File this under “disproportionate response”: Nottinghamshire police will now treat wolf-whistling and catcalling as hate crimes. Excerpt:
Uninvited sexual advances and unwanted verbal contact with a woman, including catcalling or wolf-whistling in the street, are to be recorded as a hate crimes in a new effort to tackle sexist abuse.
Nottinghamshire police has expanded its categories of hate crime to include misogynistic incidents, characterised as behaviour targeted towards a victim simply because they are a woman.
This means incidents ranging from street harassment to unwanted physical approaches can be reported to and investigated by the police, and support put in place for victims.
The force is the first in the country to adopt the separate misogyny hate crime category, and has provided specific training to selected officers in the past three months.
There are two things wrong with this.
First: What the hell is an “unwanted verbal contact?” How is this defined? What if a man tells a female co-worker “you look nice today”? Wolf-whistles and catcalls on the street may be rude, they may be boorish, but a furshlugginer hate crime? Who is injured by a wolf whistle? Whose civil or human rights are infringed by a catcall? Unwanted sexual contact is one thing; perhaps even an unwanted sexual advance if physical contact is involved. But if there is no contact, if the interaction is limited to a one-way verbal contact, then there is no crime.
Second: The entire concept of “hate crimes” is a canard; the very idea is the purest of corral litter, the malodorous assimilated digestive residue of the male bovine. How can crime A be somehow more abhorrent than an identical crime B, solely because of what the perpetrator of crime A may or may not have been thinking at the time?
And that last is the real stupidity of the Nottinghamshire policy. The very concept of a “hate crime” lies in punishing someone for thinking or believing incorrectly. That’s crap.
Key takeaway: If you’re an Italian man, stay out of Nottinghamshire.