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to think Julie Burchill went too far in this article?

(1000 Posts)
kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 16:42:26

It all started with an article by Suzanne Moore in which she mentioned Brazillian transsexuals - as a throwaway comment.This got picked on by some vocal memebers of the trans community and led to a Twitter storm. Suzanne Moore then left Twitter.

So Julie Burchill then waded in to defend her friend and launch the kind of attack on transsexuals that you wouldn't even find in the Daily Mail.

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/13/julie-burchill-suzanne-moore-transsexuals

There's no way the paper would publish such an attack on other minority groups but transsexuals are ok?

Smudging Sun 13-Jan-13 17:53:58

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Narked Sun 13-Jan-13 17:55:15

Yes. Women are just a persecuted majority.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 17:55:25

" in her usual confrontational antagonistic manner"

That's one way of putting it - what do you think of the language she used?

smudging - yes, and I think she did the apology well. It made it clear what her point was without getting further into barneying.

Smudging Sun 13-Jan-13 17:56:08

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Smudging Sun 13-Jan-13 17:56:57

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JustAHolyFool Sun 13-Jan-13 17:57:25

Julie Burchill will always write over-the-top hysterical baiting shite. It's how she makes her money. If she started writing measured thoughtful pieces, she wouldn't have a job any more.

smudge - her second article. It's linked to upthread.

Narked Sun 13-Jan-13 17:58:58

I think she sat down and tried to come up with the most 'off-hand', provocative insults she could. I wouldn't be surprised to find her google search history included 'top 10 most offensive things to say to a transgender person.' Like a child who's discovered swearing and wants to try and fit all the bad words they know into one insult.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up, narked.

Darkesteyes Sun 13-Jan-13 17:59:36

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ThisisaeuphemismSun 13-Jan-13 17:20:25

I don't think it's a strange example. She might have said,body of a Israeli supermodel, legs of a lady boy, breasts of a... Run out of examples - it was a succinct way of saying fantastic looks unobtainable to most women...

euphemism i totally agree. I think this was what Suzanne was trying to say too. i did tweet her telling her about the time i worked in a sex chatline office and how much it changed me during my 20s into my 30s. And how it helped me understand diversity in sexuality and changed me for the better. If she saw my tweet i hope she realises it was meant in support. It was in response to the time she talked about hanging around with trans people when she was abroad. The article mentioned how some of them had had botched surgery in Morocco. sad Havent read the Burchill article. i will take a look.

Smudging Sun 13-Jan-13 18:03:49

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nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 18:05:47

Nobody does it like Burchill. I luff her. Seriously, to complain that Julie Burchill was offensive about a group of people is very very odd. Gloriously acidic offensive prose is what she does best. She is a bare knuckle fighter with a pen of steel. Love her.

Narked Sun 13-Jan-13 18:09:35

She actually had some valid points in there under the poking people with a pointy stick comments. I do think that it's gotten to the stage where a minority of transgender activists are responding to the any perceived slight with all out war. And the people they're attacking are often on the same side - feminists who welcome them as equals.

hackmum Sun 13-Jan-13 18:11:22

Julie Burchill isn't really known for understating her case, is she? I've been reading articles by her for over 30 years and I've never thought "Well, that was a reasonable, fair-minded summary of the arguments."

She gets work partly because she's a professional controversialist - but then so are lots of people. She also has a gift for the telling jibe, the cutting barb, that far fewer people possess.

I notice in this piece she uses one of her favourite attack methods - I'm working class, and you aren't, so there! Bless.

Lastofthepodpeople Sun 13-Jan-13 18:12:11

Suzanne Moore was thoughtless but it was blown out of proportion on Twitter. Burchill on the other hand seemed to be trying to be as nasty to the trans community as she could be. Her comments were incredibly offensive. I'm surprised it got past the editor.

That's true, narked.

I think some of it is to do with the chinese-whispers effect of the net. I know people who are passionate about LGBT issues (which I think is a good thing), but who tend to have heard paraphrases of arguments rather than the arguments themselves. So you get people who simply state that so-and-so is transphobic, as if this is the last word in a debate.

And very often it is not that simple.

musicmadness Sun 13-Jan-13 18:17:04

That article is an utter disgrace. I don't think the original comment was that bad (a bit ignorant maybe but nothing more than that) but I can see why that article by Julie Burchill could easily be considered a hate crime. The language used is beyond vile and it is encouraging people to openly hate and mock trans women.

More than 1 in 3 trans people in the UK has attempted suicide, can you imagine the absolutely catastrophic effect that article could have on a trans person who is already struggling?!

Would it be OK for a paper to be using openly racist terms? Of course not and it would quite rightly never be published, so I can't figure out who thought it was a good idea to publish that article. There is a difference between being controversial and being completely discriminatory.

Punkatheart Sun 13-Jan-13 18:19:19

She is a Facebook friend and there are times when I cringe, particularly at her constant jibes at Islam. This latest piece is not clever - and she is clever woman. They are deeply offensive and the Met Hate Crime Police are now involved. There was really no justification for the level of hatred in the article. You cannot pick a couple of people who you consider were goading your friend - then attack a huge section of society, who frankly have quite enough to deal with.

We have moved so far forward with tolerance - like Channel 4's wonderful docu - who needs this depressing attack that sets everyone backwards.

FloatyBeatie Sun 13-Jan-13 18:27:35

It seems likely now that moore will be tainted by association with the burchill piece. That's a shame because she was making good points in the course of her throwaway line about transexuals, and those all get lost in the crossfire.

I don't especially like SM because I think that she is better at well-placed sharp anger than at developed thought and her articles often seem to peter out. But even imperfect thought is better than thought that is hamstrung by the stifling culture of online discourse that seems to have developed. It's shocking how often I feel that before posting anywhere online I have to second-guess other people's overreadiness to put the worst possible construction on whatever words I might put out there. (I don't mean, of course, that I have a right to be offensive. A well-timed apology from SM for offence caused might have been very very appropriate.)

Darkesteyes Sun 13-Jan-13 18:28:40

Ive now read the Burchill piece and agree with musicmadness. its a disgraceful article.

Nancy66 Sun 13-Jan-13 18:32:52

Suzanne Moore had nothing to apologise for and I'm glad that she didn't.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 18:43:31

"That's a shame because she was making good points in the course of her throwaway line about transexuals, and those all get lost in the crossfire"

Exactly. It was a very good article with good points. And a good response article.

I wonder what she thinks of Julie Burchill jumping to her aid?

FloatyBeatie Sun 13-Jan-13 18:48:34

As far as the 'body of a Brazilian transexual' line goes I think I agree, Nancy, that she had nothing to apologise for. I'm just not sure what else she might have said in anger on twitter. And I suppose that given the amount of hate transexuals have to endure it can't do any harm to err on the side of apology -- though that would be hard if she was approached very harshly by those who had been offended by her. I don't follow her on twitter so was lucky enough to avoid the whole tempest

Difficult to know what to say about that one. She is coarse beyond belief and I'm not even sure I understand what point(s) she's trying to make. Clearly not so secretly in love with poor Suzanne (God help her!)

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