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Feminist Journalist Slams Trans Women As “Bed-Wetters In Bad Wigs”

Julie-BurchillWell, apparently it was International Transgender Day of Ridicule all weekend.

In defending her colleague, Suzanne Moore, over a controversial remark about trans people, The Observer‘s Julie Burchill went into a completely inappropriate, hate-fueled rant against the transgender community and tried to dress it up as feminism, leading many to call for the scribe’s firing.

Moore, in an essay about female anger, claimed that 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.”

As trans writer Roz Kavney points out in a response to the Moore-Burchill controversy, Moore’s comments were offensive for inferring that “Brazilian trans women are somehow not women. But far more important is the fact well over a hundred Brazilian trans women were murdered in the last year alone.”

The ensuing backlash led Moore to deactivate her Twitter with a hertfelt goodbye: “People can just fuck off really. Cut their dicks off and be more feminist than me. Good for them.”

An incensed Burchill then took to The Observer on Friday to tell transsexuals to “cut it out.” “It” being the transgender community’s fight for recognition and equality:

But they’d rather argue over semantics. To be fair, after having one’s nuts taken off (see what I did there?) by endless decades in academia, it’s all most of them are fit to do.

Burchill used a number of offensive terms — legitimizing the currency of hate speech, as Kaveney wonderfully phrases it — to refer to the trans community in her disgusting diatribe, including “a bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing”; “screaming mimis”; “trannies”; “shims”; and “shemales.”

She defended her blatant bigotry, claiming she and fellow feminist Julie Bindel have had a lifetime of struggle in the face of misogyny and gender disparity:

She, the other JB and I, are part of the minority of women of working-class origin to make it in what used to be called Fleet Street and I think this partly contributes to the stand-off with the trannies. (I know that’s a wrong word, but having recently discovered that their lot describe born women as ‘Cis’ – sounds like syph, cyst, cistern; all nasty stuff – they’re lucky I’m not calling them shemales. Or shims.) We know that everything we have we got for ourselves. We have no family money, no safety net. And we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs.

Of course, if Burchill had taken her head out of her ass for one second and done a modicum of research, she would have found that cis refers to cisgender, “where an individual’s self-perception of their gender matches their sex.”

For Burchill, the entire argument seems to boil down to a competition about what it means to be a woman and who has suffered more, completely ignoring the similarities between the fight for women’s rights and that for transgender rights:

To have your cock cut off and then plead special privileges as women – above natural-born women, who don’t know the meaning of suffering, apparently – is a bit like the old definition of chutzpah: the boy who killed his parents and then asked the jury for clemency on the grounds he was an orphan.

Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days – don’t threaten or bully us lowly natural-born women, I warn you. We may not have as many lovely big swinging Phds as you, but we’ve experienced a lifetime of PMT and sexual harassment and many of us are now staring HRT and the menopause straight in the face – and still not flinching. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet. You really won’t like us when we’re angry.

We don’t like you now. And neither does Lynne Featherstone, the international development minister, who is calling for The Observer to sack both Burchill and the paper’s editor, John Mulholland, for publishing her “bigoted vomit.” Alan Rusbridger, Editor-in-Chief of the the Guardian newspapers, including The Observer, has heavily distanced himself from the article while The Observer‘s reader’s editor, Stephen Pritchard, will hold an inquiry into the matter:

“As you might imagine, I have received many emails protesting about this piece this morning. Thank you to those who have written. I will be looking at this issue and will be replying to all in due course.”

An online poll by The Independent found 90% of readers deemed Burchill’s article offensive. The other 10% probably just couldn’t believe a reputable news source actually saw fit to print this kind of shit.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Jan 14, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 13 Comments
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      She is not saying anything that has not been said by other “feminists” since the 70′s.

      Even if offensive…the ‘backstory’ is this.

      Young people who transition early often simply seek to blend in to heterosexual society and can do so very easily if they are pretty or can pass.

      Older people who transition in mid life…and here is the feminists point…those born male have had decades of socialization as male and in transitioning to female still hold onto their male privilege. Rather than work from within or network (“female tactic”) older trans women may show up and demand a seat at the table (“male tactic”).

      Jan 14, 2013 at 10:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      This pig doesn’t deserve the name feminist. Please be aware she (especially with her disgusting language) does not represent all or even a majority of feminists. Firing would be too good for her.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      “Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days – don’t threaten or bully us lowly natural-born women, I warn you.”

