Man charged after threatening to bomb dictionary

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He issued the bomb threat to Merriam-Webster over their definitions for words such as “woman” and “girl” for being trans-inclusive.

Jeremy David Hanson of Rossmoor sent several disturbing messages via the dictionary company’s website. Court documents allege he attacked Merriam-Webster for their “anti-science propaganda” and “telling blatant lies”. He also used slurs for transgender people and stated “there is no such thing as gender identity”.

On October the 2nd Hanson is alleged to have sent threats of violence, such as suggesting Merriam-Webster should be “shot up and bombed”. This because they had “altered the definition of ‘female'” as a means to “degrade the English language and deny reality”.

On investigation FBI agents found that Merriam-Webster were not the only people Jeremy David Hanson had apparently been sending hateful messages to. Other companies include; ACLU, Hasbro, IGN and Amnesty International.

Anti-trans campaigner “Posie Parker”, also known as Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull is famed for having popularised the “adult human female” campaign. She appeared in numerous media interviews about the “dictionary definition of woman” and how she believed it excluded trans women. She even had it put up on billboards and sells it as merch, which many anti-trans people have been photographed wearing. Including Maya Forstater, Rebekah Wershbale and Mary Wollstonecroft. (Sort of, Julia Long put a t-shirt on her naked statue in North London).

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull is also noted to have encouraged armed men to police women’s spaces in the US in a now deleted stream. She has even flown herself to the US to try and police women’s spaces, as we saw with this video where she stood in the way of a transgender woman trying to use the bathroom.

It’s not hard to see the pathway from Kellie-Jay’s British anti-trans activism to the sort of hard-right violent extremism of Jeremy David Hanson. It’s practically a straight path along a well lit road, during a really clear bright summer’s day. They are directly adjacent and one will always lead to the other, because the conspiracy theory set up at Point A, Kellie-Jay’s campaigning, can never be satisfied.

Dictionaries and the English language simply do not work the way these people would like them to. They do not tell you how you should use language, a practice known as prescriptivism. They tell you how language is often used currently, a practice known as descriptivism. To give a practical example; the word “literally”. Because enough people were using it to mean “figuratively”, it now has a line in the dictionary that includes that. Dictionaries simply describe word usage, they do not prescribe word meaning.

So the fact that dictionaries would eventually specifically work to include trans women in their definitions for women etc isn’t at all surprising. The world is steadily growing more and more trans inclusive and trans women are being recognised as women who are transgender etc more and more. As descriptivists; our dictionaries are always going to end up reflecting that word usage.

Which means that people who have been radicalised into anti-trans activism via rhetoric such as the “adult human female” campaign and the now ironic claim that trans people were “offended about the dictionary” have only one choice; get more extreme.

That’s what LGBTQIA+ people are in the midst of right now. The UK & US have generally trended more positive for us, at least societally. Legally & politically things are still a bit shaky, especially right now; please do check out what’s happening in the UK, Texas and Florida. But in general people are more accepting and supportive of our rights to live free and happy lives too.

This means anti-trans types are constantly in a state of losing ground, realising that the world is changing and it doesn’t suit their beliefs. The more they are ignored the louder they will try to get and sadly I see more stories like this one happening because of that.

Worse; I truly believe our politicians and media could have limited if not prevented the blowout altogether. But they didn’t, because they’d rather use it as a wedge issue or for clickbait.

Gemma Stone
Gemma Stone is a transgender writer who has been covering the rise of transphobic hate campaigning in the UK. She has written hundreds of articles dissecting aspects of transphobia including debunking blatant disinformation. She is very tired and trying her best, and hopefully having a positive impact on such a beautiful community.

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