On Wednesday, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, posted a message on Twitter declaring that “misogyny will now be recorded as a hate crime” and how it’s a “huge victory for everyone involved” in the cross-party campaign:
NEW: Misogyny will now be recorded as a hate crime – a HUGE victory for everyone involved in this cross-party campaign. It’s time for every Londoner to call out sexist & misogynistic attitudes wherever they are found – in the workplace, school, on the streets or public transport.
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) March 17, 2021
The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some even saying they’ve never even experienced a misogynistic act:
Never had anyone act misogynistic toward me my whole life. I know it does happen, but surely there are far bigger crimes to be tackling right now?
— Sian (@SML_0917) March 17, 2021
Others believe it’s a made up word and the “act” itself is entirely subjective depending on an individual’s point of view, which will result in more “unresolved cases clogging up the courts”:
Precisely the point. It’s incredibly subjective, very difficult to conclusively prove and will I’m sure be abused. The end result will be more and more unresolved cases clogging up the courts.
— Zane Andrews (@QueueTube00) March 17, 2021
This new law is just one of many that has further degraded the United Kingdom’s remaining freedom of speech rights.
According to a Wikipedia page devoted to censorship in the UK, the country has a history with various stringent and lax laws in place at different times:
British citizens have a negative right to freedom of expression under the common law. In 1998, the United Kingdom incorporated the European Convention into its domestic law under the Human Rights Act. However, there is a broad sweep of exceptions including threatening or abusive words or behaviour intending or likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress or cause a breach of the peace (which has been used to prohibit racist speech targeted at individuals), sending another any article which is indecent or grossly offensive with an intent to cause distress or anxiety (which has been used to prohibit speech of a racist or anti-religious nature), incitement, incitement to racial hatred, incitement to religious hatred, incitement to terrorism including encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications, glorifying terrorism, collection or possession of a document or record containing information likely to be of use to a terrorist, treason including advocating for the abolition of the monarchy or compassing or imagining the death of the monarch, sedition, obscenity, indecency including corruption of public morals and outraging public decency, defamation, prior restraint, restrictions on court reporting including names of victims and evidence and prejudicing or interfering with court proceedings, prohibition of post-trial interviews with jurors, time, manner, and place restrictions, harassment, privileged communications, trade secrets, classified material, copyright, patents, military conduct, and limitations on commercial speech such as advertising.
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