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Social Affairs: Hate Crime or just a Crime?

After recent furores over ‘wolf-whistling’ at women, two fine examples of what really does constitute something worth chasing the perpetrators over are two assaults on women by men. Only last week a twenty-year-old man was frogmarched to the local police station by his mother after he punched an eighteen-year-old girl outside a nightclub in Essex.

According to witnesses, she had confronted him after he called other young women ‘fat c****’. Such a polite and charming way of addressing others (regardless of gender) says a lot for this individual and his thinking, so ten out of ten to his mum.

The other occurred in Paris, also last week, when a twenty-two-year old woman called Marie Laguerre objected to being on the end of ‘dirty noises, comments and whistling’ from a man outside a bar. So he picked up an ashtray, threw it at her, then followed that up by hitting her in the face.

As a man myself, I have never felt the desire, the urge, the need, to indulge in such a shocking manner, to either other men or women. So what is it about some men that makes them behave like this? I have no idea. I do know that the current obsession with certain acts that have been deemed ‘hate crimes’ and similar, and the pursuance of them by the Police, are tending to either ignore completely or brush away examples like the two above. At the very least, such depressing behaviour is being lumped under the ‘hate crime’ banner, and thus is disguising the true nature of them. Put simply, they are crimes against the person.

We have become so obsessed with political correctness that real crime, including those against women, are not being dealt with as they should be.

Nottinghamshire Police have been engaged in a pilot scheme that does indeed record such assaults (including wolf-whistling) as hate crimes and it has been received quite well as large numbers of women are reporting indecent exposure, groping, upskirt photography, physical abuse and worse. The four examples mentioned however, are crimes. It is that simple.

There is nothing ‘manly’ or masculine about taking sneaky pics up a woman’s dress, or having a quick fondle-in-passing, or by having a flash. It may not need saying but I’ll say it anyway; doing any of them (or worse) is nothing more than the act of the selfish, the ignorant and the inadequate. Recent research has concluded that we now live in a culture where it is, apparently, acceptable to some men to intimidate women on the street, touch them on the backside, comment on their bodies and generally put them in fear of assault.

Yet this is not new.

While the age of Gentlemen adopting a protective attitude towards Ladies may be in the past (only maybe) and the view that women are the weaker sex may have lost its prevalence, women have long been seen as ‘conquests’ by some men. This includes some rather well-known personalities, particularly in the music business, who bedded their way around the world and made no secret of their so-called prowess. Such an attitude was wrong in the past and it is wrong now.

That said, there have been reported cases of some women objecting when a man holds a door open for them, said ladies loudly voicing their independence and ability to use a door by themselves. I have to say that I routinely hold doors open for both women and men, especially women with a pushchair and one or two other children to look after. I have yet to be on the end of any objections for merely being polite. And there is the key.

What is missing from today’s society is plain old-fashioned good manners and politeness. Perhaps if there was less attention paid to those who shout the loudest over politically-correct, perceived and imaginary nothingness, and that attention given more assiduously to real crime, more credence and credibility to having a little consideration towards others, there might be a reduction in what is, again, plain old-fashioned assault.

Having mentioned Paris, in France there are new laws afoot which prohibit ‘annoying, following and threatening’ a woman and this is to be applauded. But don’t stop there – it doesn’t matter who is doing the annoying, following or threatening, or to whom.

There is no excuse and none should be entertained. A crime is a crime.

Treat it as such.

© Kevan James 2018.

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