A British mother was arrested in front of her three children during a police raid on her home for using the wrong pronoun at a transgender person on Twitter.
Kate Scottow was thrown in jail for seven hours after officers raided her home in Hertfordshire, UK, on suspicion of calling a male-born transgender a “man” online.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Writing on online forum Mumsnet, Mrs Scottow – who has also been served with a court order that bans her from referring to her accuser as a man – claimed: ‘I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present.
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‘I was then detained for seven hours in a cell with no sanitary products (which I said I needed) before being interviewed then later released under investigation … I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter.’
Confirming the arrest, Hertfordshire Police said: ‘We take all reports of malicious communication seriously.’
The case is the latest where police have been accused of being heavy-handed in dealing with people who go online to debate gender issues.
Sitcom writer Graham Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after transgender activist Stephanie Hayden reported him for referring to her by her previous names and pronouns on Twitter.
It was complaints by Miss Hayden that led both to the arrest of, and injunction against, Mrs Scottow.
High Court papers obtained by The Mail on Sunday detail how Mrs Scottow is accused of a ‘campaign of targeted harassment’ against Miss Hayden, allegedly motivated by her ‘status as a transgender woman’.
The papers claim that, as a ‘toxic’ debate raged online over plans to allow people to ‘self-ID’ as another gender, Mrs Scottow tweeted ‘defamatory’ messages about Miss Hayden.
She is also alleged to have used accounts in two names to ‘harass, defame, and publish derogatory and defamatory tweets’ about Miss Hayden, including referring to her as male, stating she was ‘racist, xenophobic and a crook’ and mocking her as a ‘fake lawyer’.
Mrs Scottow denied harassing or defaming Miss Hayden and said she holds a ‘genuine and reasonable belief’ that a human ‘cannot practically speaking change sex’, but Deputy Judge Jason Coppel QC issued an interim injunction that bans her from posting any personal information about Miss Hayden on social media, ‘referencing her as a man’ or linking her to her ‘former male identity’.
Mrs Scottow last night declined to comment.