How transphobic is the Guardian newspaper?

Some astonishing news emerged last week about the newspaper referred to in some feminist circles as the “Trans Times” but which is better known as the Guardian. It turns out that, far from being a paper that panders to transgender ideology and ignores feminist concerns about it, the Guardian is actually “an incredibly transphobic organisation” that is harming trans people.

At least, that’s what a former employee of the paper claimed to Buzzfeed LGBT editor, Patrick Strudwick.

I’ve said before that I don’t think Strudwick is the best journalist in the world but his recent piece entitled, The Guardian Newspaper Has Lost Two Trans Employees Over Its Reporting On Trans Issues, helpfully brings us another example of what I described in a previous post as the “sheer dishonesty as well as the cultish thinking of trans activists”.

The ex-employee – who is transgender and referred to as “Victoria” – claims that the Guardian is both transphobic in its reporting and guilty of “allowing a bitter schism to develop between pro- and anti-trans journalists”.

Strudwick writes:

Many at the paper who share her concerns told BuzzFeed News that the internal divisions over trans rights have resulted in face-to-face rows in the office, a widening rift between the UK and US offices (which is largely populated by pro-trans writers), and moves against staff who protest against transphobia.

Good grief! I’d been imagining a staff team consisting entirely of smug, bearded woke bros and handmaidens basking in the warmth of being on what the delusional Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, calls the “right side of history”. But it seems that only the US office of the Guardian looks like that and at least some Guardian journalists on this side of the pond care about women. Who knew?

Personally, I don’t believe any of the wet liberals who work on the Guardian are ‘anti-trans’. I think Victoria is exercising typical disingenuousness in using the phrase ‘anti-trans’ to describe those former colleagues who are likely to be mindful – as they should be – of the negative impact on the lives of women and children that trans ideology is already having and which is likely to get worse as more and more men self-identify as women and more young girls go on cross-sex hormones and have double mastectomies they later regret.

 

Allegations of transphobia:

Victoria claims to have been on the receiving end of transphobic remarks by colleagues but none are specified. What we are told instead is that one colleague began, “citing trans women in sports as a reason to attack trans rights.”

Yeah, right. What ‘trans rights’ could she have possibly been attacking?

The right to cheat girls out of college scholarships? The right to cheat women from tiny developing countries out of medals? The right to break a woman’s skull?

We are not told but I’m willing to bet that colleague of Victoria wasn’t attacking the right of trans people to have the same basic human rights as the rest of us and which do not include the right to compete in sports events of the other sex.

More from Strudwick:

Another colleague, she said, “poked fun” at her, asked if she was trans, and told her, “If you went to prison, I’m not sure which prison you should go to.”

It’s not nice to poke fun at one’s colleagues but, as we are not told what the colleague actually said, I’m inclined to take this one with a pinch of salt as well. I think that if the colleague had said something transphobic, something it would be reasonable for Victoria to get offended at, it would have been quoted word for word in the article. That would be the way to make Victoria’s claim believable to those of us whose experience of trans campaigners has made us cynical.

“I’m not sure which prison you should go to,” can only offend Victoria because it is effectively an admission that the colleague doesn’t see Victoria as a woman. As Victoria isn’t a woman, it is unreasonable to be offended by that view. Many of us are offended by Orwellian demands that we pretend to believe in falsehoods and our resistance to them may well offend Victoria but they hardly justify incredibly hyperbolic statements like:

I’m entering this building with people who are denying my humanity.

This, we are told, was what Victoria was thinking the day after the publication of what Strudwick claims “became a notorious editorial”, in October 2018, entitled: The Guardian view on the Gender Recognition Act: where rights collide

For crying out loud! How is anyone denying Victoria’s humanity? ‘Humanity’ is the state of being human – not the status of being transgender.

 

The “notorious” editorial

Strudwick writes:

The paper set out its official position on trans rights — which, it said, “collide” with women’s rights and put women at risk. This was despite LGBT organisations and many prominent feminists and women’s groups asserting the opposite.

(I wish to goodness Strudwick would learn to provide sources to back up his claims but I guess the typical Buzzfeed readership doesn’t require them.)

In any event, the editorial doesn’t say that trans rights “put women’s rights at risk”.