      Threatening behaviour, she seems content to issue threatsa to vulnerable people in society, lets see how she likes her information made fully public for anyone to have a word with her.

      I’ll be back momentarily.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      Threatening behaviour, she seems content to issue threats to vulnerable people in society, lets see how she likes her information made fully public for anyone to have a word with her.

      I’ll be back momentarily.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      She’s a Guardian journalist, meaning she is in the same country as me, I’ll leave it for a few friends to do instead, don’t like the idea of being done for actual libel.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wh1t
      Wh1t

      @QJ201:

      A) Don’t try to excuse her actions.

      B) “Young people who transition early often simply seek to blend in to heterosexual society and can do so very easily if they are pretty or can pass. Older people who transition in mid life…and here is the feminists point…those born male have had decades of socialization as male and in transitioning to female still hold onto their male privilege.”

      o First off, don’t imply that all trans* people are heterosexual (“heterosexual society”). Secondly, what you meant to probably say was “cisgender society.” Thirdly, what constitutes “young” versus “older”? Fourthly, MAAB (male assigned at birth) trans* people regardless of what age they transition at have had male privilege and have been socialized with that male privilege. Fifthly, how does a female have male privilege (looking at females as a whole [u.e. not looking at females who pass as males {but are not trans}, butch females who get an extension of male privilege, etc...])?

      C) “Rather than work from within or network (“female tactic”) older trans women may show up and demand a seat at the table (“male tactic”).”

      o Why is it that when a person who was MAAB commits an action, it’s considered an extension of their male privilege they once had; but when a person who is FAAB commits the same action, it’s considered an empowering action?

      Jan 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tracy
      Tracy

      What? Grauniad feminists are not as enlightened as they are presumed to be? This is a total surprise for me!

      Jan 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • vklortho
      vklortho

      @Wh1t: Heterosexual was probably not the best way to describe it, but for the most part I think QJ201 has a good point. I also didn’t necessarily get the feeling that QJ201 was trying to excuse her actions(especially since they used the word feminist in quotation marks when referring to badfems). I personally think Julie Burchill was out of line in her article. Anyone wanting to have a serious discussion on the issue wouldn’t be throwing around the words “shim” and “shemale”.

      Socialization is a life long process and while trans women do grow up for the most part having male socialization of some form or another, after they transition and assuming they blend in/pass they start to get female socialization from then on. This is overall much easier to do for younger transitioners since they have less time being socialized as male and significantly less time being socialized as an adult male. When you combine it with younger trans womens’ often times greater ability to pass then they often have less time between the start of transition and the start of female socialization. The line between older transitioner and younger transitioner is blurry and may not exclusively come down to a specific number, but there are a lot of recurring themes among the two different groups of trans women that seem to align with what QJ201 is saying.

      I agree with your point about MAABs vs FAABs being judged differently for the same or similar actions. It happens and is incredibly crappy.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJCMMNSNSE
      TJCMMNSNSE

      @Alexa: She does’nt because she is’nt a feminist. Just some slag looking for a group to blame for not achieving what she thinks she’s entitled to.

      Jan 15, 2013 at 12:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GeriHew
      GeriHew

      Lol. Trust her.

      Julie Burchill is an openly bisexual woman who would never describe herself as bisexual and doesn’t think twice about making biphobic statements. She doesn’t give a shit who she offends. So it’s utterly pointless taking anything she says or writes seriously.

      I enjoyed Sugar Rush though.

      Jan 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aidan8
      Aidan8

      Wow, her rant is disgusting but the editor really blew it. As editor, he should have never printed it.

      Jan 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OD-100
      OD-100

      @QJ201:
      “Rather than work from within or network (“female tactic”) older trans women may show up and demand a seat at the table (“male tactic”).”

      You call THIS “work from withing the network”? Have you ever research what “Female Hypoagency” even is?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBgcjtE0xrE

      Lets see it in action. Lets see how women “work from withing the network” by NOT demanding a seat at the table, and CLEARLY working hard to be at the top without cheap tactics:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33yEDfU8B9k

      Seriously, where do you even GET these unfounded ideas? do you even have a scientific basis?

      Feb 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • OD-100
      OD-100

      @TJCMMNSNSE:
      See my response to Alexa

      @GeriHew:
      You too.

      Feb 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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