25 March 2021
By Alisha Haridasani Gupta
“Men who kill women do not suddenly kill women, they work up to killing women.”
— Caroline Criado Perez, author of “Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men”
Eight women, two continents apart, killed in the space of two weeks. The suspects in both cases are men.
In London, Ms. Everard disappeared while walking home from a friend’s house, and was found dead a week later. A police officer was charged with kidnapping and murdering her.
In Atlanta, a gunman stormed three massage parlors and shot and killed eight people — seven of them women, six of them Asian — raising speculation that the attack was racially motivated. A suspect was arrested that same evening.
While the details of the two cases differ significantly, experts suggest that the current available evidence points to a potential commonality: misogyny. And, in light of the two events, activists in Britain and in the United States have urged the authorities to treat misogyny as a greater threat to national security, even upgraded to the level of a hate crime.
In the days after Ms. Everard’s body was found and protests calling for deeper social change grew across the United Kingdom, the British government announced an experimental pilot program (though there is no fixed start date yet) that would categorize cases of gender-based violence and harassment motivated by misogyny as hate crimes.
“Across the country, women everywhere are looking to us not just to express sympathy with their concerns, but to act,” Baroness Helena Kennedy, a member of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the British Parliament, said during a debate on the policy. “Stop telling them to stay at home and be careful, and start finding those responsible for the violence.”