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Misgendering conviction overturned

(32 Posts)
roseshippy Mon 06-Feb-17 13:53:46

But only just.

Basically: Joanne Gullon is ex-army, and has been living as a woman since 2014.

Vernon Mussington is a businessman who doesn't appear to know Gullon.

Gullon claims that:

(a) in October or November 2015 Mussington said 'alright geezer' to Gullon in the street and laughed while looking between Gullon's legs. However the policewoman present did not Mussington being there.
(b) 2 weeks later Mussington was accused of doing the same thing - however Gullon's description of the offender did not match Mussington at all
(c) January 2016 Gullon is filmed ranting to Mussington after claiming Mussington said 'alright geezer'. However the film does not capture Mussington saying anything at all.

Mussington was convicted in magistrates' court but this was overturned on appeal, on the basis that while 'alright geezer' is offensive (although Mussington claims he was just saying hello, and it was a normal greeting and due to Gullon's clothes had no idea that Gullon was a transwoman), the offence requires a 'course of conduct'.

I wonder if you could be convicted of hate crimes for calling a transwoman a 'he' or a 'man', e.g., on Twitter. I assume so.

roseshippy Mon 06-Feb-17 13:56:23

sorry I should say requires a 'course of conduct', and only the last incident was proved ('alright geezer'), the first two were not

EssieTregowan Mon 06-Feb-17 13:58:25

Jesus wept.

I can't tell you how many times I've been catcalled or shouted at on the street, same as most women. I was sexually assaulted by a man in my own home and there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute. A taxi driver exposed himself to me as a teenager. The list goes on.

But this transwoman gets called a geezer and it ends in a conviction?

The world has gone completely fucking batshit.

EssieTregowan Mon 06-Feb-17 14:01:11

I've also been 'misgendered' countless times in my youth as I always had very short hair and no makeup. I couldn't give the tiniest of fucks.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Mon 06-Feb-17 14:26:14

I was misgendered in Specsavers a few months back.
The irony!

Bambambini Mon 06-Feb-17 14:47:44

Whether it should have made it to court or not, i'm not comfortable with the amount of folk leaping to Mussington's defence as though he is a hero as i suspect he was being deliberately goady and offensive.

Datun Mon 06-Feb-17 16:00:26


I'm sure the man was doing it deliberately to make a point. Which is mean, of course.

But at which point does calling a male a man become offensive and goady, rather than a statement of fact?

If you keep doing it? If you use a slang word like geezer? At what point does it cease to be true and tip into 'true, but offensive'.

Because this slope is so bloody slippery that at the bottom it becomes 'true, but also untrue and therefore criminal'.

Bambambini Mon 06-Feb-17 16:05:12

Yes, i know. It's just that the pic of Mussington standing all smiley smug and being put forward as the good guy just doesn't sit well - unless he is completely innocent of trying to offend.

Datun Mon 06-Feb-17 16:12:05

I agree it's annoying. But his smugness or even his meanness, for me, is the necessary collateral damage if this has been taken to court and dismissed.

Is the enemy of your enemy a friend, and all that.

I wonder if it had been a feminist doing it whether she would've got off?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Mon 06-Feb-17 16:35:05

Only the third accusation has been proven, and at the time Gullon admits to wearing "men's" clothing so on that basis alone it should have been doubtful whether Mussington actually realised that Gullon wanted to be viewed as a woman. Whether Mussington is a complete arse or not makes no difference to the fact that I don't think he should have been convicted in this instance.

Furthermore, I question whether this was a proportionate use of both police and court resources when women are being harassed, abused and worse on a daily basis and the overwhelming response is shrug.

Datun Mon 06-Feb-17 18:04:47

I agree oneflew. A complete non-event.

