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23 Apr, 2022 14:19

California man arrested for threatening dictionary

Officials say the man left “hate-filled” threats under Merriam-Webster’s entries for “female” and “girl”
California man arrested for threatening dictionary

A California man has been charged with making threats to commit violence against Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster, publisher of the authoritative dictionary. The man left what officials described as “hate-filled” and “despicable” messages under the dictionary’s entries for “woman,” “female,” and “girl,” which have recently been changed to account for ‘gender identity.’

Jeremy David Hanson, 34, was arrested in California on Tuesday and charged with one count of interstate communication of threats to commit violence, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement released on Friday.

According to the complaint against him, Hanson sent various threatening messages last October through the dictionary’s ‘contact us’ form, and in comments sections below several contentious entries.

“It is absolutely sickening that Merriam-Webster now tells blatant lies and promotes anti-science propaganda. There is no such thing as ‘gender identity’,” he allegedly wrote under Merriam-Webster’s entry for "Female," which since 2020 describes not just “the sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs,” but also “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”

In a message to the site’s administrators, Hanson allegedly called for Merriam Webster’s offices to be “shot up and bombed,” accusing the dictionary of caving “to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny agenda” and participating in “the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality.”

“Hate-filled threats and intimidations have no place in our society,” said US Attorney Rachael Rollins. “We believe Hanson sent a multitude of anonymous threatening and despicable messages related to the LGBTQ community that were intended to evoke fear and division.” 

Hanson is also accused of posting similar messages under the entries for “girl” and “woman,” and investigators said that “numerous related threats” were made to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, Land O’ Lakes, Hasbro, IGN Entertainment, several university professors and a New York City rabbi.

While the statement did not specify the nature of these threats, all of the above companies and organizations have been noted for taking ‘woke’ positions on social issues in recent years, such as when Land O’Lakes removed a drawing of a Native American woman from its butter packaging in 2020.

On Merriam-Webster’s site, the terms “female” and “girl” have both been changed to incorporate gender identity, or a person’s “internal sense” of being another gender. “Woman” has not been changed, however, and is defined as “an adult female person.” Prior to making these changes, Merriam-Webster has been roasted by conservatives for seemingly pushing a ‘woke’ agenda, having added the terms “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” and “Mx.” (a gender-neutral honorific used instead of “Mr.” or “Mrs.”) in 2016.