I suppose this is the logical conclusion (at least we hope it ends here) of the new wave of ‘feminism’ being championed in The Guardian. (I put ‘feminism’ in quotation marks because I think that this kind of victim-feminism may not be the same as the original feminism of the 60s).
The author calls for a law against “misogyny”. What would this law cover?
Unless the author is seriously suggesting that it become a criminal offense to make jokes which contain “sexual innuendo” and “leering” then everything else she mentions is already prosecutable – either as common assault or as harrassment. Groping, unwanted “attempted kissing”, sexualised comments directed at an individual – all can be prosecuted.
Which leads us to the obvious conclusion that what the author really wants is to criminalise all men.
Anticipating this conclusion she says that “the understanding of misogyny and its harms” is likely to be construed as “misandry” (hatred of men). But a law against “misogyny” would by definition only apply to men. And a law under which only one set of people can be prosecuted certainly looks unbalanced and reactionary. One law for Jews; another for the rest of us.
This kind of extreme attitude is part of a new-wave of feminism. It does not seem to be about empowering woman. More about entrenching them as victims. It also shows a somewhat feeble desire to legislate oneself out of all difficulties. Of course; being leered at is not very nice – but has the author really thought through how a law against leering would work? What kind of evidence would be used – perhaps CCTV from local authority street cameras? When is a look a leer? What kind of society is envisaged here when every man walking down the street would have to be careful not to look at a woman? This seems to be about making men wear burkas. (And, for that matter, is the author sure that women never leer at men?)
The underlying problem here is how what seemed to start off as a campaign, or movement, for tolerance of homesexuals and other minorities, on the one hand, and a refusal to accept abuse, on the other, has come full circle and become just the reverse image of the reactionary patterns it claims to detest.