The article states clearly that the Guardian supports trans equality and reform of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. It is extremely sympathetic to trans campaigners but it also affirms the obvious:

Transphobia must be opposed. But misogyny too must be challenged. Gender identity does not cancel out sex. Women’s oppression by men has a physical basis, and to deny the relevance of biology when considering sexual inequality is a mistake. The struggle for women’s empowerment is ongoing. Reproductive freedoms are under threat and the #MeToo campaign faces a backlash. Women’s concerns about sharing dormitories or changing rooms with “male-bodied” people must be taken seriously. These are not just questions of safety but of dignity and fairness.

Women’s concerns about our safety, dignity and being treated fairly are ‘transphobic’ then. Our thanks are due to Victoria (and Strudwick) for being so open about this and confirming how misogynistic the ideology they promote is.

What really beggars belief is that Victoria blames this editorial for the (alleged) behaviour of her colleagues, which I mentioned earlier: “poking fun”, using sports to “attack trans rights”, not being sure which prison a hypothetically criminal Victoria should go to…

“It allowed me to see firsthand the damage this type of piece causes,” said Victoria.

Yes, that’s the trouble with articles that strive to be balanced, truthful and evidence-based. They tend to be persuasive and to encourage people to be confident in their rational beliefs – and that is something those who disagree with trans ideology must not be!

Victoria, we are told, bottled out of the daily morning conference, which would have been an opportunity to complain about the editorial, out of fear of a hostile reception. Welcome to our world, Victoria. I recall having exactly the same fears in the workplace in the 1970s/80s but, in spite of the horrendous sexist mockery I endured from male colleagues, I didn’t bottle out. And, unlike you, I am willing and still able to quote examples word for word.

But at least you have the journalists on the Guardian US on your side. See the piece they wrote about that editorial you don’t like?

Why we take issue with the Guardian’s stance on trans rights in the UK

What a shame these Americans display the same dishonesty and the same disregard for women as Victoria and Strudwick do. Let’s take a look.

The editorial used a UK legal debate about IDs to argue that trans rights “collide” with cis women’s rights; that equality for trans women “could adversely affect other women”; and that allowing trans women to access public spaces threatens cis women’s “safety”. These arguments were met with particular dismay in the US as they echo the position of anti-trans legislators who have pushed overtly transphobic bathroom bills.

*Sigh*

The editorial doesn’t “argue” that equality for trans women “could adversely affect other women”. It doesn’t even say that access to public spaces threatens women’s safety. What it says is women’s concerns must be taken seriously and that,

While campaigners for trans rights are entitled to push for laws that they believe advance equality, feminists are entitled to question whether such changes could adversely affect other women.

There is growing evidence of women being hurt by allowing men to self-ID and access women’s spaces, sports and shortlists, thereby fuelling a rising backlash by feminists and allies. All the Guardian does in that editorial is pay lip-service to us. The American journalists – being firmly on the side of male entitlement – would have us ignored altogether. But rather than engage with the apparently controversial and offensive notion that feminists are entitled to question things, they go along with the ‘trans people are victims narrative’ and the only counter-argument they offer is the fallacious one that the editorial “echoes the position of “anti-trans legislators” pushing bathroom bills.

When are people going to learn that just claiming something is anti-trans isn’t enough – not when women are being displaced, erased, traumatised and injured by men who claim to be women?

Sorry, American Guardian journalists, but as long as men who claim to be women use their transgender status to access sex-segregated spaces to abuse women and children, then you’re on a hiding to nothing. Be very ashamed of coming down on the side of the predatory man – oh, sorry, I mean “woman” – rather than his 10-year-old victim in this story because stories like this are the inevitable consequence of the ideology you are supporting.

Whatever you do, don’t click on the crime page of this site because you won’t like it and it might alert you to how disgusting is your denial of the pain some trans people have caused. And, yes, they may only be a tiny minority but they still exist as does the trauma of their victims (or victims’ loved ones in the homicide cases).

 

Unbalanced reporting

Without a trace of irony, Victoria accuses the paper of reporting stories about trans people in a way that is “not balanced or objective”.

 “Cherry-picking” of stories is done in such a way as to further stigmatise trans people: If a trans person does something wrong, it is seized upon, just as tabloids pounce on the tiny minority of asylum-seekers who transgress.

