“Is this the Scotland you want for your children?”

Last night police were called to the Doctors bar in Edinburgh. Five officers turned up and ejected a group of about a dozen women who’d been quietly sitting eating, drinking and enjoying each other’s company.

Apparently one of the women had been wearing a T-shirt proclaiming that “women won’t wheesht”, which naturally offended the woman-hating member of the bar staff, who is a self-confessed porn-addicted autogynephile.

You may be getting a sense of déjà vu here. It isn’t the first time people have been offended by T-shirts bearing anodyne slogans worn by women who have been victimised as a result.  First, there was Rebecca Wershbale then the National Theatre debacle. In the latter, the group who were discriminated against initiated legal action. One member of the group eventually posted that the action was discontinued after “constructive conversations” with the theatre.

But that was in England.

Scotland is a place where a woman can be arrested and charged for tweets that are so innocuous they don’t even break Twitter’s draconian anti-women rules under which countless women – including me and some of our male allies – have been permanently banned, while the accounts of hateful, abusive bullies are allowed to remain. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the woman in question – Marion Millar – and many others who had gathered in Glasgow to support her on the day her plea hearing was supposed to take place, having already been rescheduled from a month earlier. A few days before the rescheduled date, the hearing was postponed again but those of us who decided to go anyway had a wonderful day. Continue reading

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