The Scottish Government welcomes your views on any aspect of the Bill as it begins its passage through Parliament. Please send any queries titled ‘Hate Crime Bill’ to ConnectedCommunities@gov.scot.
I would hereby like to express my opposition to the concept of Hate Crime Legislation and strongly oppose the new “Hate Speech” and “Misogyny” legislation
The concept of Hate Crime Legislation is discriminatory, creates a hierarchy of who is more or less deserving of protection, explicitly allows hateful conduct towards some groups, re-enforces separation and division in society instead of highlighting equality before the law. Treating people differently based on their race/religion/sexuality/gender expression/… leads to an increase of intolerance and prejudice, because groups are “othered” by the government. Many groups of people that face discrimination are also left out of the legislation. People that don’t fit into beauty norms, fashion norms, hold unpopular views, and behave differently…The law can never cover all forms of hate by including more and more groups and marginalises people that have no lobby. It goes against all logic that a wealthy, powerful person of a protected group receives more protection and support than a homeless person who is not part of a protected group. Every person of every group can be equally vulnerable or resilient. To suggest otherwise is sexist, racist, homophobic, and discriminatory. An intersectional approach can never be fair and can never take all complexities into consideration and makes decisions impractically complex, therefore unnecessarily expensive and in the end unjust. Policies that treat all people equal are the least discriminatory and decisive way forward.
Hate speech: To expand these already divisive laws into the area of speech will only lead to more resentment towards minority groups, the government and the police. Hate speech can never be clearly defined, intend of speech will have to be guessed by judges, police are forced to (what is perceived by the vast majority of people) waste their time and will lose support of the public.
We fully support respectful interaction between people and don’t support any form of hate, but prejudice cannot be legislated away. It has to be opposed by healthy, respectful communication that allows opposing views.
In regards to a standalone offence for misogynistic harassment: Scotland and the Scottish government do have a problem with sexism. This sexism is targeted towards men and boys. Men and boys face huge problems in this country that are or seem to be connected to their gender and how our society treats them: Boys fail in education, education about sexual consent and violence exclusively focuses on the wellbeing of women and girls, Male Domestic Abuse Victims have no government support, Men make 85% of rough sleepers, 75% of suicides, are 95% of workplace fatalities, die 5 years earlier; are overrepresented in almost all causes of premature death. Despite all this, there is a shocking lack of support for men in Scotland with Nicola Sturgeon stating: “I set women’s issues, women’s equality right at the heart of everything the Scottish Government does”
There is no such thing as “women’s equality”. There is only equality. If the government criminalises hate towards women, it further institutionalises hate towards men.
There should be no new legislation in regards to gender-based discrimination with the exception of legislation that addresses institutional discrimination.
Besides not having the support of the public, these laws also fail to reduce discrimination and hate and are a failed attempt to do something positive at best, intentional restriction of non-threatening free expression at worst.
Our critical opinion is reflected in the detailed data and analysis you can find following this link: Hate Crime Submission