Dear (Susan, Katy, Annabelle or Rebecca …)
Forgive me, please forgive me. I didn’t get your permission before the verbal approach I made on … about your physical appearance. I have only just realised the error of my ways.
The awfulness of my actions only dawned on me when I happened to read a recent release from Nottingham Police, which is determined to ‘make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women.’ Chief Constable Sue Fish said: ‘I’m delighted that we are leading the way towards tackling misogyny in all its forms. It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted.’
What the police statement says is perfectly clear. ‘Misogyny hate crime…may be understood as incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.’
It is, I am afraid, true. And I cannot deny it. I said what I did simply because you are a woman. I would not have dreamed of saying something similar to a man. There is clearly something inside me that is in desperate need of reform. I spent much of last night tossing and turning, troubled at what I had found inside myself. Of course, I knew that misogyny must be a hate crime because it comes from the Greek misos ‘hatred’ and gunē ‘woman’. But when I said that you looked nice in that dress, it wasn’t because I hated you. To tell you the truth I rather fancied you.
But then I went away and realised that I was objectifying you impersonally, regarding you in part as a creature of desire and that is at least as bad. As I read on through the Nottinghamshire Police newsletter, I discover that ‘unwanted verbal contact’ and ‘use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages’ is also misogyny. So how do I even ask, or text you, to see if I can ask or text you whether I can say that I like that dress you are wearing, because you might not want me to ask you or text you and if I then do ask or text you I am guilty of misogyny?
I decided to research more. There are obviously deep problems that I have to deal with. I resorted to Psychology Today. Their definition summed me up completely.
The misogynists…can be anywhere around you. They are notoriously hard to spot. They do not come with a label attached, and they may even come across as pro-woman. In most cases, misogynists do not even know that they hate women. Misogyny is typically an unconscious hatred that men form early in life…deep down in their brain’s subcortical matter.
Can you not tell the turmoil into which I have been thrown? Is there any cure for my condition. Is surgery on my subcortex a viable option? If I say nothing further, please will you forget the matter?
Yours ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶a̶f̶f̶e̶c̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ very properly,