Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time. Kate Scottow, 38, of Hertfordshire in the UK would probably have done well to follow that advice. And she might have had she known that calling a transgender woman a man (i.e., “malicious communication”) is a crime in parts of Britain.
The incident took place in December. The Daily Mail reports that during a heated Twitter exchange with an LGBTQ activist named Stephanie Hayden, Scottow referred to Hayden by the wrong gender pronouns and “deadnamed” her. Deadnaming, according to HealthLine, “occurs when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who’s transgender by the name they used before they transitioned.” Oh, the humanity!
Hayden responded to this grievous insult by calling the police. Scottow tells what happened next:
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.
During her time in the slammer, Scottow was photographed and fingerprinted, and her DNA was taken. Police also confiscated her mobile phone, which they have not yet returned. In addition, Scottow has been served with a court order that bans her from referring to her accuser as a man.
And the matter is not resolved, as the Mail further notes:
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’.