The police are still witch-hunting gender-critical women

Why has a woman in Newcastle been threatened with arrest for stating biological facts?

Lauren Smith

Topics Free Speech Identity Politics Politics UK

This is a bit of random text from Kyle to test the new global option to add a message at the top of every article. This bit is linked somewhere.

What century is it again? In the UK, in 2023, the police are apparently still harassing feminists for standing up for women’s rights. Even just accurately describing what a woman is can now land you in trouble with the Old Bill.

On Friday, officers from Northumbria Police turned up at the doorstep of a 34-year-old gender-critical lesbian. They asked the woman (who is currently remaining anonymous) to attend a voluntary interview at Forth Banks Police Station in Newcastle. According to campaign group Fair Cop, the woman was told by officers that if she refused to be questioned they would have no choice but to arrest her.

Fair Cop has reported that, at first, the woman had no idea what the police wanted to interview her about. It turned out that the police had seen some gender-critical statements she had posted on X (formerly Twitter). At the police station, she was warned that her posts could be deemed ‘malicious communications’.

The tweets in question expressed fairly common gender-critical views. One simply said: ‘Just your daily reminder that transwomen are men.’ Another described the transitioning of children as ‘mutilating’ them. In multiple posts, the woman had responded to transwomen on the platform to call them men.

Shockingly, at the end of the interview, the police officer asked the woman if there was ‘any lawful excuse why you made these tweets?’. The woman answered ‘no comment’ to every question.

After the story went viral, Northumbria Police had the cheek to acknowledge the outrage they had caused, posting on X that they were ‘aware of commentary on social media’ but that it would be ‘inappropriate’ for them to ‘comment any further’.

To add insult to injury, the woman – a big football fan – received an email on 31 October, before Northumbria police paid her a visit, informing her that her Newcastle United club membership was suspended while she was under police investigation. According to the Telegraph, this was the first she had even heard of any police investigation. Thankfully, the investigation has now seemingly been dropped.

The duty solicitor at the police station inadvertently summed up how sinister the situation was at the end of the interview, stating:

‘I have given my client advice about what she may do in future. The advice I have given her will probably result in her curtailing making messages like this in the future. That’s not because she has committed an offence, but because society being the way it is, it’s too easy to cause offence. And there’s no need to cause offence, whether you mean it deliberately or not.’

In other words, saying that ‘transwomen are men’ may not, in itself, be a crime. But because stating this basic biological fact might cause offence to someone you might be better off keeping your mouth shut. Got it?

The big problem here is that being offensive can sometimes be a crime. Under the Communications Act 2003, it is illegal to express ‘grossly offensive’ views online. Police and prosecutors have tried – and failed – to use this law to criminalise misgendering. Nevertheless, these vague laws have still enabled the police to harass people with gender-critical views.

For instance, earlier this year, Kellie-Jay Keen, a women’s rights campaigner and founder of Standing for Women, was threatened with arrest for describing women as adult human females – which is literally the dictionary definition of women. Officers from Sussex Police made a 300-mile round trip to Keen’s home in Wiltshire to tell her she would have to submit to a police interview.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Sussex Police have run out of actual crimes to solve, given their zealous pursuit of anyone who believes in biology. Last year, their official account on X (formerly Twitter) warned social-media users that referring to a trans-identifying male paedophile as a man could result in hate-crime charges.

This witch-hunting of women’s rights activists is particularly bad in Scotland, too. In 2021, Marion Millar, a 55-year-old feminist and mother of six, had her life turned upside down because she posted a photo of a Suffragette-coloured bow tied around a tree on social media. She was charged under the 2003 Communications Act, after a group of trans activists reported the image to police, ludicrously claiming that it represented a noose. The police said this constituted ‘threatening or abusive behaviour’ towards trans people. For this, Millar faced the prospect of six months in prison, until eventually the proceedings against her were dropped.

We live in truly absurd times. The police in Britain have essentially become the armed enforcers of trans ideology, bullying and harassing gender-critical women into accepting woke orthodoxies. And with Labour planning to criminalise ‘misgendering’ after it wins the next election, things are only set to get worse.

For the record, transwomen are men. Saying that a man cannot become a woman is not malicious, it is a fact. And we must have the right to express it.

Lauren Smith is an editorial assistant at spiked.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Topics Free Speech Identity Politics Politics UK


Want to join the conversation?

Only spiked supporters and patrons, who donate regularly to us, can comment on our articles.

Join today