They’ve Got Form (Part I)

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Regarding the recent brouhaha over Julie Burchill’s recent article in the Observer, republished (and then taken down) on the Guardian website, and re-re-published at her request in the Telegraph, an article referring to Trans people as “Shims” and “She-males”, “Dicks in chick’s clothing” etc…
The Guardian said it best, the last time this happened. Or rather, one of the last times – it happened again and again afterwards too.

On January 31 the Guardian’s Weekend magazine published the first of two articles by the lesbian feminist Julie Bindel, written in the place recently vacated by Julie Burchill….
Ms Nixon was referred to as “she” in quotation marks….
Further into the piece there was a reference to Kwik-Fit sex changes, and the injunction to “think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease.” The column concluded: “To go back to my five men and a toilet, I don’t have a problem with men disposing of their genitals, but it does not make them women, in the same way that shoving a bit of vacuum hose down your 501s does not make you a man….”
The Guardian was also criticised for the caricature illustration used with the column – a hairy-chested tattooed figure in a dress with a badge reading “I’m a lady.”…

Pretty awful stuff, though Burchll’s article is even worse. The Guardian goes on to say :

Dismay at the piece was registered not only by transsexual people but by doctors, therapists, academics and others involved in the field. One therapist wrote: “Transgendered people would like to go about their lives in peace and dignity.” This column, which obscured any argument in discriminatory language, would not help them to do that. It abused an already abused minority that the Guardian might have been expected to protect.

Meanwhile, Suzanne Moore claims in a follow-up article that it’s all about “Freedom of Speech”. The same argument as last time. And the many times before.
She might have been more convincing if she wasn’t simultaneously using threats of legal action to silence even the mildest, most indirect critique of her own most innocuous article.
From her Twitter account:

suzanne moore @ Read this piece of shit and Pink News will hear from my lawyers in the morning :http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/16/reports-brazilian-transwoman-shot-dead/

This “piece of shit” as she puts it reads:

According to the ‘Guerrilla Angel Report’ blog site, it is claimed the victim, named by the site as Cecilia Marahouse, worked as a performer and that the shooting took place near Fortaleza, north-eastern Brazil, on 11 January 2013.

She is described as being a “well known” figure among the area’s LGBT community.

Earlier this week, British journalist Suzanne Moore apologised for suggesting women were expected to look like “Brazilian transsexuals” in an article published first in the New Statesman and then in the Guardian newspaper.

Several prominent LGBT journalists, trans campaigners and commentators, criticised her use of the term and considered it to be insensitive, not least because more than 100 trans people were reported killed in Brazil during 2012.

International statistics compiled by the Trans Respect Monitoring Project identified at least 265 trans people murdered between 2011 – 2012, an increase of 20% on figures from 2010.

85% of reported killings took place in Latin America, with 45% in Brazil alone.

“Freedom of Speech” for me but not for thee, apparently.

[alert type=”info”]Cross-posted from A. E. Brain[/alert]

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