Margaret Nelson is a 74-year-old woman who lives in a village in Suffolk. On Monday morning she was woken by a telephone call. It was an officer from Suffolk police. It was an officer from Suffolk police. The officer wanted to speak to Mrs Nelson about her Twitter account and her blog.
Among the statements she made on Twitter last month and which apparently concerned that police officer: ‘Gender is BS. Pass it on’.
‘Gender’s fashionable nonsense. Sex is real. I’ve no reason to feel ashamed of stating the truth. The bloody annoying ones are those who use words like ‘cis’ or ‘terf’ and other BS, and relegate biological women to a ‘subset’. Sorry you believe the mythology.’
Mrs Nelson wrote:
‘If a transgender person’s body was dissected, either for medical education or a post-mortem examination, his or her sex would also be obvious to a student or pathologist. Not the sex that he or she chose to present as, but his or her natal sex; the sex that he or she was born with. Even when a body has been buried for a very long time, so that there is no soft tissue left, only bone, it is still possible to identify the sex. DNA and characteristics such as the shape of the pelvis will be clear proof of the sex of the corpse.’
Shortly after this piece was published, Suffolk Police sent me a statement effectively admitting that they made a mistake by calling Mrs Nelson.
Which is, I suppose, a good thing and the force should be commended for admitting its mistake and apologising. But there are still questions that remain unanswered. One of them: why on earth did anyone ever think that this was the right thing to do in the first place?