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Comment: Julie Burchill – the message she is sending to trans people and aspiring writers

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  1. Leeze Lawrence 22 Mar 2013, 7:08pm

    Online support and discussions: .

  2. “Imagine a bitter, middle aged woman on her second bottle of red wine, spewing hatred towards the people she thinks are responsible for her failures” – what a brilliant line, I shall use this…

    1. And not at all discriminatory / prejudiced.

  3. A shameful result. The author of this article makes a sound point that if the hatred had been racially targeted there would undoubtedly have been a different outcome. This verdict, the one jailing a woman for 3 years because she presented herself as a man, whilst only 3 1/2 years for a man who murdered a gay lad all go to show have far we still have to equality.

  4. nodaybuttoday 22 Mar 2013, 9:00pm

    Why the press need an INDEPENDENT complaints commission.

    The head of the PCC is the Editor of the daily mail. Says it all.

    1. The head of complaints is Charlotte Dewar – prior to the PCC, she worked at the Guardian.

      Unless you’re talking about the commission itself – which is made up 15+ people.

      Where did you get the idea that Paul Dacre ran the PCC?!

  5. Clearly the PCC needs to be reformed. A set of rules that only refer to individuals and care nothing about truthfulness makes it a code of conduct that might as well not exist.

  6. Helge Vladimir Tiller 23 Mar 2013, 1:26am

    Message from a citizen of Norway !—Transsexual and transgender people are my very best sisters and brothers. They are the ones who needs me the most. They are the individuals I do wish should be content with their lives, and have an optimistic view on the future. They are the ones I really love !

  7. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Mar 2013, 12:10pm

    Very well written article and right on point. Of course, it will be dismissed by the yellow tabloid rags and not pass for journalism, as if they know anything about what passes for good, factual journalism and accuracy in reporting.

    We definitely need an independent body overseeing standards.

  8. That’s one thing I’ve never understood about The Guardian/Observer… generally left wing, liberal, progressive, yet nearly every time they write about trans issues they seem to turn into The Daily Mail.

  9. The complaint failed because the OCC distinguish between generalised hate speech and discrimination against individuals. We all foresaw that. The question is whetherthe PCC sshould change its code of practice. It’d be a mammoth change, and probably impact on a huge amount of journalism. It’s normal for the media today to spew hatred towards people with disabilities (particularly if they’re on benefits) and sex workers. Personally I’d like to see discrimination law applied to groups as well as individuals, but then I’d also like to see religions made to follow discrimination laws too. In reality, both would be incredibly difficult to implement, and would raise serious freedom of speech/human rights issues.

    1. Sorry about the typos, by the way – my tablet keyboard has gone barmy.

    2. In Australia we have laws against ‘inciting hatred’ against minorities which covers this. The article would not just be against a code, but against the law. I love this law.

      We’ve got a long way to go in a lot of ways, and our opponents are getting sneakier (claiming *they* are being discriminated against by these laws – que?), but I agree their should be some kind of journalistic code regarding inciting hatred against groups as well as individuals. As we’ve recently seen in France it is individuals that pay for the inciting of hatred against groups.

  10. Albert-in-PDX 23 Mar 2013, 3:37pm

    This is one of the best written articles I have ever read. Thank you Ms. Karakas for stepping up to the plate. Thank you for this defense of innocent people whose only fault is to be occupying the body they were born for.

  11. Isn’t it sad that we’re even having this discussion? Sad that sad, middle-aged women like Burchill have to earn their living by writing sh*te like this? Sad that we, as a society, go out and BUY the rag in which it’s printed? One can only hope the younger generations will simply ignore the nasty, vitriolic harridens who pose of ‘serious journalists’ and will increasingly get their news from other sources than print. I hope so. Burchill does not deserve the handsome living she has from spewing forth bile which upsets people for no good reason.

  12. What a great article….many thanks x

  13. Thought this was a great article. I just want to pick at Karakas’ description of her tone: “imagine a bitter, middle aged woman on her second bottle of red wine.” This is playing off some sexist tropes in our culture – the barren, spiteful, irrational, middle aged woman. It also seems to have generated more comments of that nature in this discussion. Burchill is a hateful, terrible person, but attacking transphobia with sexism doesn’t just hurt her. None of this is anywhere close to as bad as the things Burchill said, but it’s an unnecessarily gendered and sexist line in an otherwise wonderful piece – just made me a little sad.

    1. Vienna Karakas 24 Mar 2013, 8:27pm

      Lnk. Acknowledged. And it’s a good point, thank you.

  14. Unfortunately, from personal experience, race targeting doesn’t mean a different outcome from the PCC either. They are an organisation that needs to be torn down and replaced.

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