‘I don’t care if you were born a woman or became one,’ says Guardian columnist

Columnist with the UK's Guardian's newspaper defends herself against accusations of transphobia that caused an angry Twitter storm yesterday

‘I don’t care if you were born a woman or became one,’ says Guardian columnist
10 January 2013

A columnist with the UK’s Guardian newspaper has defended herself against accusations of transphobia.

This week an article was published in the New Statesman about women and anger by Suzanne Moore which said:

‘The cliché is that female anger is always turned inwards rather than outwards into despair. We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.’

Appropriately given the subject, the article unleashed female anger – both from trans women and Moore’s own in a outspoken Twitter storm.

For example, LGBT.co.uk said in a blog post on the subject:

‘The "Brazilian transsexual" stereotype was available to Suzanne Moore because of trans women from Brazil seeking refuge from violence and murder: meeting discrimination in Europe, but less often being simply killed.’

In response to other tweets about the high murder rate of Brazilian transsexuals Moore said:

‘Was I writing about this? No! So why dont you fuck off to Brazil and help these people and leave me the fuck alone.’

In another blog post, journalist Kaite Welsh said:

‘Moore is doing the exact same thing as [David] Cameron – from her position of privilege, telling us what is and isn’t worth getting pissed off about.’

In today’s Guardian Moore defends herself saying she was friends with transsexuals when she worked as a waitress in a club in New Orleans and studied queer studies at college, where she found ‘some trans people appeared to reinforce every gender stereotype going’.

Moore said she doesn’t like the word transphobia because she doesn’t think ‘it adds to our understanding of the complex webs of hatred it invokes, but instead closes down discussion’.

‘When I say "women", I don’t much care if you were born or became one,’ said Moore. ‘I am with RuPaul: "Honey, we are born naked, the rest is drag." What I do care about is something that is deeply old-fashioned: solidarity.’

Moore brings back the argument to the political situation in Britain: ‘In Iceland, they put bankers in prison for fraud. Here, we give them knighthoods. So to be told that I hate transgender people feels a little … irrelevant. Other people’s genital arrangements are less interesting to me than the breakdown of the social contract. I am asking for anger and for alliances. Less divide and rule.’ 

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