Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
This is why the First Amendment is so vital; look what can happen in purportedly free countries which do not protect the freedom of speech:
- Police officers detained Kate Scottow, 38, at her home in Hitchin, Hertfordshire
- >More than two months after her arrest and she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned
- >The complaints made by activist Stephanie Hayden led to arrest of Mrs Scottow
By Martin Beckford | Home Affairs Editor for The Mail on Sunday | Published: 20:05 EST, 9 February 2019 | Updated: 03:05 EST, 10 February 2019
A mother was arrested in front of her children and locked up for seven hours after referring to a transgender woman as a man online.
Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing her at a police station about an argument with an activist on Twitter over so-called ‘deadnaming’.
The 38-year-old, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken and remains under investigation.
More than two months after her arrest on December 1, she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned, which she says is hampering her studies for a Masters in forensic psychology.
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.
There’s more at the link. Naturally, with the Daily Mail’s reputation as a scandal sheet, I did some further research, and it turns out that this is not the first time that Anthony Halliday, who began his ‘medical transition’ to a ‘woman’ in 2007, and now goes by Stephanie Hayden, has used the British legal system to attack those who do not accept his claim to be female:
Stephanie Hayden is suing Graham Linehan, the co-writer of the popular comedy TV series, for defamation and harassment after he allegedly published a series of tweets “deliberately misgendering” her by using her previous male name, otherwise known as “deadnaming”.
Ms Hayden, who is legally female, said Mr Linehan “caused her distress” and that his actions constitute harassment, a misuse of private information, and were a “gross affront to her dignity as a woman”.
Ms Hayden, a lawyer and current affairs commentator, was born Anthony Halliday and began her medical transition to a woman in 2007. She was awarded her Gender Recognition Certificate in May 2018.
In the court papers, filed on Monday last week, Ms Hayden alleged that Mr Linehan retweeted material from another account that included photographs of her former male self, her family and friends, as well as suggestions that she was a criminal.
All of the references I could find to Mr Halliday and his current efforts as a ‘transgender activist’ refer to him as “Ms Hayden.” Mr Halliday received a Gender Recognition Certificate in May 2018, and is legally female under British law, but being ‘legally female’ does not make him actually female; it makes him, at best, a castrated male.
Normally, I do not care if someone wishes to undergo medial malpractice to take hormones and undergo surgical mutilation in an attempt to become what he is not. If Mr Halliday wishes to call himself a woman, it’s no skin off my nose.
But when someone attempts to use the legal system to compel others to go along with such delusions, then yes, I do start to care. Being an American citizen, writing in the United States, on an American blog, I can say and write and publish anything I wish about Mr Halliday, and it is protected by our First Amendment.
It can be argued that Kate Scottow was being rude in engaging with Mr Halliday on his assumed gender, and perhaps she was; I have no idea what precipitated their ‘discussion,’ nor do I care.
I do care about the Freedom of Speech, and I do care about the leftists who would attempt to define ‘misgendering’ or ‘deadnaming’ as ‘hate speech.’ The New York Times even published an OpEd piece claiming that Twitter’s policy of banning people who ‘misgender’ or ‘deadname’ transsexuals promotes freedom of speech:
Trans people are less likely to speak up if they know they’re going to be constantly told they don’t exist.
By Parker Molloy¹ | November 29, 2018
In September, Twitter announced changes to its “hateful conduct” policy, violations of which can get users temporarily or permanently barred from the site. The updates, an entry on Twitter’s blog explained, would expand its existing rules “to include content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group, even when the material does not include a direct target.” A little more than a month later, the company quietly rolled out the update, expanding the conduct page from 374 to 1,226 words, which went largely unnoticed until this past week.
While much of the basic framework stayed the same, the latest version leaves much less up for interpretation. Its ban on “repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone” was expanded to read: “We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
The final sentence, paired with the fact that the site appeared poised to actually enforce its rules, sent a rumble through certain vocal corners of the internet. To trans people, it represented a recognition that our identity is an accepted fact and that to suggest otherwise is a slur. But to many on the right, it reeked of censorship and “political correctness.”
Twitter is already putting the policy into effect. Last week, it booted Meghan Murphy, a Canadian feminist who runs the website Feminist Current. Ms. Murphy hasn’t exactly supported trans people — especially trans women. She regularly calls trans women “he” and “him,” as she did referring to the journalist and trans woman Shon Faye in a 2017 article. In the run-up to her suspension, Ms. Murphy tweeted that “men aren’t women.” While this is a seeming innocuous phrase when considered without context, the “men” she was referring to were trans women.
As a transgender woman, I find it degrading to be constantly reminded that I am trans and that large segments of the population will forever see me as a delusional freak. Things like deadnaming, or purposely referring to a trans person by their former name, and misgendering — calling someone by a pronoun they don’t use — are used to express disagreement with the legitimacy of trans lives and identities.
Defenders of these practices claim that they’re doing this not out of malice but out of honesty and, perhaps, even a twisted sort of love. They surely see themselves as truth-tellers fighting against political correctness run amok. But sometimes, voicing one’s personal “truth” does just one thing: It shuts down conversation.
