Julie Burchill, has come to the defence of fellow Guardian writer, Suzanne Moore, who came under fire for accusations of transphobia, writing that trans women “don’t know the meaning of suffering”, and describing them as “bed-wetters in bad wigs.”
Suzanne Moore came under fire last week for a line in an article in the New Statesman titled, Seeing Red: The Power of Female Anger, which was published on 8 January.
In it she wrote: “[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.”
She then defended her use of the phrase “Brazilian transsexual” – which many considered to be offensive – not least because Brazil has an appalling record on transphobic hate crime.
Julie Birchill writes for the Observer that the “trans lobby” would “rather argue over semantics. To be fair, after having one’s nuts taken off (see what I did there?) by endless decades in academia, it’s all most of them are fit to do.”
“She, the other JB and I are part of the minority of women of working-class origin to make it in what used to be called Fleet Street and I think this partly contributes to the stand-off with the trannies. (I know that’s a wrong word, but having recently discovered that their lot describe born women as ‘Cis’ – sounds like syph, cyst, cistern; all nasty stuff – they’re lucky I’m not calling them shemales. Or shims.)”
Writing for the Observer, Julie Burchill said she would not stand for accusations of “being priveleged”, describing the critics of Ms Moore’s use of the word “transsexual” as “a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs”, and “a bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing”.
Discussing the issue raised that it was not Ms Moore’s use of the word “transsexual” in her article, but her refusal to apologise for the offence caused, shockingly Ms Burchill goes on to say that trans women should not claim rights as woman.
She writes: “To have your cock cut off and then plead special privileges as women – above natural-born women, who don’t know the meaning of suffering, apparently – is a bit like the old definition of chutzpah: the boy who killed his parents and then asked the jury for clemency on the grounds he was an orphan.”
The piece concludes: “Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days – don’t threaten or bully us lowly natural-born women, I warn you. We may not have as many lovely big swinging Phds as you, but we’ve experienced a lifetime of PMT and sexual harassment and many of us are now staring HRT and the menopause straight in the face – and still not flinching. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You really won’t like us when we’re angry.”
A poll on the Independent on Sunday’s website is currently showing that 90% of readers think that Julie Bindel went too far in her defence of Ms Moore. One commenter, Catherine Harper said the article was “a divisive, bullying personal ranting, and if a male wrote this about women (or indeed if any other minority group was written about in this way) there would be an outrage.”
Commenters on the Guardian website said that they would be complaining to the Press Complaints Commission over the column and the editor in chief of the Guardian newspapers (that includes the Observer), Alan Rusbridger has heavily distanced himself from the column, placing the blame on Observer editor John Mulholland.
The Equality Network, a Scottish LGBT charity said: We are truly shocked by the unacceptable transphobic comments this week from Suzanne Moore, Julie Bindel and Julie Burchill, of which this is the latest (warning – contents are hugely unpleasant and deeply disingenuous). The Guardian should be ashamed of itself.”
Not the first columnist to jump to Ms Moore’s defense, Guardian columnist Julie Bindel tweeted @PinkNews: “Can those of us who hate bullying PLEASE do something about the trans cabal running a witch hunt everytime they get offended?