Online Misogyny as a Hate Crime: An Obstacle to Equality?

Kim Barker, Olga Jurasz

Senior Lecturers in Law, Open University Law School (UK)

(Contributo pubblicato online first)


Campaigns to make misogyny a hate crime are prevalent, but such claims confuse the situation, and detract from the core issues. Suggestions that misogyny and hate are interchangeable are unhelpful, and such suggestions miss the nuance and holistic understanding that this area of law requires. To suggest that misogyny be a hate crime misrepresents the challenges of misogyny and misogynistic prejudice. As such, this paper outlines the challenge posed by misogyny online, and argues that it poses a significant participatory challenge for life in a digital society and represents a significant obstacle to equality. In making this argument, the impact of online misogyny is given unique consideration, situating misogyny within the gender equality framework.


1. Introduction; 2. The Online Phenomenon of Abuse: Misogyny in the Making; 3. The Misogynistic Hate Paradox: A Conceptual Misdirection; 4. Gender Equality and Discrimination – Where is the (Online) Harm? 5. The Platform Problem: Better Regulation, not More; 6. Responses to Online Misogyny: Hope, not Hate? 7. Conclusion – Squaring the Equality Circle?