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Comment: I wish the Guardian’s Suzanne Moore would stop digging

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  1. Having never heard of the author “bell hook”, the only think I could think of is that old Two Ronnies Sketch about four candles and farming implements.

  2. Zoe needs to get past her self-generated hysteria – as do other people on her bandwagon.

    “Brazilian transsexual” suggests a figure that women envy and that men desire. There is nothing derogatory there at all. No wonder Suzanne Moore has freaked out. Some people need to get a life.

    1. I agree.

  3. It feels like an over-reaction, sorry.

    Some of the nastiness spewed on twitter against her is really unpleasant and no wonder she responded in the way she did. But if you read what she says, it’s clear to me that she isn’t transphobic.

    Some people need to know when to pick their battles.

  4. I am fed up of the gay press lumping gay people and trans people in one group. Trans people have an identity problem. I have freinds who are trans who dont belive they are gay … I am gay and dont want to cross dress or become a woman. Its about time the 2 issues were seperated and that the gay press concentrated on gay, lesbian and bisexual issues only.

    1. They’re very different issues, I agree – but the social outcasting of them is similar and I can understand why they’re ‘lumped in’ with LGB.

    2. Another James 11 Jan 2013, 2:06pm

      We have been lumped together for many decades. As I see it, the fundamental problem that both groups face is that our society is extremely touchy about gender, and reserves a special hatred for anyone who fails to conform to traditional gender stereotypes, which goes far beyond the prejudice directed against most other groups of people who are in some way non-conforming. There is a big overlap between gay and trans culture (such as drag queens/kings, the Stonewall riots, etc.), there are a large number of trans people who also identify as gay or bi, and gay and trans activists have often had very similar targets (such as anti-discrimination laws, bullying, education, and marriage).

      Also, in my experience, trans people are invariably strongly supportive of LGB people, and I sometimes feel a bit ashamed that so many of us fail to return the favour (though fortunately not many of us go quite as far as Julie Bindel). And apart from anything else, there is strength in numbers.

      1. “Also, in my experience, trans people are invariably strongly supportive of LGB people….”

        Indeed. Transgendered people were a pivotal force during the Stonewall riots. I’m not sure the outcome would have been so positive without them. We gay men and women take many liberties for granted today which we might not have if it wasn’t for the fight put up by transgendered people almost five decades ago.

        I absolutely agree with you with regards feeling shame about those who don’t return their “strongly supportive” behaviour. I feel bad for using pronouns like them and they, for transgendered people are one of us.

    3. mk, I am a gay trans man. I am trans AND gay. Yes, gender and sexuality are separate but that does not mean that all LGB people are cisgender (i.e. not trans) and that certainly does not mean that all transgender people are straight, before or after transition. If I liked men before my transition, why on earth would that mean that I don’t like men after my transition? Get what I mean?

  5. The problematic line was a cheapshot and a thoughtless throwaway punchline.

    The actions and word usage that followed shines a whole other prism of light on why she might have chosen that cheapshot in the first place.

    The viciousness of the language used in the aftermath, the need to rip shred after shred from people by mocking their treatment (“chopping bits off”) makes me wonder if she has a personal bias that she is trying to cover with a lousy smokescreen?

    OK she’s using the “some of my friends are trans” line. Really? Mock them about their GRS and see if they are still your friend.

    And how do we make alliances if those with the most power disdain those with the least? My ally is not the one who uses hateful language to my face and then expects compliance.

    1. I think the viciousness was as a response to the viciousness she was subjected to on twitter for making a throwaway comment.

      1. Silverfish 11 Jan 2013, 2:09pm

        Pretty much this.

        If you taunt an angry person you’ll get an angry response, surprisingly.

        If you have a bitter argument with someone, you’re likely to say things you don’t really mean just to spite them. Ever call your partner names while you were having a fight?

  6. I’m not trans, I don’t understand what it is to be trans, I don’t have any trans friends. But I do know when someone is bigoted and has issues with a particular group of people. And Suzanne Moore is transphobic. “You just don’t go on about “cutting dicks off” if you’re not transphobic. She sounds like an angry, unhappy & horrible woman, which is okay if you’re not a journalist that uses national press to share your anger, unhappiness, hatred and phobias.

  7. Silverfish 11 Jan 2013, 2:57pm

    I just don’t see what has been achieved here.

    The original comment was nothing. She was using “Brazillian transexual” as an example of a female beauty ideal that many women are unable to achieve but are expected to live up to, i.e. Brazillian transexuals are so attractive that it’s almost unfair on women who can’t reach that same level of beauty.

    She has now been drawn into an ugly fight, baited into making nasty comments and “outed” as some trans-bashing hatemonger. All because she refused to apologise for something that she felt no need to apologise for.

    She’s now said some nasty things in the heat of the moment and has been made to look very foolish indeed, all because someone’s feelings accidently got hurt.

    I can’t help but think all this time and energy could have been better spent fighting someone who actually deserves it rather than building a monster out of nothing. There are many people out there actively denouncing those with “alternative” livestyles…focus on them.

  8. Although I largely agree with the blog the one point I would make is if the only comments and criticism Suzanne Moore received were reasonable and decent she may well have apologised (not saying she would have), however I saw quite a few tweets aimed her and quite a lot of them were very nasty in tone and content.

    Personally speaking if I was subjected to the same level of abuse I doubt that I’d be politely apologising either.
    Don’t get me wrong I think the use of the term Brazilian transsexual as a throw-a-way punchline was neither welcome or called for (and speaks volumes of the level, or lack, of understanding of trans issues) but I have always believed it is better to educate than hate and some of the tweets at Suzanne Moore were very much hate.

    1. pandora tramspanther 11 Jan 2013, 5:43pm

      she has a LONG track record, along with hatespeech criminals bindel and brennan, fof writing abusive, divisive and offensive belittling rubbish about transwomen.. maybe if she grew a dick and balls she might get what she wants, to be the man she wants to be seen as.. I hope she will be very happy with her other transphobe friends writing here for pink news.

  9. I think the problem here is that that “throwaway line” was really not. If you read Moore’s past work as well as her article in response to this criticism she clearly has issues with Trans people. Specifically according to her own words people who have gender reassignment surgery as she claims it just reinforces gender stereotypes. (no mention of the fact that many cis people also do this because you know BAD BAD trans women. Let’s slap their hands and make them stand in the corner cause prejudice and transphobia). Add in the fact she equates trans women to drag queens (it’s nowhere near the same thing) and her hateful speech about cutting their dicks off and what you have when you add it all together is a horrible person nobody should be defending. Her comments are part of the system that keep women oppressed and divide women into “real” women and “fake women”. That’s not feminism. That’s oppression.

  10. The original article in which Suzanne Moore made the comment was published in the Guardian Comment is Free section almost two years’ ago back in Feb. 2011:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/19/suzanne-moore-femininity-cosmetic-surgery

    I recall posting a comment on the thread pointing out that this part of her comment seemed transphobic to me but – despite not breaking any of the posting rules – it rather mysteriously got deleted by the Guardian CiF mods. I often wonder if it was Suzanne herself who got it wiped;)

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