The Stream Talks With Caroline Farrow, Prosecuted in the UK for ‘Misgendering’
Last week, The Stream reported on the British government’s prosecution of Caroline Farrow. A Christian mother of four and prominent pro-life journalist, she was charged by pro-trans activist Susie Green with “misgendering” Green’s son. (The young man has undergone sex-change treatments and now claims to be a woman.) Farrow faced prison time and large fines. We followed up with Mrs. Farrow on her case.
Could you please outline in your own words what you think the police are doing to you, and why?
Fortunately, following public pressure, the police have informed me that Susie Green has chosen to drop her case against me. I believe that the transgender lobby are looking to set a precedent in case law. One that specifically prohibits misgendering. They are therefore using the police to pursue vexatious prosecutions.
Were you been told, specifically, which laws you were accused of breaking?
I was informed that I was suspected of being in breach of the Miscommunications Act. That makes it an offence to send indecent, grossly offensive messages. Or to send messages which could be constituted as a threat. Or information which is false or known to be false by the sender with the purpose of causing alarm and distress. It is very clear that my comments, which were criticisms of a public figure, did not fall within that remit.
A Wave of Prosecutions, Targeting Mothers
Have others in Britain been prosecuted for the same or analogous reasons? Can you point me to their cases, and the outcomes?
Susie Green, the CEO of Mermaids, who pursued this against me, has also targeted someone else. She’s pursuing activist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull (pseudonym, Posie Parker) for making identical comments to mine. When the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was no case to answer, Mrs. Green triggered a review process. Then she reported Mrs. Keen-Minshull a second time after Keen-Minshull criticised Green a second time in a Facebook video. As a result, Keen-Minshull found herself under a second, separate investigation. She was interviewed once again by the police. She is currently awaiting a decision upon whether or not she will face charges.
Helen Islan, one of Mrs Green’s colleagues in Mermaids, pursued a prosecution against transsexual activist Miranda Yardley. This after Yardley criticized her on Twitter. Islan falsely claimed that Yardley had ‘outed’ Islan’s transgender child. The case was immediately thrown out of court by the judge. He roundly criticized the decision to prosecute. He found that the only person who had outed her child was Islan herself.
Perhaps the most shocking case is that of Katherine Scottow. She was arrested in front of her infant son whom she is still nursing and her ten year-old child who has autism. Then bundled into a police van by three officers. And held in prison for seven hours with no access to sanitary products. For what? Allegedly harassing transgender activist Stephanie Hayden. That is, by referring to his former male names, and revealing his criminal record. (Convictions for fraud and an assault with a golf club.) All of which is public record. The police confiscated Scottow’s phone and laptop. She is studying for a Masters in Criminal Psychology, and this left her unable to adequately prepare for a forthcoming exam.
Why Feminists Care
Can you tell us about the feminists who are also opposed to the claims of the trans movement?
Those feminists (many of them lesbians) oppose the trans movement for similar reasons to conservatives. They are concerned about safeguarding of children forced to share changing rooms and other facilities. And about children being indoctrinated into a false ideology, then punished if they dare to question it in school. They are worried about male-bodied people having access to rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. And being incarcerated with female prisoners. Also the destruction of women’s sport, by allowing males to compete on women’s teams.
Why Risk Prison?
Given that you’re a mother caring for children, why are you willing to risk prison over this (as you’ve said that you are)?
The transgender lobby are, I believe, deliberately targeting mothers such as myself, Posie Parker and Kate Scottow. It’s an attempt to subdue others in our situation into silence. It’s very telling that, apart from Graham Linehan, writer of comedy Father Ted, men who have voiced similar criticisms have not by and large been subject to prosecution or vigorously pursued by activists.
I believe much of the persecution is motivated by a vindictive and misogynist jealousy by individuals who know that no matter how much cosmetic surgery they have, they can never really be female.
