“Malicious Communications”: Scottish Feminist Criminally Charged For Tweets Opposing Gender Self-Identification

There is a free speech fight brewing in Scotland where a prominent feminist, Marion Millar, 50, has been charged with the crime of “malicious communication” due to tweets criticizing gender self-identification.  We have previously discussed how feminists are being accused of hate speech and discrimination in these debates.  Indeed, Millar is accused of being a “terf” (a trans-exclusionary radical feminist) by critics due to her opposition to allowing males to declare themselves to be females.  She could now face two years in jail.

We have been discussing the continuing erosion of free speech protections in the United Kingdom (here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Once you start as a government to criminalize speech, you end up on a slippery slope of censorship. What constitutes hate speech remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. As noted in a prior column, free speech appears to be dying in the West with the increasing criminalization of speech under discrimination, hate, and blasphemy laws.

Scotland has adopted particularly chilling limitations on free speech.  These controversies often involve the criminalization of political or ideological viewpoints.

What is particularly concerning in this case is that Millar was not told which of her tweets were deemed “malicious.” Millar has thousands of tweets and was told that the charge is based on tweets between 2019 and 2020.  She was simply ordered to the police station and told that social workers would be sent to care for her young twin boys, who are autistic.  After she emerged from the station, she quoted the novelist Salman Rushdie: “Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read.”

Millar has been a prominent critic of self-identification as a threat to women and feminist values.  This includes criticism of the Gender Recognition Act and the Hate Crime Bill. New provisions include crimes for “stirring up hatred” in statements about different groups.  Scotland emphasized that it must be intentional but the language was still criticized as a further criminalization of political speech.  The charges against Millar do not appear to have been brought under the new law.

There are believed to be six tweets that were cited in the complaint, including pictures of the green, white and purple suffragette ribbons tied around trees to support Millar’s cause. The accuser reportedly said that the ribbons looked like nooses and were therefore threats.

Such charges are rife with subjectivity. Indeed, the term “terfs” captures the problem in criminalizing such speech. Terfs are being attacked in the media in articles that tend to include anyone who opposes transgender laws. The labeling creates a chilling effect for those who might want to speak out against aspects of these laws or policies. For some feminists, gender self-identification creates dangerous situations for women and negates core elements of feminist values. For others, this opposition is a denial of their identification and characterizes them as dangerous or potentially criminal.

As will come as no surprise to readers on this blog, my default is with free speech. Both sides should be able to address these issues in a public debate.  The effort by some to criminally charge advocates like Millar is to silence rather than to respond to opposing viewpoints. Such speech limitations tend to grow with time. Once groups taste the ability to silence others, it becomes an insatiable appetite for censorship and criminalization of speech.



26 thoughts on ““Malicious Communications”: Scottish Feminist Criminally Charged For Tweets Opposing Gender Self-Identification”

  1. All the debate, controversy, side-taking (or more commonly today, the tight-wire walking): those are the goals. Stirring the pot of mollusks about to be steamed…

  2. Foucault famously remarked that sexuality is NOT at all a science where research and investigation act to unearth a set of sexual secrets but to the contrary a kind of political regime, a political power field. Thus said Foucault sexuality cannot be studied, it can only be deployed. 50 years ago sexuality was deployed as a strategy used to remove gays and transvestites from society, to imprison them for the crime of degeneracy. Today we are seeing a counter deployment of sexuality under which criticism of gays and transgenders has been criminalized and its critics are being imprisoned. The point is not at all to say that being gay or transgender is either good or bad but rather to underscore the point that sexuality is not at all a science but a regime of discipline, a discourse with pretensions of science which is in fact a disciplinary regime saturated in political power.

  3. 50 year ago the political class and their armed goons used to kidnap and cage gays merely for being gay. gays finally rebelled one evening in 1969 in NYC, in the so called Stonewall Inn Rebellion. The political class backed down. They called off their armed goons, NYPD, and from that moment on gays began to incrementally take control of the apparatus of political power. By today the political power structure has been reworked into an equal but opposite strategy of domination. This is the trajectory ALL regimes of political control inevitably follow. The dominated become the dominators. The dominators become the dominated. There is no gradual enlightenment, no slow cultivating and civilizing progress under political rule. To the contrary there is only and always a
    ceaseless tumbling from one form of barbarous oppression to another frequently opposite and equally barbarous form. The only really safe society is the market society where consumers exercise consumer power, the laissez faire anarcho capitalist society free from political power and political interventions.

  4. Listen to the “Feminists” howl as they try to hold the ramparts against the barbarians, which they created, coming to their own gate.

  5. That a feminist was targeted is hilarious… that it’s happening at all is terrifying. Shows how Europe really doesn’t care about actual freedom. Basically China-lite.

  6. Freedom of speech is natural and God-given, per the American Founders. As such, it is universal. Scotland, all other nations and aliens throughout creation need to “woke” the —- up to that which is correct, and reject that which is malevolent, fraudulent and ephemeral.

    The genius American Founders gave citizens the one and only thing they could: Freedom. The promises of Karl Marx are false – a barbed lure – in addition to being ruinous and unconstitutional. All of God’s children have a choice: Freedom or Enslavement – Freedom or “The [Fraudulent] Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”

    “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    – Maimonides

    Freedom of speech is productive and efficacious.

    1. The Hate Crimes and Public Order is pure commie bollox…There is NO defense/justification for criminalizing speech. Period.

  7. When you can’t speak your mind without fear of imprisonment, you are not free.

  8. Feminists (and masculinists) may be chauvinists, but they’re not genderphobic.

    1. Correction, feminists can be genderphobic, complementary to masculinists (e.g. keep women appointed, available, and taxable), but not transphilic, many of whom, especially trans/neogenders (i.e. surgical and medical corruption, and psychiatric indoctrination), are genderphobic.

  9. If I were “radical,” I would be proud to be called a TERF. As a conservative woman, I’ll be a-ok with TECW even if it’s difficult to pronounce – probably easy in Scotland!

    1. I consider myself a MERF, in other words, male exclusionary when it comes to women’s sports, showers and locker rooms, clothing store dressing rooms, hospital wards, girls’ overnight camp accommodations, bathrooms, etc. Trans extremists use the term TERF to paint a picture of women who hate trans people, but IMHO the more accurate term is MERF because I and most other terfy-type women I know do not hate trans people nor do we have any sort of phobia. We simply recognize that males who identify as women are still male and we do not want any males (no matter how they identify) in those spaces and activities reserved for females. Apologies if this comment came off as a lecture; I just want readers to know that I don’t think there’s anything bad or wrong about trans people, only that males are males for life and do not belong in women’s sports or spaces.

  10. I received rape and death threats for protesting SB-132 in California, a law that allows male inmates to identify as women to transfer into women’s prisons. We are already there.

  11. This is not about America, but the lesson is perfectly clear. If we are not careful, this will happen to us and that would be a crying shame.

  12. At what point does todays majority “norm” become the minority and get the special protection that todays minority strives for?

  13. “Once groups taste the ability to silence others, it becomes an insatiable appetite for censorship and criminalization of speech.”

    Silence like a cancer grows.

  14. Frightening indicator of what the Left would impose on the U.S.

    The Left whines about right wing conspiracies (supported by Biden, the media, and the DOJ).

    But it is the Left who we have to fear.

Comments are closed.