Reader comments · Newspaper declines to apologise for terminology in intersex story · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Newspaper declines to apologise for terminology in intersex story

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. The People is gutter rag that is a complete waste of ink and paper, only troglodytes ever read it. I doubt they even know what a hermaphrodite is, let alone what intersex means.

    1. Its certainly not the best paper in the world and this comment and their attempt to defend it is reprehensible.

  2. Is anyone surprised by the hubris displayed by the People? To assert that it knows better than the experiences of people, and professionals in the field?

    Let’s be honest – The People – all the “news” that’s fit to line your budgie cage with… Media for the thick-witted troglodytes of the nation.

  3. Jock S. Trap 9 Jul 2012, 5:44pm

    And here we have the classic example of the mainstream media encouraging the bigotry by not reporting sensitively and accurately.

    In an age where we have campaigns like “It Get Better” surely the media need to be told to act responsibly and stop using out of date myths and words that don’t do anyone any favours.

    Where is this papers responsiblity to those who it has just offended, esp the younger adults and children who get enough ridicule and suffer bullying as a consequence?

    This is where the PCC should be setting guidelines and frankly if the media cannot report accurately and properly they shouldn’t be reporting at all.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 7:27pm

      Oh get off your high horse.
      If the paper wanted to show some responsibility, it could actually try educating people by talking about “intersex people, (formerly known as Hermaphrodites)” – and go on from there.

      There’s no point in writing an article if nobody has a clue what the fck you are talking about because some politically correct muppet has changed all the descriptions so as not to offend somebody, somewhere.

      1. Except it genuinely is a false definition.
        Biologically, a hermaphrodite is an organism with both sets of sexual organs but that is incapable of self impregnation. In humans it’s a genetic thing where parts of your body express female genes and one part male genes.
        Intersex is someone who does not identify with either male or female. Nothing more, nothing less. It could be a physical thing. It could be an emotional thing. It could lead to all sorts of unpleasantness at international athletics competitions.
        I think it’s fairly easy to understand why someone might be offended that people in a newspaper are making snap judgements about their bodies and what sort of human they are beneath their skin. If that makes me a politically correct muppet then so be it.
        Also, if you’ll forgive my bolshy leanings, if you’re going to call yourself a newspaper aren’t you supposed to be up to date with current affairs? Especially regarding the language you’re writing in?

      2. theotherone 10 Jul 2012, 12:02pm

        spanner: you could only have not known this if you had your head in the sand for the last ten years and i doubt that’s true as you hang about this site.

        1. Spanner1960 10 Jul 2012, 11:40pm

          Sorry, but it’s simply a topic that has never drawn my attention.
          Unless people flag these situations, who knows any different?

  4. They won’t know the difference and if they did they wouldn’t apologise.

    and with all the recent scandals they probably think the newspaper industry is getting a raw deal:-)

  5. Cardinal Capone 9 Jul 2012, 6:04pm

    Is it beyond the capacity of British newspapers to be gracious, accept that they have offended a minority group, and just apologise?

    1. Violets49 9 Jul 2012, 8:10pm


  6. if they had used the “N” word and claimed that there was “no difference” between that term and “African-Caribbean I suspect we would have seen a somewhat different outcome.

    1. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 7:30pm

      What? You mean like “Negro”?
      That is a perfectly acceptable scientific nomenclature for the race; much like the word ‘Hermaphrodite’.
      (Or would you rather refer to it as the “H” word?)

      1. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 11:17pm

        Lots of people dissing me, but nobody willing to dispute what I am saying is totally correct and acceptable? Bunch of lefty pussies.

        1. Perhaps lots of people are stunned by your obnoxious ignorance and are marking your comment down as a shorthand way of saying you should do a little wikisearching before advertising your stupidity to the world.

          All human beings alive today are members of the same “race”, namely /homo sapiens sapiens/. Some authorities in some countries sometimes try to classify people by some subjectively perceived characteristics, for example religion, skin colour, sexual orientation, language preference or ethnic group. These classifications are not scientific in a biological sense, but are sometimes useful for socio-analysis or cross-cultural studies.

