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Julie Burchill’s anti-trans ‘dicks in chicks’ clothing’ article sparks outrage

Observer columnist has defended Suzanne Moore by calling transgender people a 'bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs'

Julie Burchill’s anti-trans ‘dicks in chicks’ clothing’ article sparks outrage

Outspoken columnist Julie Burchill has sparked outrage after her anti-trans article was published in The Observer today (13 January).

The 53-year-old self-described ‘militant feminist’ began by defending fellow columnist and friend Suzanne Moore for saying women should not have the body ideal of a ‘Brazilian transsexual’.

She then said how indignant she was that a woman like her was driven from Twitter by a ‘bunch of dicks in chicks’ clothing’.

Burchill said: ‘[We] 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.’

The columnist described how the ‘trans lobby’ reminded her of inner-city kids who kill others for not showing them enough respect.

‘But they’d rather argue over semantics,’ she said. ‘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.’

She added: ‘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.’

Gay journalist Patrick Strudwick said he was ‘equally stunned, horrified and depressed’ by the piece appearing in a left-leaning paper like the Observer, and the Equality Network said it was ‘hugely unpleasant and deeply disingenuous’.

Speaking to Gay Star News, trans advocate Jane Fae said as an activist who is strong and has a support network, the article reduced her to tears.

‘The trans community has become very much more self-aware and it has realized it is subject to an incredible amount of shit,’ she said.

She urged Burchill to consider young and vulnerable trans people, and what they will think when they read her words.

Fae said: ‘As a feminist Julie needs to be compassionate, and needs to understand the effect of her words on people.

‘It is thinking about the sheer hell you’re putting them through, and I just want to say, please Burchill, think about what you’re saying.’

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger distanced himself from the article, saying on Twitter he had nothing to do with it being published.

Observer editor John Mulholland could not be reached for comment.


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