A California man accused of threatening to blow up the offices of the Merriam-Webster dictionary is facing jail time because he objected to the use of the term “gender identity” in the dictionary’s definition of the word “girl”. Jeremy Hanson, 34, appeared in federal court last Friday via Zoom in Springfield, Massachusetts, where the dictionary is headquartered.
According to Courthouse News, Hanson allegedly posted “You evil Marxists should all be killed. It would be poetic justice to have someone storm your offices and shoot up the place, leaving none of you commies alive,” on the dictionary’s “Contact Us” page.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson ordered Hanson, to be held in-home detention at his mother’s house. The judge banned him from internet access and said he may be required to submit to a mental health evaluation.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hanson made threats not only to the dictionary publisher but to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Land O’ Lakes, Hasbro Inc., IGN Entertainment, the president of the University of North Texas, two professors at Loyola Marymount University and a New York City rabbi about the same concerns over gender identity in the dictionary. No details about these other threats are included in the charging papers.
The dictionary entry that apparently upset Hanson defines “girl” as “a person whose gender identity is female.” The dictionary defines “female” as “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.”