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Backlash As Dominic Raab Confuses Meaning Of Misogyny On BBC Breakfast

Joanna Freedman

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Backlash As Dominic Raab Confuses Meaning Of Misogyny On BBC Breakfast

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Welcome back to today's instalment of 'reasons to eye roll'. Today we have a clip of Dominic Raab, in which he appears to discuss men falling victim to misogyny.

Yep, speaking on BBC Breakfast this morning from the Tory party conference, the Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, who also holds the titles of Justice Secretary, Lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister, was asked about misogyny, and whether it should be made a hate crime in the wake of Sarah Everard's murder.

And in response, he said: "I think insults, and misogyny is of course absolutely wrong, whether it's a man against a woman or a woman against a man".


Watch this moment below:


The definition of misogyny is hatred which is targeted specifically at women. Got that, Raab?

The MP, who has also previously said he is not a feminist, was further questioned on his point, and replied: “What I meant was, if we are talking about things below the level of public order offences of harassment, intimidation, which are rightly criminalised – if we are talking about, effectively, insults with a sexist basis, I don’t think that criminalising those sorts of things will deal with the problem that we have got at the heart of the Sarah Everard case.

"Therefore, just criminalising insulting language - even if it's misogynistic - does not deal with the intimidation, the violence and the much higher level of offence and damage and harm that we really ought to be laser-like focused in on."

The interviewer then proceeded to read him a dictionary definition of the term, clarifying that it specifically referred to behaviour towards women.

Raab fumbled during the BBC Breakfast interview (Credit: BBC)
Raab fumbled during the BBC Breakfast interview (Credit: BBC)

"Any of that, so inciting hatred, intimidation, harassment are already criminal offences. So I would say don't create other lower level offences.

"What you want to do is focus on how you enforce the offence that we've got in law which protect women from precisely that kind of intimidation and harassment that I think your focusing on," Raab somewhat obliviously replied.

Raab said that he believed the problem was with law enforcement, rather than making new laws, therefore supporting Boris Johnson's claims that making misogyny a hate crime isn't necessary.

Discussing rape conviction rates - only 1.4 per cent are prosecuted - he said: “The conviction rate statistics are often, I’m afraid, rather skewed.

"If you look at the normal way that people measure the conviction rate – as a proportion of the number of prosecutions that are launched – actually once you get to court, there is more or less around a 70 per cent chance of conviction.

The conversation came after Sarah Everard's death (Credit: Handout)
The conversation came after Sarah Everard's death (Credit: Handout)

“The challenge we’ve got is the reporting of cases … through to the preparation of the file that goes to the CPS and then the decision to prosecute… the critical thing is getting the cases to trial with the evidence to secure that conviction.”

Commenting on the rather jaw-dropping interview after it aired, one viewer sarcastically wrote: "What this situation really needs is Dominic Raab suggesting that 'woman against a man' 'misogyny' is a real problem."

Meanwhile, another penned: "Reassuring scenes on #BBCBreakfast as Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has the dictionary definition of misogyny read out to him".

"So Dominic Raab said this on live TV to @sallynugent and honestly, I think that’s pretty indicative of why we can’t get any traction or progress on this issue," wrote somebody else.

"Men in power don’t even know what it is, or how to talk about it. He confidently waffles on for another three minutes."

In his interview, Raab did acknowledge that systemic changes would need to be put in place to tackle misogyny within our law enforcement.

“I know many, many incredibly dedicated police officers, men and women, who are appalled by this and are determined to fix this problem. But we do need to look at culture in the police and the second phase of the review, the inquiry the home secretary announced, is target at that issue".

In the list of things we didn't expect to see today, one of the leaders of the country learning the meaning of misogyny is pretty high up there...

Topics: TV And Film, News, Politics, BBC

Joanna Freedman
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