Transwoman ordered to delete ‘hateful’ tweets about gender by Lucy Bannerman in The Times 04.02.19

The original article is here.

A transsexual woman who was told by Twitter she was breaking its rules on hateful conduct for tweeting that “sex and gender are not the same” has accused the social media platform of taking a “sexist, absurd and Orwellian” approach to the public debate on transgender issues.

Kristina Harrison, 53, an NHS worker from Berkshire who was born male but underwent gender reassignment surgery 21 years ago, has been a vocal critic of activists’ claims that “transwomen are women”, arguing that the two groups cannot be regarded as the same because they have different biology and backgrounds.

She accused Twitter of censorship after she was given 12 hours to delete two tweets that emphasised the difference between sex and gender or face suspension from the site.

The tweets, addressed to a group including a transgender woman, read: “Sex is relevant to this debate, whatever your gender identity. Sex & gender are not the same. Your sex is male. It’s not a insult, it’s not automatically hateful to state it in these discussions, it’s part of biological reality that matters in so many ways in a sexist world.

“Calling you male is factual, relevant, indeed essential in this debate. It’s about correctly sexing you rather than so-called ‘misgendering’ you. Why in any case should the women here respect your pronouns while you support the erasure of their sex-based rights?”

Ms Harrison has refused to delete the tweets while she appeals to Twitter to reconsider its decision.

A Twitter spokeswoman said that “misgendering” — failing to use a person’s preferred pronoun — and “deadnaming” — using their pre-transition name — violated the site’s policy on hateful conduct. She declined to explain why Ms Harrison’s tweets were regarded as hateful.

Ms Harrison told The Times: “In day-to-day life and in most circumstances, I’m treated as a woman and that’s enabled me to find a happy, settled life, but my fundamental biology is male and my socialisation was male. You can’t change your sex or your childhood socialisation and we have to be honest and acknowledge that we aren’t therefore literally female.

“We have no right to erase the uniqueness of women or their specific rights as a sex.”