve this? It doesn’t. What it could end up doing, though, is forcing officers to spend their time investigating hundreds of low-level instances of harassment, and so missing the more serious incidents.

So how do you deal with incidents of low-level harassment? There are no quick fix answers to this, but the clue is to work out how we got here. How did we get to the stage where young boys today have immeasurably less respect for girls today than they would have had even 20 or 30 years ago? How did we get to the stage where multitudes of young men see females through the porn filter? How did we get to the stage where the chances of a woman finding a man who will be responsible and faithful to her are becoming less and less each year?

We got here because many believed the feminist lie that marriage is just a tool of patriarchal oppression. We got here because an increasing number of women each year have willingly handed over the care of their children to others. We got here because women believed they were being liberated by all this, whereas what was really happening was that men were being given the green light to become as irresponsible as they liked.

In other words, we got here because many of the civilising influences on men have been ripped up and chucked away. The civilising influence of the mother bringing up her own son. The civilising influence of a son being brought up within the married family with a father present. The civilising influence of men being expected to be responsible and faithful husbands within a marriage.

Much of what are now being labelled “misogynistic hate crimes” are simply a consequence of the tearing up of the very relationships and social expectations that once required males to be respectful towards women. Yet having done it, we are surprised to see the outcome – a generation of males who are less respectful towards women. As C.S. Lewis put it, “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

And so having torn up those relationships which were so vital, women must now apparently look to the state to step in and deal with the consequences. In the past, other men would have performed this function. A man who was seen to be hassling a woman would have been told in no uncertain terms by others in the community to quit it. And he would have quit it, knowing that the consequences of continuing were most unfavourable to him. Who will do that now? Those that might be prepared to do so know they run the risk of being beaten to a pulp.

The answer to the disrespect and unpleasant hassling of women is not to be found in yet more laws and more policing of such incidents. Instead it is in recognising that far from bringing liberty and a more civil society, the hacking away of the relationships and social boundaries mentioned above has largely destroyed the foundations from which true liberty and civil society can begin to flourish. Only when we have reconciled ourselves to this might we begin once again to see boys growing up into men who really do respect women.

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