Dominic Raab said it is possible to be misogynistic towards both women and men in a rather embarrassing TV interview.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, the justice secretary and deputy prime minister said: “Misogyny is absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman or a woman against a man.”
BBC host Sally Nugent quickly jumped in, and read out the definition of misogyny to Raab as “hatred against, directed towards, women”.
The September trial of her murderer sparked a national conversation around women’s safety in the UK, particularly at the hands of the police.
Nugent pushed Raab later on in the programme to clarify what he meant by his definition of misogyny and asked, “Is that what you meant to say?”
But Raab did not directly address his incorrect definition and instead repeated Boris Johnson’s claim that misogyny should not be made a hate crime.
He turned the conversation to what level of hate crime they were discussing and said: “If we are talking about effectively insults with a sexist basis I don’t think that criminalising those sorts of things will deal with the problem that we have got at the heart of the Sarah Everard case.”
He said the focus is on the fear women face that their cases won’t go to court, adding: “Therefore just criminalising insulting language even if it’s misogynistic doesn’t deal with the intimidation and the violence and the much higher level of offence and damage and harm that we really ought to be laser light focused in on.”
The newly-appointed justice secretary’s comments on language certainly did not go down well, especially after his own inaccurate definition.
Twitter critics mocked the senior minister, asking if he is “fit for office”.