Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore refuses to apologise after accusations of transphobia
Journalist Suzanne Moore has taken to Twitter, and now written a second piece defending a previous article in which she said the perceived ideal body for a woman was that of a “transsexual”.
The British journalist came under fire 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 says:
“[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.”
Now the Guardian has published a piece called, I don’t care if you were born a woman or became one, by Ms Moore during which she defends her use of the word “transsexual”. She writes on her personal relationships with trans people:
“Some of the gutsiest people I met were the transsexuals who worked in a club called Boys will be Girls in New Orleans. I was a waitress and I served them breakfast at 5am and they were so kind to me. Many had had botched surgery in Morocco and their lives were more than difficult.”
She discusses her study of Queer Theory, her perception of gender construct, and her personal bisexual experiences. She continues:
“Others I knew had sex changes. Or transitioning, as it is now called. Mostly this seemed to be an obsession with secondary sexual characteristics: peeing sitting down if they had been a man, wearing horrible lumberjack shirts and refusing to wash up if they had been a woman.
“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.”
After the New Statesman piece was published, she came under criticism from Twitter users, many of who said they enjoyed her piece, but that they thought her use of the word “transsexual” was unnecessary.
During a heated exchange with twitter user @jonanamary, Ms Moore defended her use of the word, and said that she found her critics’ insistance on a need for ‘intersectionality problematic. She said:
“I don’t prioritise this fucking lopping bits off your body over all else that is happening to women.”
@jonanamary replied: “you used a trans woman’s body as a punchline then tweeted vile shit about mutilation.” Ms Moore goes on to say:
“!) People can just fuck off really. Cut their dicks off and be more feminist than me. Good for them.”
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She went on to say, “I use the word transsexual. I use lots of ‘offensive’ words. If you want to be offended it [‘s] your prerogative.”
Yesterday she tweeted: “I am not going to apologise. Get it?,” and said in response to two more Twitter critics, “read my essay. It is NOT about trans anything. Are you utterly thick? Dont bother answering that.”
In the article for the Guardian, she did say she was not “transphobic”, but that her original article was meant to be about “female anger”, rather than trans issues. She also expanded on her problem with some peoples’ use of the word “intersectionality”.
Her article concludes: “Other people’s genital arrangements are less interesting to me than the breakdown of the social contract. I am asking for anger and for alliances. Less divide and rule. So call me a freak.”
“To be told that I hate transgender people feels a little … irrelevant. Other people’s genital arrangements are less interesting to me than the breakdown of the social contract. I am asking for anger and for alliances. Less divide and rule. So call me a freak.”
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?”