Again, welcome to our world, Victoria. Have you never noticed how criminal activity by women is covered by the press? According to research published five years ago in the UK,

Although most of the crimes are usually committed by males (89% male compared with 11% female), while females make up about half of violent crime victims, female offenders receive an increased coverage in the newspapers. Studies showed that one-third of violent crime stories in the newspapers were about female offenders (Marsh & Melville, 2009). According to Naylor, (2001) a proportion of stories about female offenders in newspapers were higher than in official criminal statistics. For example, in 2001, Naylor found that 21 per cent of all newspaper articles about violent offences constituted female offenders. However, official statistics demonstrated that only 14.5 per cent of females were convicted of violent offences (Naylor, 2001; Office for National Statistics, 2013). A majority of criminologists argued that increased representation of female offenders within newspapers was more newsworthy. Female offences were selected because they were considered more novel or dramatic and were more likely to capture the audience’s imagination.

(My emphasis).

Of course newspapers are going to cover crimes by men presenting as women – especially when the crime is far more typical of crimes committed by men, that is to say, crimes that are violent and/or sexual. Can you imagine how it feels, as a woman, to see reports of violent rapists and sex murderers referred to as ‘she’?

Obviously not.

In the worst cases, newspapers don’t even mention that the offenders are transgender, so we read about a “woman” raping a man, a group of “women” viciously stamping on a helpless teenager, a “woman” attacking people with a hammer, or a “woman” who posed as a teenage girl to entice young boys to perform sex acts.

But as far as the likes of Victoria and Strudwick are concerned, our feelings just don’t matter.

Trans activist violence

The Guardian was one of the very few British newspapers not to report on the incident that would prove to be a catalyst for change in the campaign for gender self-ID in this country, peaktransing countless people and provoking a massive backlash. That was the assault on me by three trans activists. The sole mention in the Guardian came in the form of a letter signed by 23 high profile feminists a week later, by which time the Guardian‘s, Owen Jones had already retweeted to his 730k+ followers, Joss Prior’s fabricated narrative of my having provoked the attack, getting one of my attackers in a headlock, etc. I don’t know when Jones engaged his brain and deleted the tweet but he did so eventually – possibly after he got round to watching the actual videos instead of Prior’s stills.

Still, better not to report at all than to report like this:

Edinburgh LGBT+ committee resigns in row over speakers at feminist meeting

After the meeting, the campaigner Julie Bindel, who spoke on the panel, was allegedly verbally abused and lunged at by a transgender activist. She said she had been left “shaken”, believing her attacker “would have punched me full in the face” had university security guards not intervened. 

The focus of the article is not on the fact that Julie Bindel – who’s had several articles published in the Guardianwas attacked by a trans activist after speaking at an event at Edinburgh University a couple of months ago but on the fact that that a bunch of people had resigned from a committee.

The attack was witnessed by several people, including the security staff who manage to prevent her attacker from hitting her and Prof. Rosa Freedman who was with her at the time and tweeted about it. Yet, as far as the Guardian was concerned, it was only an “alleged” attack.

When their lad, Owen Jones, was assaulted last week, there was nothing “alleged” about it.

Owen Jones attacked outside London pub

The Guardian columnist and activist Owen Jones has been physically assaulted in London while celebrating his 35th birthday with friends.

The words “karma” and “bitch” spring to mind but, unlike Jones, I deplore and condemn all violence unless in self-defence. That includes throwing milk-shakes over right-wing politicians, punching women filming protests in public places, lunging at high-profile feminists you disagree with and beating up nasty little shits like Owen Jones.

 

In conclusion…

The claims made by Victoria don’t stand up to scrutiny and neither do those made in the Guardian US piece.

Far from being transphobic, the Guardian of today is strongly biased in favour of trans ideology and barely concerns itself with the harm being caused by that ideology, which is why so many of us who’ve been Guardian readers all our lives are disgusted with it and have withdrawn our support from it. Many of us look instead to the Times for articles that actually engage with our concerns, which is why trans activists hate it and are probably gutted at the news announced a few days ago that a legal action for what sounds like a highly implausible case of unfair dismissal and harassment has been lost by a former transgender employee of that paper.

 

 

To receive email notifications of future blogs at Peakers Corner, please subscribe. See top of right-hand column

Published 24.08.19

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *