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Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore refuses to apologise after accusations of transphobia

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  1. Earlier today she Tweeted again about trans issues. She said: “Not one trans activist has engaged with economic argument or attack on welfare. Why not?”

    Well, maybe trans* activists are still busy sorting out people who A) fixate on their genitals? B) use them as punchlines to articles? C) can’t seem to distinguish the difference groups combined together under the trans* umbrella and throw stereotypes out? D) #TransDocFail? E)tc…

    And intersectionality is really easy – anything that affects anyone in harmful way needs to end. Intersectional feminism? Supporting an end to *ANYTHING* that adversely affects any woman or her freedom to be who she is.

    1. Pandora Allen 10 Jan 2013, 5:44pm

      She’s full of crap. I am a trans* activist, and I have been very active in the Uncut movement and Black Triangle to the point of currently being a very vocal and visible part of the Save NHS campaign. Either she doesn’t look very hard, or she deliberately ignores the many trans* activists I know who are out on the streets every single weekend in the public eye (often taking horrible transphobic abuse) pushing petitions, closing branches of Starbucks and Barclays,occupying tax dodging shops and getting arrested for not breaking any laws. It’s either that or 100% of us pass so well we are invisible in the general population, which somehow I doubt.

  2. While Ms. Moore tweets about men “cutting their dicks off”, every time I see her photo in the Guardian I just wish she’d cut that mess of a hairdo off or at least tame the bloody thing!

  3. Is this the same Suzanne Moore who writes for the Daily Mail?

    1. I might mean Mail on Sunday come to think of it.

  4. theotherone 10 Jan 2013, 2:26pm

    “Not one trans activist has engaged with economic argument or attack on welfare. Why not?”

    perhaps because we’re so busy trying to get basic medical care sorted, trying to make the streets safe for our kind, battling ‘feminists’ like yourself…

    i think you’ll find many trans people and activists have no problem with intersectionality and campaign on may fronts including on poverty.

  5. Christine Burns MBE 10 Jan 2013, 2:28pm

    This article appears to miss the point that people are not (as far as I can see) objecting to her use of the term ‘transsexual’ per sé, but that she used the idea of Brazillian Transsexuals (a group regularly murdered in that country) as a witty punchline.

    Because you’ve not made that clear, the casual reader could think that the reactions were humourless and OTT.

    It is never funny to use a group targetted for violent murder as a punchline.

    1. J. Whitehead 14 Jan 2013, 12:37am

      You’re right – but the choice of “Brazilian” as a nationality seems to have been singularly unfortunate, and not deliberate targeting. I knew nothing of these murders, and suspect she didn’t either.

      As such, a polite email or tweet informing her of her unwitting reference would have sufficed – but instead the Twitter activists, pandering to a crowd of their peers, were hostile and unpleasant from the outset.

      Nobody comes off well from this incident, but it is especially sad to see individuals rounded upon by an angry mob.

  6. Sarah Brown 10 Jan 2013, 2:41pm

    “You trans people, so emotionally so shrill! Can’t you take a joke? Attacking a bit of harmless banter? It’s political correctness gone mad!”

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    1. theotherone 10 Jan 2013, 9:59pm

      if it came from a man she would claim it was part of rape culture so if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

  7. But it’s clear you do hate trans people. It’s clear as day in the bile you spew on twitter. You’re a transphobic ‘radical feminist’, no better than the likes of Cathy Brennan, Roseanne Barr, Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel, all of which also spit on trans people in the name of ‘feminism’. True feminism, PROPER feminism includes ALL women, trans, cis, gay, straight, bi, black, white, brown… I could go on, you get the point. Don’t believe this radfem sh*t.

  8. Michelle-Louise 10 Jan 2013, 3:21pm

    Typical feminist claptrap.

    And to use our fellow transgender people in Brazil, where they are subject to all kinds of abuse or worse, is way below the belt.

  9. “[Women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.”

    Offensive crap – on so many levels.

    Every time someone writes rubbish like this, I always wonder about their own personal happiness and issues. There was no need for this silly comment – no need at all. So why write it?

    1. That line was a stupid and ill-informed cheapshot. What followed was a complete and utter disgrace.

      What I cannot comprehend is why some people process “we have been oppressed” by turning around and trying to oppress someone who has even less power than them. It’s a pretty base piece of human behaviour.

      Notice the tactic used in mentioning welfare. How often have we heard – say – “marriage equality takes too much precious time.” This is no different, it ascribes a hierarchy of need that obliges the least powerful minority to sit and wait for what everyone takes for granted.

      And you know? I hesitated to put up this comment, and the ones in the second article that has opened, because I don’t doubt for one single second that the words and opinions of those who are not playing the fawning audience won’t be used in some “help help I’m a victim” article in the future.

  10. Lyn Guest de Swarte 10 Jan 2013, 4:44pm

    Your journalist hasn’t actually recorded any view himself in this article…

  11. Good for her. Trans activists, who are overwhelmingly not gay-identified, have hijacked the gay civil rights movement and have attempted to turn it into a war on gender or, as they call it, the “gender binary.” This is a group of undemocratic, thuggish radicals who have little use for gay people beyond our exploitation. Anyone who stands up to these thugs is in good standing in my book.

    1. Common sense 10 Jan 2013, 5:28pm

      Absolutely right. I am a reasonable man and have several trans friends but none of them are as shrill and bitter as some of the people who have been attacking women and gay men recently as if we give offence purely by existing.

    2. Actually, for some reason there is a pretty strong correlation between being trans and being gay or bi (possibly just because people are unlikely to come out as trans but keep their sexuality secret or vice versa). As a masculine cis gay man, I don’t really understand why any gay or lesbian person likes the idea of the gender binary, which to me seems intimately tied up with traditional gender roles, the idea that feminine or gay/bi men are not “real” men, the idea that masculine or gay/bi women are not “real” women, and the perceived need for children to be brought up by one man and one woman. Also, there have been strong connections between trans and gay/lesbian movements since the 60s at least, and LGBT people have been lumped together by the rest of society since long before that.

      1. Pandora Allen 10 Jan 2013, 5:57pm

        what a load of claptrap.. we didn’t ask to be “included” in your “gays and lesbians only club” in the first place. We were dragged in because alone you lot didn’t have enough votes to get anywhere. T for Tokenism, take your transphobia back into your Kourous stinky dirty unhygenic clubs and let us alone you transphobes!

        None of that is directed at you James. I like your reply which is right on the nail. Many trans* people are also LGB, but by no means all, something like 50%. I fall into the straight female binary (as my husband will confirm) but that does not stop me from being a strong and solid supporter of marriage equality and gender equality. Where I do want to pick a little is with your claim of “been strong connections between trans and gay/lesbian movements since the 60s at least”. Only with certain sections of the trans* group has this been the case. There has always been a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the grouping, especially for binary straight trans*

    3. I suggest you research Stonewall – the birthplace of the gay rights movement; and overwhelmingly begun and supported by trans people. Trans people were supporting the gay community from the start. It’s time for a little bit of gratitude.

      1. Common sense 10 Jan 2013, 6:19pm

        Stonewall was only the start of American activism. European activism began over a century before that with Karl Heinrich Ulrichs and later Magnus Hirschfeld – both of them proud gay men.

        1. friday jones 10 Jan 2013, 11:16pm

          Chevalier d’Eon.

      2. It was drag queens – gay transvestites – at Stonewall , not transsexuals.

  12. I think she’s having a mental breakdown.

  13. I think the bit that most annoys me is this:

    “For [the original article] I have been attacked on Twitter for “transphobia”. I made it worse – well why not? – by saying that I don’t like the word. I don’t think it adds to our understanding of the complex webs of hatred it invokes, but instead closes down discussion.”

    I am certain that, at some point in the past, Moore will have been angered by an anti-feminist using *precisely* the same rhetoric to attack the word “misogyny”. I know how angry I get when people tell gay people we shouldn’t use the word “homophobia” because it “shuts down discussion” about the morality of homosexuality. What better way to stop people talking about prejudice targeted at them than by delegitimising the language they use to describe it?

  14. Commonsense 10 Jan 2013, 5:21pm

    In what way shape of form was what Suzanne wrote “offensive”? If she had written “not having the ideal body shape – that of a Scottish gay man” I’d have been chuffed myself.

    There is real potent and very violent trans phobia out there folks. This is NOT.

    1. I think it’s the combination of saying “a transsexual”, which seems a bit objectifying (like “a gay”), the odd singling out of Brazilian trans people (the rates of violence against trans people in Brazil are extremely high), and the suggestion that trans people are somehow viewed by mainstream society as ideal (when surely the opposite is true, hence the violence). It’s fairly tame, but she could have clarified what she meant instead of launching into rants about “fucking lopping bits off your body” and so on, which does make her seem like a raging transphobe.

      1. J. Whitehead 14 Jan 2013, 12:46am

        But she only did that when attacked rudely by multiple people.

        It’s unfair to take unjustified offence at her unintentional mistake (can you really expect her to know about murders of transsexuals in Brazil?), to mock, goad and antagonise her, and then to use her final exasperated, angry outburst as evidence that you were right all along.

        I very much doubt that she truly believes all of what she said on Twitter – after all, haven’t we all said something horrific even to those we love most, to hurt and shock them as they’re hurting us?

