‘Hate speech has no place in a national newspaper,’ says Trans Media Watch

Trans Media Watch responds to 'bullying' Julie Burchill column published in the UK's Observer newspaper

‘Hate speech has no place in a national newspaper,’ says Trans Media Watch
13 January 2013

Trans Media Watch, the charity who speak-out for fair representation of transgender and intersex people in the media, has responded to a column by controversial British journalist Julie Burchill in yesterday’s Observer newspaper.

In defense of her friend fellow feminist journalist Suzanne Moore, who prompted criticism from the trans community last week for a reference to ‘Brazilian transsexuals’, Burchill wrote a column littered with trans-slurs.

Burchill described the people who criticized Moore on Twitter as a ‘bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing’ and called them ‘trannies’, ‘shims’ and ‘shemales’.

‘We are saddened to see a former campaigner for social justice reduced to this kind of name calling, and still more saddened that the Observer would publish it,’ said Trans Media Watch chair Jennie Kermode.

‘It should have been quite possible for Julie Burchill to make her point in defense of Suzanne Moore without resorting to such tactics. Her article purports to challenge bullying but bullying is exactly what it is doing. Hate speech like this has no place in a national newspaper.’

Trans rights activist Roz Kaveney also accused Burchill of bullying in a comment piece on the Guardian website

‘The basic point behind everything she says is that trans people lead essentially inauthentic existences and that hers, as a working-class novelist with a taste for lobster and champagne, is real life,’ said Kaveney.

‘Once you decide that some people’s lives are not real, it becomes OK to abuse them; for people without the outlet of writing for a national newspaper, it becomes OK to shout things in the street, or worse.’  

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