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The Sunday Times’ hateful story depicts transgender woman as ‘male-bodied’ monster

Josh Jackman January 14, 2018

(Getty and Twitter)

A horrendous story in The Sunday Times has depicted a transgender woman as a potentially violent monster.

The newspaper is read by the best part of a million people, and the article was featured prominently on The Times’ website this morning.

It features a woman who is described as “a burly transgender patient” and “extremely male-bodied”.

(The Sunday Times)

“Terrified patient treated like ‘transphobic bigot’” screams the headline, which is followed up by the line: “A woman claims a hospital put rights of a male-bodied fellow patient first”.

“Male-bodied” is language often used by Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs) – that is, transphobes who believe that trans women have fewer rights than cisgender women.

The subject of the article, Philippa Molloy, said she was in an NHS psychiatric ward, suffering from bipolar disorder and delusions that made her convinced men were colluding to kill her.

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

“Part of my psychosis was that I was convinced I was being followed by men’s rights activists. It sounds ridiculous, but that was it,” she told The Sunday Times.

“They wanted to kill me, they were going to come after me. And my husband was involved in everything.

“Because of that I was taken and placed in a female-only unit.”

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 25: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights on February 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstrators were angry with President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Getty)

The other patient, who “genuinely, absolutely terrified” her, was presenting as female, she said, but her mental illness made her think that she was in on the plot.

She does not allege that the patient did anything harmful, but does mention that “they used to wander around in their dressing gown, not a particularly long dressing gown, all the time.”

She also accuses the trans woman of putting other patients “at risk,” according to the piece’s author, Nicholas Hellen.

Molloy said that the trans patient being allowed to stay in the section which matched her gender identity was damaging to her own rights.

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 03: Demonstrators protest for transgender rights with a rally, march through the Loop and a candlelight vigil to remember transgender friends lost to murder and suicide on March 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The demonstration was sparked by President Donald Trumps recent decision to reverse the Obama-era policy requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“The rights of that trans person to feel safe were put above the rights of me to feel safe as a natal woman,” she told the newspaper.

“Hang on a moment: the rights of someone born male being in front of someone born female — where have you heard that one before?”

This argument is often put forward by right-wing transphobes in the US who attempt to stop trans people using the bathroom which corresponds to their gender.

Protesters gather in front of the White House on July 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. Trump announced on July 26 that transgender people may not serve "in any capacity" in the US military, citing the "tremendous medical costs and disruption" their presence would cause. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Just this week, a Wisconsin school district was ordered to pay out $800,000 after a student sued his school for banning him from using the boys’ bathroom.

And of course, whether a patient is a “natal woman” – also known as a cis woman – or a trans woman, they are still female.

Social affairs editor Nicholas Hellen, who used to be the paper’s news editor, has written scaremongering, transphobic articles like this before.

Wisconsin student Ash Whitaker (Transgender Law Centre)

Just two weeks ago, he published a story called: “The female NHS nurse I asked for came with stubble”.

And in October, Hellen wrote a sympathetic piece entitled: “A Christian printer has refused to produce the business cards of a transgender diversity consultant”.

The obvious fear is that with each article, transphobia becomes more acceptable in British society.

(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)
(DEREK R. HENKLE/AFP/Getty Images)

Comments from readers verge between transphobia and horror at Hellen’s transphobia.

The transphobic comments are chilling.

One, called Neil Fletcher, wrote: “Call me old fashioned, but personally I believe that until you’ve had your dangly bits removed – you are a bloke.

“The idea that you would be placed in a female ward because you’ve decided you want to be identified as a woman is, quite frankly ridiculous.

(The Sunday Times/neil fletcher)

“I am not in any way bigoted or homophobic,” he clarifies, adding nevertheless that “surely biology trumps how you feel?”

Another writes: “Isn’t it about time the dumb asses in our public sector and institutions stopped pretending that a transvestite is a transsexual? If it has a penis it’s male.”

(The Sunday Times)

That isn’t true, and transphobes’ obsession with genitalia is well-documented and harmful.

Just look at Piers Morgan’s ridiculous interview with Caitlyn Jenner.

Another transphobe writes: “Just because I feel like a Labrador doesn’t mean I am one.”

(The sunday times/thecaveartist)

On a similar theme, one reader writes: “How ridiculous.

“So if another patient self-identified as a crocodile would they be put into a zoo in the enclosure with other reptiles?”

(The sunday times/mike tc)

See how transgender people are being compared to animals.

This is quite literally inhumane.

More: Burnley, gender, Health, Media, national health service, newspapers, NHS, The Sunday Times, the times, Trans, Transgender, transphobia, UK

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