    2. I agree Commonsense.

  15. she probably thinks herself britain’s Cary Bradshaw – but at least she and her selfishness and biphobia is fictional.

  16. Catherine Ditheridge 10 Jan 2013, 6:30pm

    Speaking as a transexual woman and a feminist It looks to me that Ms Moore used an unfortunate turn of phrase initially and what followed was certain members of the trans overreacting and then Ms Moore overreacted to the overreaction.

    If there are two groups of people more likely to overreact to anything than trans people and feminists I have yet to find them. I dont think this overtly hostile attitude both camps seem to have is helpful in the slightest and although the anger may be justified in both cases due to past and current injustices it doesn’t help the cause to appear to outsiders as a crazed shrieking harpy. You cant change minds by shouting, thats what reasoned debate is for.

    I do object to anyone drawing a parallel between Ms Moore and Cathy Brennan however. Ms Moore seems misguided, undiplomatic and quite uncouth but I have never been as ashamed of the human race as when I have spoken to Brennan. She is an absolute monster.

    Anyway, just my tuppence.

    1. Catherine Ditheridge 10 Jan 2013, 6:33pm

      Incidentally if Ms Moore is reading this and would like to discuss economic policy with me I would be happy to chat although she might find me naively idealistic.

  17. Penny Marie 10 Jan 2013, 6:35pm

    Doncha just love cissplaining doucheweasels like this lady?

    “Oh I’m not trans but I know better than you silly transpeople what contitutes transphobia and I ain’t done none of it! Ask all my tranny friends at the bar! They’ll tell you how down with the trans I am!”

    1. Jacqueline Waters 14 Jan 2013, 6:37pm

      The fact that you called your friends at the bar your “tranny friends” is revealing on it’s own. Do you call your black friends your ” N**ger friends”?

  18. What a horrible and dishonest person she has revealed herself to be. Let’s say she’d used a racial group in a negative way to make a comparison and then said “I’m not apologising for saying something racist because my essay wasn’t about racism”. The weakness of her position is immediately apparent.

  19. This is disappointing. How can she call herself a feminist? As a feminist, I would like to apologize on her behalf to the trans community and my trans friends.

    This is not feminism, the way she is acting.

  20. I don’t find her transphobic. People need to lighten up

  21. God,it just sounds like tans people are so happy to have their moment in the sun they are going to over play the “I’M A VICTIMMMMMMMMMM” card. She didn’t say anything offensive but even if she did it could only be sooo extremely mild you would have to be bored to bother complaining. I’m more offended by the tranny reaction.

    1. Nika Jewell 11 Jan 2013, 5:17pm

      Yanno, Max, there might be a reason that it seems to you trans people are playing that card. Perhaps it has something to do with transgender people being arguably the most oppressed minority with the largest amount of violence and abuse directed toward them.

      “I’m offended by the tranny reaction.”
      Would it have been okay for you to say ‘n-‘ reaction if it were black people’s reactions you took offense to? ‘F-‘ reaction if it had been gay people? ‘C-‘ if it had been women? I doubt it.

  22. I do not read Ms.Moore’s comments as transphobic. I think her reference to the hatred directed towards them by many butch lesbian women, is the result of envy. After all, many Brazilian transsexuals do in fact have very beautiful female bodies that could easily shame those whose bodies did not meet the standards set by today’s mass media and merchandising industry.

    I think the entire point of Ms Moore’s comments were lost in that Pink Fog of LGBT cis-phobia and rhetoric.

  23. Trouble is, Suzanne, that it’s not just this latest article in which you’ve been transphobic. (If you look back through Suzanne Moore’s articles from 1990s you’ll find quite blatant transphobia there, too).

  24. Btw…Suzanne Moore’s article in the New Statesman was actually first published in the Comment is Free section of the Guardian online last year. When I posted a message on there pointing out that I felt the way in which she referenced ‘Brazilian Transsexuals’ was transphobic it got deleted by moderators. Notably, her latest article on the CiF Guardian webpage in which she claims the article is not transphobic has been made closed to comments.

  25. Another Naomi 16 Jan 2013, 1:41am

    Uhhm. Morroco? Heh. The heyday for gender reassignment in Casablanca was in the 60ties and 70ties. Someone is showing her age. :) I am a trans woman and I am a welder. Yup. Part of a long tradition of women welders since WW2 US Shipyards. Working class. Taking shit everyday in a male dominated enviroment I doubt Ms Moore would stand for one hour. The “brazilian transsexuals” live hard lives, full of violence, death and sexual exploatation, just like many transpeople do globally. How come we are not the alliances and anger she is seeking? Too good for us. That is the answer. After all we are only big tits and no hips and other things she does not want to be.

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