Given that I have four daughters who are growing up in this world, I am willing to go to prison, no matter how hard it would be. I’d wish to set an example that some things are worth fighting for and also to secure their future freedoms and safety. Sometimes people need to stand up. I believe that this issue is of crucial importance for society, concerning both fundamental freedoms and also the long-term safety of vulnerable women and children.
No Compromise Possible
What’s so dangerous, exactly, about politely playing along with the imposture of “trans” people?
This current crop of activists are not content with others’ simply tolerating their life choices. They want to force others to validate and applaud them. They are actively seeking to erase women and commodify and instrumentalize their fertility in order to gain the validation that they seek. Nor are they interested in sensible compromises. (Such as, for example, third gender-neutral spaces for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable using either the male or female facilities.) Male-to-female transgender people want women to be forced to accept them as female. And to see that those who refuse to do so get punished.
The most pernicious thing is the way that children are being instrumentalized in order to validate this unstable identity. By promoting the idea of ‘transgender children’ as some kind of pathology which needs medical intervention, activists get to claim that they had no choice other than to transition. In the meantime, numerous children are caused irreparable harm by being taught to believe that there is something wrong with their perfectly healthy bodies.
Violence in Pro-Choice and Trans Movements
You’re also a pro-life activist. Most of us first heard your name in connection with Charlie Gard. Is there much of a difference between the zealots for abortion and euthanasia, and those of the trans movement?
Most abortion activists are women and therefore I have not seen them engage in quite such vicious and brutal trolling and insults as have been thrown by the transgender lobby. In the U.S. and the U.K., the acts of violence perpetrated against those on vigils outside abortion centers have been perpetrated by men, or transgender women. That’s not to say that women haven’t been involved in acts of unpleasantness. But they have not veered towards violence in the same way.
I see one striking similarity, however. That is the need for euphemisms. The need to disguise the reality of both abortion and sex reassignment surgery. Double mastectomies. Castration and mutilation. The creation of a permanent wound which needs constant dilation if it is not to heal up. Instead, activists are using twee vocabulary such as ‘top surgery’, ‘bottom surgery’ and ‘gender affirmation surgery.’ All to avoid confronting the brutal truth.
Outlawing Christian Orthodoxy
What are the implications for free speech and freedom of religion in Britain, if speech and conduct like yours is punished? What else could become illegal?
There is no such thing as hate speech in the U.K. The police appear to be willfully misinterpreting existing legislation. The police are massively over-extending their powers. In addition to the cases mentioned above, they have been calling people to warn them that their social media posts might upset certain minorities.
We are already seeing the arbitrary and illegal arrest of Christian street preachers in the U.K. If things continue as they are, it won’t be long before it will be illegal to defend or preach any traditional Christian view of sex and sexuality. It will be deemed hate speech. That said, it is encouraging to see many people pushing back on this.
A Silent Church
How active and supportive have the leaders of your own Roman Catholic church in Britain been toward you?
I have not had a single message or expression of support from any of the leaders of the RC Church. Nor have they spoken out on the dangers of affirming gender dysphoria in children. To be clear, this could lead to a lifetime of medical intervention and surgery for children. Treatments renders children infertile and affect their physical and emotional development, as well as resulting mental health problems later down the line.
The RC Church in the UK did not encourage the faithful to participate in the public consultation about the potential reform of the Gender Recognition Act in October. If passed, will allow people to go online and alter their recognized sex, with absolutely no gatekeeping.
A Ghost in a Machine
Do you see the Gnostic implications of totally divorcing the body and soul, as some see the Trans ideology doing?
Gnosticism broadly speaking was a rejection of the body. Both Gnosticism and the trans ideology treat the body and soul as entirely separate. Trans ideology seeks to heal that fake division by creating a new body for themselves, which supposedly matches their soul. That said, much of Gnosticism was ascetical. It didn’t really believe in the Incarnation. So I can’t see Gnostics placing the same importance on the appearance of the body as the transgender movement seems to. For both Gnostics and the transgender movement, their true self is not their body.