Is misogyny a form of extremism? Whenever I see declarations on the need to tackle “all forms of extremism”, I can’t help wanting to insist that we add hatred of women to that list.
After all, it is a political matter. Misogyny kills. The othering of women cannot and must not be separated from the violence that is done to them.
Last Saturday the body of 18-year-old Ellen Higginbottom was discovered in Orrell Water Park. Two men have since been arrested on suspicion of her murder and Greater Manchester police are said not to be ruling out “a sexual motive”. Misogyny, on the other hand, has not been mentioned as a motive at all.
That men could hate a woman enough to kill her for the sake of sexual arousal is apparently so mundane as to be considered unworthy of note. Had Ellen Higginbottom been standing in a crowd when a religious fanatic or far-right terrorist drove into it, the political context of her death might have been granted some degree of analysis. Instead we’re presented with the same old reasons as to why men kill women: sexual desire, jealousy, some abstract, decontextualised “loss of control”.