News & Commentary State United Kingdom

Mother arrested in front of children after ‘misgendering’ a transgender woman on Twitter

A 38-year-old mother has been arrested hours after she “misgendered” a transgender woman on Twitter.

Police detained Kate Scottow at her home in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, on December 1 following an online exchange with transgender activist Stephanie Hayden.

Scottow was then taken to the station where she had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken before being placed in a cell for up to seven hours.

Scottow detailed her experience on parenting forum Mumsnet: “I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present.

“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,” Scottow said.

Hertfordshire Police encourage members of the public to report ‘hate incidents’ such as these, which they define as a non-criminal incident that is “believed to be motivated by hate.”

Police confirmed the arrest of Scottow saying: “We take all reports of malicious communication seriously.”

Our cherished ideas of ‘freedom’ are slowly but sure eroding before our eyes, and you might think that if you’re not ‘hateful’ or ‘racist’ or ‘bigotted’ this sort of thing will have little impact on your life.

But what assurance is there, when public opinion is so inconsistent, constantly changing, and entirely subject to present-day trends rather than objective morality. We may feel secure in our homes today, but what will things be like in a year or two from now?

A few years ago no one would have dreamed of a mother being arrested in her own home, in front of her own children, for the imagined crime of “misgendering” a bloke on Twitter. But here we are.

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