          In short, “Negro” is a perfectly meaningless scientific nomenclature, becoming even less useful as more people around the world are born of parents with different coloured skins.

          A Lefty Pussy

          1. Spanner1960 10 Jul 2012, 11:47pm

            I assume you would classify yourself as a Caucasian lefty pussy?
            Or would that be racist?

      2. I think that it is fair to say that you know full well the ‘N’ word to which David above refers, as it sure as hell is NOT ‘N**ro’ (can’t believe I am actually having to spell this out for you). While 30 years ago ‘N**ro’ would have been acceptable, times have moved on and as such so has the terminology. You on the other hand appear to relish living in the past where using those kinds of terms is acceptable. I suspect you are quite happy for people to refer to you as a fa**ot too? Grow up Spanner!

        1. Spanner1960 10 Jul 2012, 11:45pm

          I can’t believe you haven’t got the balls to say the word ‘Negro’ and have to intersperse asterisks in case somebody might be offended.

          It is spelt N-E-G-R-O.

          It is a perfectly acceptable scientific description, and it is only politically correct idiots such as yourself that consider this as some kind of insult, denigration or swear word towards people of colour.
          I suggest it is YOU who needs to grow up, and stop worrying about schoolyard playground misconceptions.

  7. Has no-one onsidered that, whilst a very rare status, hermaphrodites are NOT “intersex” in the medical/societal sense in the first place? A true, genetic hermaphrodite may find it equally insulting to be refered to as “intersex”?

  8. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 7:23pm

    “The People newspaper has said there is no difference between the term “hermaphrodite” and “intersex””

    That is actually true.
    The difference is actually one of acceptance, like the difference between “homosexual” and “gay”.

    Sorry, but I for one recognise the scientific term ‘Hermaphrodite’, but had no clue as to what ‘intersex’ meant until I read this article.

    It’s all very well changing words in order to be politically correct, but it serves no purpose whatsoever if people don’t recognise them, or understand them.

    I appreciate sometimes these things need to be changed, when I was a kid, there were some we referred to as “Mongols”, and neither us nor anybody else appeared to take offence to the term, but this was changed to “Down’s
    Syndrome”, as it is actually a more scientific term, but it seems now if anybody were to use the old name they would be accused of being insensitive or even cruel, which I cannot understand.

    1. theotherone 9 Jul 2012, 8:21pm

      and if the term you recognise is out of date and not used by anyone in the field then so what – it’s what you want to say and no PC nutter is going to stop you eh?


      1. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 11:15pm

        Irrelevant if nobody outside ‘the field’ knows its been changed.
        If people want others to use the correct terminology, then they should educate people, not condemn them for not knowing.

        1. But when the paper in question refuses to be educated – that enables ignorance like yours to fester

          1. Spanner1960 9 Jul 2012, 11:57pm

            Ignorance is not a fault, merely an absence of education.
            It is up to others, including the popular media, to enlighten the rest of us.

          2. Its also the responsibility of individuals and organisations.

            You have seen comments on here but continue to refuse to accept your own responsibility and instead parrot out ignorant comments. The People likewise have been educated and continue to be irresponsible.

            Individuals and organisations have to accept responsibility for their own conduct – unfortunately some people and organisations don’t care and are happy to remain wallowing in their ignorance.

          3. Spanner1960 10 Jul 2012, 11:53pm

            That really all depends on one’s approach.
            Had I been that newspapers’s editor and been approached with half the attitude I have recieved on this forum, I would have stuck two fingers up at the lot of you and told you to fck off and come back when you had learned a little respect and civility.

            It is not what you do, but how you do it, and knowing half the bolshy, arrogant and self-opinionated lefty attitudes on here, I find it hardly surprising the paper told them to sling their hooks.

            If you want to persuade people to take your side, try explaining things instead of preaching to them.

