Unfortunately, most women are not foreign to misogyny. Whether it’s hecklers on the street or sexual harassment in the workplace, chances are, almost every woman reading this can think of at least one example of misogyny they have personally experienced. Chances are, you can probably think of multiple.
Like many women, I am sure you have felt at a loss during this experience. What can we do? There, of course, are laws against sexual assault, if you can prove it of course, but there nothing to protect us from misogyny in general. When we are shouted at from across the street with vulgar and disrespectful words, there’s usually not much that can be done besides walk away, uncomfortable, embarrassed, and feeling unsafe and threatened.
If you think misogyny should be categorized as a hate crime, you aren’t alone. Feminist-campaigner Melanie Jeffs helped persuade Nottingham police to designate misogyny has a hate crime. Nottingham is the first city in the country to do this, and hopefully others will soon follow.
If other cities start to designate misogyny as a hate crime, there are quite a few things that we will happily start to say buh-bye to. They include:
- Male co-workers calling us “honey” and “sweetheart”: Try using our names, not something you’d call your daughters.
- Conversation hijackers: Yes, you can speak. Congratulations. Try listening.
- Subtle hands on our waist/back/shoulder/leg/etc.: No touchy, please.
- Being sexualized for our race: My race is not your fantasy.
- Mansplainers: I think my lady-brain can wrap itself around most things on it’s own, thanks.
- Manarchism: Make space for the women.
- Being treated like an assistant by our equals: Secretaries are amazing and most places cannot survive without this underappreciated person! But if I have the same job as you do and it’s not a secretary position, don’t treat me like one.
- Feeling the need to act more masculine for respect/feminine for attention: We are humans, too.
- Being resented for femininity: We can rock heels and dresses while simultaneously kicking major butt.
- Creepy online harassment: Calm down with the eggplant emojis.
- Being treated like fragile, porcelain dolls: One word: childbirth.
- Rape jokes: They’re never funny.
- Slut shaming: Our personal lives do not exist for you to judge.
- Victim blaming: No one was ever “asking for it,” so stop.
- Being called cute when we’re angry: You won’t think we’re cute when there’s fire coming for our ears in your direction.
- Feeling completely helpless: There could finally be an answer, if other cities follow Nottingham’s path.
- Being treated differently in general: In the end, a person is a person is a person. We all just want respect.