It shuts down the conversation? And just what does compelling those who do not believe that someone can simply change his sex to acquiesce in the claims of a ‘transgendered’ person by agreeing with his changed name and the use of his preferred pronouns do? If I am compelled to refer to Mr Malloy as “Miss Malloy” or “Parker Malloy,” am I not conceding in the debate his claim that he is a woman?²
At The Guardian, Kenan Malik argued that banning misgendering will shut down debate on trans issues and strike a blow to free speech. But in fact, the content free-for-all chills speech by allowing the dominant to control the parameters of debate, never letting discussion proceed past the pedantic obsession with names and pronouns.
I tend to be somewhat shy about media appearances, especially when it comes to TV. In the back of my mind, whenever I’m invited on, I wonder whether I’ll be able to discuss the day’s topic or whether I’m going to get roped into a debate over my own existence. I know many trans people who feel the same. If this isn’t harassment, I don’t know what is. Aside from the harm it does to trans people, it also impedes the free flow of ideas and debate, in the same way that conservatives often accuse student protesters of shutting down speech on college campuses.
His own existence? That Mr Malloy exists is not debatable; he simply is. What he is attempting to shut down is any question concerning whether he is male, as he was born, or female, as he claims to be.
In one way, Mr Malloy’s concern is reasonable: he frets that he cannot have a public discussion about anything other than his transgenderism. That’s a fair enough concern, but, really, so what? Having ‘made his bones’ in his discussion of transgenderism, his reputation precedes him; this is his area of expertise, as it were, and it’s hardly unexpected that he would be called on it. I suppose that, if he is called to a media appearance, the host would have to set rules concerning the topic under discussion, and set them so that the subject of transgenderism would not be raised. Were I to be his debate opponent, despite my normal use of honorifics, I would agree to refer to him as “Malloy” or perhaps “my esteemed opponent,” as long as the subject remained away from gender identity. That does not require me to accept his claim to be female, but does the least to challenge it.
Is that harsh? Perhaps it is, but Mr Malloy has, by his actions, inserted transgenderism into the argument. He noted, further down, that he saw no reasonable possibility that he would ever persuade a lot of people that he is actually female, nor that anyone who does not believe that people can change their sex will ever persuade him that he is wrong. That, I would agree, is certainly true.
We need to come to terms with the fact that we won’t understand what the “other side” feels or believes, and maybe that’s O.K. But that doesn’t relieve us, as a freewheeling democratic public, of the responsibility to hash out thorny policy issues. By setting guardrails for that conversation, Twitter’s new policy points us in that direction.
But that’s just it: that “setting guardrails for that conversation” does not allow us to “hash out thorny policy issues,” at least not as far as transgenderism is concerned, but forces one side to agree to the terms of debate set by the other. If I am ever to debate Mr Malloy on the issue — a vanishingly small probability — yet I am constrained to use the pronouns he prefers, I have already conceded the debate to him; how would that be a debate in any real sense at all?
Which gets us back to our English-speaking brethren across the pond. Mrs Scottow is not being allowed, under British law, to make any references to Mr Halliday, and has been “served with a court order that bans her from referring to her accuser as a man.” Even faced with a legal complaint, Mrs Scottow is under court order prohibiting her from making any references to the person accusing her which do not agree with her accuser’s definitions. It is Mr Malloy’s argument given the force of law by Her Majesty’s Government.
YouGov reported, in 2015, that a substantial majority of Democrats, 51% to 26%, would support “a law that would make it a crime for people to make public comments intended to stir up hatred against a group based on such things as their race, gender, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation”. No less a person than the current Speaker of the House has advocated that there should be limits on speech, stating that “If you are endangering people, then you don’t have a constitutional right to do that.” It doesn’t take much imagination to believe that the left would define ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming’ as endangering people; after all, that is what Mr Malloy claimed when he defined the debate as “over (his) own existence” and stating that the debate “harm” . . . “to trans people.”
There is no way to both protect the feelings of Mr Malloy and the ‘transgendered’ from being hurt by ‘misgendering’ and ‘deadnaming’, and allow a free and unfettered debate on the issue. What the ‘transgendered’ have succeeded in doing on Old Blighty, and what they would like to accomplish here, is to use the power of the state to force people to go along with their definitions.
At least thus far, such regulations are limited to the conduct of businesses, that nasty First Amendment getting in the way, but far too many on the left — and not a few conservatives as well — would seek to limit our rights more. We can be courteous to the transgendered, at least as far as discourse on unrelated subjects is concerned, but being courteous when they would attempt to use the power of the state against or rights and our consciences are concerned is something which cannot be done.
¹ – The Times identifies the author as “Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) is a Chicago-based writer and editor at large at Media Matters for America.” Mr Malloy identified himself as “a trandgender woman” in his article.
² – I do not use “Ms” as an honorific; it is an abomination. Women are referred to as Miss, Mrs or, when appropriate, Dr. Parker Malloy is not his birth name; I found a reference which implied, but did not directly state, that his birth name was Chad Malloy.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.