It continues to annoy me that judges don't just stand up and say stop wasting my bloody time, you idiots.

roseshippy Tue 07-Feb-17 00:17:06

I think women are told that this sort of thing (and worse) is normal, but when it happens to Heavenly Snowflake here, suddenly it's a mega hate crime

YetAnotherSpartacus Tue 07-Feb-17 00:30:28

Wow, pretty amazing that if women want to prove any form of sexual assault against men they practically have to have all bones broken and two adult male witnesses ... but courts will convict when an MtT is allegedly 'misgendered' (and not even by a term that is offensive normally) even where evidence is thin to non-existent (and the video at the end, as described by the DM sounds more like the 'victim' was goading the accused).

nooka Tue 07-Feb-17 00:49:33

What an absolutely bizarre case. A total waste of everyone's time especially when so few cases of rape and sexual assault cases are prosecuted. A man gives someone who appears to be (and in fact actually is) a man a male greeting. A case was made that this was harassment with no corroborating evidence, it's actually quite concerning that there was a conviction to overturn, and it looks like there could be a case for at least wasting police time as it's quite possible that the first two incidents were made up and the third hugely exaggerated.

Man is a bit of an arse on the street is surely an everyday occurrence - or is that just my experience as a woman - once Gullon looks a bit more obviously female I assume that they will find out fairly quickly that street harassment is a fairly normal part of life. Womder if they will find it dehumanising then or like Paris Lee more of a validating buzz.

A non DM account for those who don't read the mail:

vernon1964 Tue 07-Feb-17 11:53:27

Hi everyone I'm Vernon , what a crazy thing to go to court for ? especially as it was a simple matter to resolve, do any of you remember when the policeman tasered the blind man ? He had to apologize! ! He thought the blind mans stick was a samurai sword lols, there was something strange going on with my case, someone wanted to mess my life up , I wish people would stop taking the hate they have for themselves and pouring it on other people , and just for the record I believe the person is still legally a man , so I was in crown court for saying hello geezer to a geezer , it seems people's opinions of themselves are more important than the truth of law ? And I like the comments especially the one that was in specsavers x

EssieTregowan Tue 07-Feb-17 11:58:02

I find this whole 'misgendering' thing totally bizarre. I mean sure, it's rude if you've been asked to address someone in one way and then purposely address them in another, but a hate crime? Actual violence? That particular term really grates my cheese as it completely minimises the actual 'actual violence' perpetrated against 'actual women' countless times a day.

roseshippy Tue 07-Feb-17 12:42:33

So do you say 'hello geezer' a lot? It's a slightly odd greeting but maybe it's one you use?

Why does it say about you being a Christian in the papers. Did that come up in the trial?

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Tue 07-Feb-17 13:12:16


I am going to sue TGI fridays

Whenever i go in there they bound over saying "hi guys"

That'll learn them

(And that five year old who took my hand in the shop and called me daddy the other day hmm though to be fair the look of complete horror on her face when she realised i wasnt her is payment enough)

vernon1964 Sat 11-Feb-17 03:22:45

You are on the ball , amen

VestalVirgin Sat 11-Feb-17 11:07:46

I mean sure, it's rude if you've been asked to address someone in one way and then purposely address them in another, but a hate crime? Actual violence?

Tell the women on mumsnet whose MIL calls them "Mrs Husbandfirstname Husbandlastname" despite them having kept their own names. They might be able to have their MIL sentenced to a couple of years in prison, you know, because it is actual violence and "literally killing" the poor women subjected to it.

@Rufus: You were misgendered by a five year old? Oh, how terrible, kids today, getting more and more violent at earlier ages!

BenLinusatemyhomework Sat 11-Feb-17 16:57:43

Well I find that being a deliberate goady fucker unnecessary and unkind, however, misgendering is not 'actual violence' or a hate crime. If we're going to start prosecuting people for being arseholes to strangers on the street, then the courts are going to be pretty busy.

My four year old called me dad the other day. Hateful misparenting sod.

venusinscorpio Sat 11-Feb-17 17:20:52

I think that if being an arsehole to people in the streets were an offence, most complainants would be women.

AskBasil Sat 11-Feb-17 17:29:25

My DD's teacher misgendered her in her school report today.

Cut and paste.

If he were a real woman, he'd have got used to being harassed on the streets and would know the police aren't interested.

Floggingmolly Sat 11-Feb-17 17:36:11

How did this nonsense even get to court? There's a thread on here at the moment about some poor woman who's just watched her rapist walk free without a blemish on his character.
And there's arseholes like this taking up court time (not connected, I know...)

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Feb-17 19:41:03

I know both these trans women Blaire White and Theryn Meyer are regularly called out by Magdalen Berns but I was interested to see videos by both of them vehemently asserting they strongly disagreed with the idea that misgendering is violence. They were both quite scathing about it.

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