DOMINIC Raab has stunned BBC viewers after suggesting that men can be the victims of misogyny.

The Tory Justice Secretary was being questioned about his government’s response to the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met Police officer.

He rejected calls for misogyny to be officially designated as a hate crime before demonstrating that he doesn’t seem to know what the term actually means.

“I think we have often seen in the criminal justice system over decades people trying to legislate away what is an enforcement problem,” the Tory minister told BBC Breakfast.

“So I think insults – and misogyny is of course absolutely wrong, whether it’s a man against a woman or a woman against a man – but I don’t think that [making misogyny a hate crime] will tackle the problem in the cases like either the Sarah Everard case … or the wider challenges of getting more prosecutions through to a successful conviction for violence against women and girls.”

The definition of misogyny is the hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women.

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Quizzed about his comment, Raab added: “What I meant was, if we are talking about things below the level of public order offences of harassment, intimidation, which are rightly criminalised – 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.”

Those issues included the actions of the police but also the broader question of women fearing their cases would not go to court and end with a conviction, he said.

“Therefore, just criminalising insulting language – even if it’s misogynistic – does not deal with the intimidation, the violence and the much higher level of offence and damage and harm that we really ought to be laser-like focused in on.”

The remarks were met with derision on social media.

Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill commented: “This is deeply insulting! @DominicRaab should know the difference this is making a mockery of a very serious issue that women face.”

Parliamentary colleague Sarah Chmapion added: “Err, Dom: Misogyny – hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women.”

Raab joined Boris Johnson in refusing to back calls for misogyny to be made a hate crime.

In Scotland, Justice Secretary Keith Brown has indicated that the proposal could be considered by the SNP government.