Told by West Yorkshire police

I’ve mentioned a couple of times en passant that a couple of trans activists had managed to get The Police to go visit Graham Linehan to “caution” him about saying unapproved things on Twitter, but now in following the story of a woman who was actually arrested and held for seven hours, apparently also for saying unapproved things on Twitter, I’ve done a little more digging.

The Guardian, October 7 last year:

Graham Linehan, the co-writer of the sitcom Father Ted, has been given a verbal harassment warning by police after a complaint by a transgender activist.

Linehan was told by West Yorkshire police not to contact the activist Stephanie Hayden, after a row on Twitter.

Hayden reported him for transphobia after he referred to her as “he” and for “deadnaming” her by referring to her by names used before she transitioned.

Why the West Yorkshire police? When Linehan is in Norfolk? Nobody knows, apart from the fact that West Yorks seems to have nominated itself superintendent of all trans-related crimespeak.

But the real question is, why is it a police matter if one person calls another person “he” instead of “she” on Twitter? Even if you think it’s insulting and cruel, why is it a police matter? How and when did it become a police matter? What are the rules? What are the relevant laws? How does anyone know? How can people in the UK tell what they have to do to avoid a visit from the police that goes on their record?

And what happens when Stephanie Hayden phones the West Yorkshire police to “report” misgendering and deadnaming? How does the conversation go? Do misgendering and deadnaming have designated numbers in the big book of crimes by number?

The pair had been involved in a dispute on Twitter about gender identity, resulting in the writer retweeting a post to his 672,000 followers that gave Hayden’s previous names with pictures.

Linehan alleges that Hayden posted several addresses linked to his family in an attempt to “shut me up”.

Hayden, who is pursuing civil proceedings accusing Linehan of harassment, defamation and misuse of private information, said she spent five hours providing a statement and evidence to police after the exchange.

Five hours. That seems like a long time to report “misgendering.”

Posting on Twitter, Hayden said she had urged police to take “swift and proportionate action to make clear that transgender harassment was unacceptable”.

When the police have never, ever, ever, ever taken swift and proportionate action to make clear that misogynist harassment is unacceptable. The police have never taken any action of any kind to do that.

Hayden has previously accused Sussex University of being a “temple of transgender hate” and supported the campaign to oust female academics if they challenged transgender orthodoxy.

She was also among the activists who pressurised a billboard company to remove a poster in Liverpool, which said the dictionary definition of “woman” was an “adult human female” because it was offensive.

Hayden gloated at the time.

Even if you agree that “transphobia in any form is unacceptable”, and that not believing men can become or be women counts as transphobia, it still doesn’t follow that putative transphobia is a police matter.

Having said that…if you live in the UK it’s probably wise to steer clear of Stephanie Hayden, lest you too hear that loud knock on the door.

13 Responses to “Told by West Yorkshire police”