          4. Spanner

            You seem to link being self opinionated and lefty – yet correct me if I am wring, you are much more right wing and are very self opinionated, often bolshy and full of attitude … does that mean you flip to left wing when you present these attitudes which you seem to link with being left wing?

  9. I’ve only ever known the term Hermaphrodite, I had a friend in that situation who referred to himself that way.

    I’d like to see an a-z on this site to help people know what various terminology means.

    1. Spanner1960 10 Jul 2012, 11:56pm

      Thank you Paul. I totally support you on this.
      Those in the know assume everybody else on here takes this stuff on board via something akin to osmosis.

  10. I would not use The People to wipe my hoop if I had ran out of loo roll!

  11. Jennie Kermode 10 Jul 2012, 12:23pm

    An intersex person is a person whose body doesn’t meet normative expectations of either male or female. Such a person my identify as male or female or may have a different gender identity. Not all people with an androgynous gender identity are intersex.

    A hermaphrodite is, in biology, an organism with both male and female characteristics. This does occur very, very rarely in humans, but no case is known in which a uman has met the second part of the standard scientific definition and proven able to reproduce as either male or female.

    Many members of the public believe that all intersex people have ‘both sets’ of genital and reproductive organs. This is extremely misleading and is one of the reasons why ‘hermaphrodite’ is problematic. Of course, every individual has a right to identify as they wish, but for a newspaper to refer to intersex people generally as hermaphrodites is sensationalistic and serves to compound prejudice.

    1. Jen Marcus 10 Jul 2012, 1:14pm

      You are “spot on,” Jennie!

    2. I know of two cases – one involving involuntary auto-fertilisation as the result of a botched hernia operation. The foetus could not develop due to incomplete reproductive anatomy, and was partly re-absorbed.

      The other was dichogamous, a “natural sex change”, actually fertile as one sex, then THEORETICALLY possibly as the other. This is the only case recorded of complete dichogamy in humans, the many thousands of others worldwide are all incomplete, as far as we know. It’s also the only case known of female fertility, usually only the male form is fertile, and that’s rare enough

      But basically, you’re correct.

      Hermaphroditism in humans involves the presence of both testicular and ovarian tissues – often vestigial. It doesn’t involve two complete reproductive systems, but may involve a mostly-complete set of one, and remnants of another. Less than 1% of Intersex people are hermaphrodites in this sense.

    3. Spanner1960 11 Jul 2012, 12:00am

      “Normative expectations”!!!????

      I’m sorry, but I think I just weed myself a bit.
      What you are saying is that this is a totally subjective concept based on other people’s preconceptions. I have never heard anything quite so completely potty in my entire life.

      This one definitely needs an entry in Private Eye’s “Pseuds Corner.”

    4. “An intersex person is a person whose body doesn’t meet normative expectations of either male or female.” — Wrong. Intersex includes people whose bodies and identities are externally entirely “normal”, but who are discovered to have purely internal variations, that may be no one’s business but their’s, unless they so wish, such as CAIS women.

      “Not all people with an androgynous gender identity are intersex.” — From the medical statistics it seems unlikely many at all are.

      Most classed by doctors as Intersex (or, disgracefully, as having a Disorder of Sexual Development) or claimed by activists simply identify as men or women and resent the “othering”. Indeed, it often seems that by far most who claim to Intersex as self-loathing trans people, who would rather steal the clothes of a yet further misrepresented minority than wear their own, so to speak.

  12. Paloma Faith uses the word hermaphrodite in her PinkNews/Out4Marriage video.

  13. Graeme (@Graeme_xxy) 11 Jul 2012, 1:52am

    Well I resent the inclusion by OII and others of Klinefelter’s syndrome and XXY being included as intersex, and they don’t apologise or do anything about it, so now they know what it feels like to be ignored.

    Of course the paper is wrong, hermaphrodite is just one form of intersex, and not all forms are hermaphrodite.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.