The Sunday Times retracts controversial anti-Semitic article but refuses to remove transphobic article

Meka Beresford July 30, 2017
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The Sunday Times has failed to remove a second transphobic article after it retracted a sexist and anti-Semitic piece that was published at the same time.

The paper opted to remove just one of two controversial articles published today following backlash on Twitter.

Kevin Myers in the Sunday Times
Kevin Myers in the Sunday Times

The paper had published an article by Kevin Myers which claimed that female presenters at the BBC had to “earn” equal pay.

Myers wrote about Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz in the piece.

He wrote: “Jews are generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with all-hands stupidity.

“I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their value in the marketplace.”

The comment article was understandably met with aghast because of the sexist and anti-Semitic tones.

It has since been removed by The Sunday Times, but the paper has failed to remove a second controversial article which is transphobic and was published

In the transphobic comment, Jenny McCartney writes about gender identity, disregards non-binary people and calls Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening’s review of the Gender Recognition Act “madness”.

She writes: “Your gender is now legally located within the mind, and you are the sole arbiter of how strongly you feel. Theoretically, you could remain in possession of a beard, a basso profondo and a fully working penis while vigorously demanding to be regarded legally as a woman.”

McCartney then goes on to say that if people are allowed to self-identify their gender, then they should be able to self-identify their race as Rachel Dolezal is trying to do.

“If identity is a moveable feast that exists purely in self-perception, why is society receptive to those who wish to travel between genders, but not races?”

Kevin Myers article removed
Kevin Myers article has been removed following backlash

In the transphobic piece, McCartney adds that sexual biology is not “irrelevant” and that “it would be naive to assume that everyone will “self-define” with the purest of intentions, nor is it prejudiced to raise concerns with regard to biological men in all-female areas such as changing rooms.”

She finished the article attempting to make a point that trans people are controversial and that the review of the Gender Recognition Act is not a good thing.

McCartney’s statements back TERF theories and are dangerous, specifically to trans women who face unprecedented violence across the world.

Her denial of gender identity also has consequences as trans people face disproportionately high mental health issues and suicide rates – something that will not be helped by the publishing of articles which deny trans existence.

And yet, the Sunday Times has failed to remove the transphobic piece in spite of trying to savour itself from appearing to be a platform for far-right voices.

Why is it that transphobia is still accepted? And why is it that a national paper failed to see the issues with McCartney’s piece when they quickly realised the errors they made in publishing Myers?

Related topics: anti-Semitic, LGBT, The Sunday Times, transphobia

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