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View Diary: A Kerfluffle in Londinium (18 comments)

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  •  How such nauseating garbage (15+ / 0-)

    was published in the first place, the apology notwithstanding.

    The Observer is a paper which prides itself on ventilating difficult debates and airing challenging views.
    That isn't good enough. It is one thing to "ventilate difficult debates", it's quite another to give voice to bigotry and hate under whatever guise the bigot is purportedly writing or speaking. I am sick to the toes of publications and networks giving hate speech credence and calling it balance. When it comes to promoting hate, there is no balance. It is simply promoting hate.
    •  eh (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rserven, Avilyn, cai

      I entirely agree, but I would like to add that there's a commonwealth strain of transphobia (and a commonwealth strain of pro trans activism, too!) that are a bit different than the US variety, I think.  The Guardian is a longtime voice of the moderate left, including second wave feminists who actually did good work for women's rights while carrying the anti-trans torch all the while.  The result is that you will find feminist attacks of great virulence-- sometimes actual attacks(!), but more often shit like this -- on trans folks in the UK, in Australia, and in Canada.  The Vancouver Women's Rape Center/Kimberly Nixon case, not very far from where I grew up, is a good example.  While the editors are surely getting the message now (also, unfortunately, the message that this sells papers), I could easily fill a page of links to stuff like this in commonwealth countries.  I don't know why this sort of thing is more acceptable in that normally much more tolerant context, but it is.  In a wide swath of the UK feminist press, hating on trans folks is good press.  On the other hand, in the UK proper, trans people have actual legal protections that -- shy meeting some brilliant British trans chica with a hot accent and forming a civil partnership -- I will never have.   To me this crap reads differently when it is sour grapes against the backdrop of a historic victory.

      It is also worth noting that in those countries, trans rights has not gone full on genderqueer like here in the US.   We've chosen to have a very inclusive trans rights movement here.  I think this has made the rhetoric more friendly to broad feminist movements, but has arguably diluted the specific appeal of specific legislation intended to cover a few thousand people in need.  As a result of brave and tireless work focused on trans rights -- directly so  -- trans people in Great Britain can have their gender recognized by the UK government and have some civil rights protections which I do not believe will exist in the US in my lifetime (or maybe ever).  It was a stunning victory in 2004, the biggest in my life anywhere in the English speaking world, and the little hairs on my arms stand up just thinking about it.  

      But that context - all of it and more -- are  part and parcel of how something like this tripe ends up in the pages of the Guardian. There's also the deep working class roots of the Guardian, which sometimes I think gives them a desire to seem truculent and "down to earth" in ways that are not always well advised.

      They know they went over the edge this time, but I give 'em a year before another nasty Blindel piece shows up.  To their credit, they employ a lot of pro-trans folks too, and there will be a price.

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 08:42:15 PM PST

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