ONLINE abuse of female Scots-speaking creatives is classist, misogynist and must stop, according to Scots author and journalist Emma Guinness.

Writing in The National today Guinness, who also goes by Emma Grae, explains how the harassment directed at her and Scots poet Len Pennie is part of a wider trend among “extremist Unionists”, which she fears will silence women working in the language.

Guinness, author of Be Guid tae yer Mammy, spoke out little over a week after Pennie quit Twitter – citing a barrage of hateful comments following her appearance at an EU-funded poetry event.

Responding to an abusive message, the popular face of the Scots Word of the Day project announced: “Jesus Christ. I dinnae think I’m cut oot fur this, so I’m gonnae tap oot so yous can read ma poyums an no ma obituary.”

READ MORE: Miss PunnyPennie: Scots poet leaves Twitter after misogynistic abuse

Reflecting on her own experience, Guinness said that she received hateful comments including messages describing her as a “f****** idiot” for participating in the #Scotstober trend. The hashtag, created by Scots Language Centre director Michael Dempster, encourages people to create something in Scots every day throughout the month.

“The fact that I was called an idiot ... reflects the continued classism associated with Scots, which, contrary to what critics say, gives speakers transferable skills that can be useful in a variety of contexts,” she writes.

“The abuse of Scots-speaking and writing women isn’t about politics; it’s about classism and misogyny, and the independence debate has given some extremist Unionists a platform to express these hateful views,” the author goes on. “Since publishing Mammy, I’ve been asked why I wrote the book in Scots. The answer is simple – because that’s how the characters talk.”

Guinness calls for more to be done about online harassment of female Scots creators, warning without action “their work may never see the light of day”.