Christian Mom and Journalist Faces Jail Time in Britain for ‘Misgendering’

By John Zmirak Published on March 21, 2019

When your view of the current situation is as a bleak as mine has become, you know what you hate the most? To be proven right. Nothing would make me happier than to wake up two years from now and slap myself in the forehead.

“Well, look at all those dangers you warned about in 2019:

  • You saw threats to religious freedom for Christians under every bushel. But the secularists realized they were betraying the Constitution. So they backed off.
  • You pointed out the crackpot extremes to which leftist logic would lead ‘inevitably.’ But Progressives, as rational patriots, saw sense and never went there.
  • You cynically predicted efforts to outright censor dissenting ideas. And liberals saw the dangerous implications of doing that, so they stopped.

You really need to re-examine your moral compass. Because you habitually ‘awfulize’ things and mock your opponents as unhinged and reckless. And every time you’re wrong.”

Yeah, that would be great.

Reaching Across the Aisle

In fact, I’ll go further. It’s my fondest wish that the left would wake up and see reason. Not on everything. I’m no Utopian.

I don’t expect the moon on a silver platter, served up with a long-stem rose. You don’t have to restore the Habsburg monarchy in Europe, return the election of U.S. senators to state legislatures, and extend concealed carry of firearms to every city in all 50 states. 

Unlike my opponents, I’m willing to compromise. I’ll take a half a loaf and like it, as long as it’s not baked from sawdust and crawling with maggots.

I’d like to offer the Left a deal. Protect the lives of unborn children in law, and reduce U.S. immigration (legal and illegal) to 200,000 per year. Do that, and I’ll stop writing altogether. I’ll put away my pen and devote myself to what will then be my highest priority. I’ll move to the Texas Panhandle where land is cheaper, and open a beagle rescue. None of you will hear from me ever again, except perhaps when some new hounds saved from a testing lab need “forever” homes. Have we got a deal?

All I hear is crickets. …

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Freedom Is the Freedom to Say “Bruce Jenner.”

Okay then, time to point out yet another wearisome instance where something dismal I predicted came to pass. Not two years down the road, but more like two weeks. It was on March 5 that I published a piece with the irenic, bridge-building title, “Freedom is the Freedom to Say ‘Bruce Jenner.’ If That is Granted, All Else Follows.” Of course, I referred to Orwell’s 1984, whose doomed hero Winston Smith wrote something similar: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

My point? That the left wants to impose transgender ideology not despite its patent absurdity, but because of it. For two key reasons. First, because adopting ever-more crackpot ideas and escalatingly extreme practices is the tried-and-true method for managing a cult. Like Scientology, or Jim Jones’ socialist commune in Guyana. Or the intersectionalist ideology that makes a cult of victimhood.

The Left wants to impose transgender ideology not despite its patent absurdity, but because of it.

Second, and more importantly: If your aspirations are in fact totalitarian, you want to prove your power. Getting people to adjust their ideas just a little, or accept claims that are slightly crazy, doesn’t do that. No, for that, you need (as Hitler and Stalin needed) to put out the “Big Lie” with utter brazenness. When challenged, double down. And of course, punish any dissenters savagely, disproportionately, and above all publicly. Make it clear that hangings will continue until morale improves.

A Prison Term for “Misgendering”?

And now, just two weeks after I made these outrageous claims, the Left in Britain is living up to them. As the London Spectator reports:

Here we go again. Another woman in Britain is facing a police investigation – and potentially, a jail sentence – because she wrote things online about sex, gender and a person who changed gender.

So far, so familiar, but this tale has a significant feature. The woman is a journalist. A British police force is investigating a journalist over words that she published.

Caroline Farrow, 44, is the subject of an investigation by Surrey Police over tweets she sent referring to the adult child of Susie Green, head of Mermaids, a charity concerned with transgender children.  Farrow says the investigation arises because she ‘misgendered’ the child, who was born male but now identifies as female.

Farrow is a columnist and occasional TV commentator. She writes and speaks from a Catholic perspective about a number of issues including education, family policy, euthanasia and gender. 

So in Orwell’s home country, a journalist faces up to two years in prison for insisting that 2 plus 2 equals 4.

Torturing the Law

I’ll spare you the gruesome details of the mutilating surgeries and dangerous hormones to which Susie Green subjected her son in the service of Gnostic, transgender insanity. Read them, if you must, in the Spectator piece. What strikes me as particularly, and quite literally, “Orwellian” is how the British authorities are torturing the law. In order to prosecute Farrow, they’re treating their own statutes like Winston Smith in the bowels of the Ministry of Truth.

In a Monty Pythonesque twist, Farrow hasn’t been informed which law she’s accused of breaking.

Straining to guess, she told the Spectator which statutes she imagined the authorities had in mind. Farrow

believes the force are investigating potential ‘malicious communications’, which would mean a possible breach of the UK Communications Act 2003.

Section 127 of that Act relates to the ‘improper use of public electronic communications networks’ and says a person is guilty of an offense if he

‘(a)sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or (b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent.’

A person can also offend under s127:

‘if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he (a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false, (b) causes such a message to be sent; or (c) persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network.’

Now I’m not a British barrister. Perhaps there are other laws the authorities will dig up to menace Farrow. But I trust that she and her legal team have found the relevant statutes.

Caroline Farrow

Caroline Farrow

Make Nonsense Your Premise, Get Horror as Your Conclusion

Let’s think of the implications here. There is no way that Farrow’s refusal to use a female pronoun to describe Mrs. Green’s son was “indecent, obscene, or menacing.” Unless, of course, the law accepts transgender ideology as an indisputable fact, and any dissent from it as therefore “indecent.” Likewise, viewing the second statute, Farrow could only be guilty if her implication that the boy is still male is “false” and that she “knows [it] to be false.” In other words, if transgender diktats have acquired the force of law in Britain, and Farrow knows that to be the case.

There must be an objective, societal standard for judging what’s “grossly offensive.” For the Crown to convict Farrow, it would have to assert that transgenderism is simply true, so that denying its implications are indeed “offensive.”

Of course, Section 127 contains a gaping loophole through which the prosecution will try to drive a tank wielding a water cannon. There’s little doubt that Mrs. Green found Farrow’s speech “grossly offensive.” But Farrow found Green’s speech equally offensive. Surely the standard cannot be completely subjective. Or else people who find other citizens’ views offensive could imprison each other right and left. (Mostly the left would imprison the right, of course.)

No, there must be an objective, societal standard for judging what’s “grossly offensive.” For the Crown to convict Farrow, it would have to assert that transgenderism is simply true, so that denying its implications are indeed “offensive.”

And now we see the profound danger to liberty, and Christian life, of allowing ideologies like transgenderism to go unchallenged. Admitting that 2 plus 2 equals 5 would corrupt mathematics in every field, in the end bankrupting financial companies and crashing airliners full of passengers.

Just so, admitting that sex is not objective and biological but subjective and arbitrary would infect every conceivable law relating to the relations between the sexes, and family life.

You simply can’t take objective reality and pretend arbitrarily that it’s something else, because you prefer it. A person who lived that way would quickly end up dead or in a mental hospital. A faction that acts that way, and gains control of the government? Well, that’s how you get things like gulags, famines, and killing fields.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Like the article? Share it with your friends! And use our social media pages to join or start the conversation! Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MeWe and Gab.

Military Photo of the Day: Happy Flag Day
Tom Sileo
More from The Stream
Connect with Us