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?

MarianneM Sun 13-Jan-13 18:51:11

I thought her piece was very funny! And she had a point too.

Lexagon Sun 13-Jan-13 18:54:46

I think it's somewhat ironic that a lot of the critics of this article (not on here, thinking twitter etc) seem unable to express their feelings without resorting to misogynistic attacks on Burchill.

MarianneM Sun 13-Jan-13 18:57:41

quite

NicholasTeakozy Sun 13-Jan-13 19:01:52

To take one line from an article decrying what this government is doing to women is at best shortsighted. OK, maybe she could've used a different analogy, but to rip into her about that and ignore everything else she rightly points out is ridiculous. I have two daughters and I am seriously scared for their future.

WidowWadman Sun 13-Jan-13 19:03:43

I think Moore's original article was maybe a bit thoughtless, but the thing that was really bad, and she should be apologising for, were the comments she made on twitter. Her second article which explained the first one was ok, but that still doesn't excuse the twitter comments, which were plain nasty.

And if I was her, Burchill's defense would make me cringe and I'd publicly would seek to distance myself from this.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:04:23

I agree, nicholas But what about Julie's article?

My sister is transgender, I find the Burchill article vile. Re the original comment from Moore, I'm sure it was ignorance more than anything else. I know more about GD than a lot of people and I didn't know how bad things were in Brazil until reading the link on this thread.

The conflict between GD issues and feminism is something that interests me. I consider myself feminist (not sure if I'd call myself radfem) and yet obviously I accept my sister and other transgender people completely.

hackmum Sun 13-Jan-13 19:09:25

I thought Suzanne Moore's original article was fine, and the line about "Brazilian transexuals" was simply to make the point that we shouldn't encourage young women to have to conform to a particular body shape. I had a quick look at the tweets, and I think they were just written in anger in response to particularly vitriolic attacks. When someone says something nasty, people do tend to respond in kind, and Twitter is the perfect medium for encouraging that.

Julie Burchill's article - well, it was inflammatory, and I can't say I agree with it, but honestly the comments below the line are just over-reactions. The thing is, a lot of people hate Burchill anyway because she's a feminist, so this is just another chance to have a go at her. And also, some people just love being offended, and they absolutely relish telling people how offended they are. All this stuff about "hate crimes" is just nonsense. I mean, why do people want to advertise how hurt they are by what someone else has said? Couldn't they just try to be a little more robust?

Poor Moore. With friends like that....

Burchill's article is hate filled and hateful. Mocking people for what they are and not what they say is pathetic bullying. There are a million ways to defend and celebrate Moore's original article, without resorting to crude, vicious hate speech.

I didn't think 'body of a Brazilian transsexual' was offensive in any event and nor did my friend who had gender reassignment surgery at be age of 47 in Brazil. It was a throwaway line about hyper-artificial exagerated bounteous T&A long legged tumbling hair pouting mouthed Barbie beauty ideals which bear no relation to most human shapes.

NicholasTeakozy Sun 13-Jan-13 19:11:23

My opinion is that she was way over the top. She's upset that her friend has been attacked for a throwaway remark about body shape and overreacted. That's a pity, as I like some of her writing. To attack a section of society as she has serves no purpose other than to make her feel better for having 'defended' her friend.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:11:44

Sticks and stones eh?

WidowWadman Sun 13-Jan-13 19:12:16

"The thing is, a lot of people hate Burchill anyway because she's a feminist, so this is just another chance to have a go at her."

I don't think she's hated so much for being a feminist, as that people take a dislike to the hateful and inflammatory things she writes.

I don't think she speaks for all feminists, either and actually does feminism a disservice.

nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 19:13:29

I think the phrase "Brazilian transexual" is a brilliant way of describing a particular look/body shape.

lovelyladuree Sun 13-Jan-13 19:15:45

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 13-Jan-13 19:16:32

I don't dislike Burchill because she is a feminist,I dislike her inflammatory and crude style of writing.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:16:55

"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.) "

" And we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs."

"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."

Replace those words with words used as hate words against other minority groups and there is no way this article would have been published.

nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 19:17:46

They would argue (I think) that surgery only made their outer match their inner.

Cisgendered is insulting though. Bloody cheek.

Plenty of things aren't "normal" lovelyladuree - doesn't mean we can't accept it. And not all transgender people are "chicks with dicks".

nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 19:20:27

I haven't read the twitter stuff but assume that it's mean, rude, shitty, text-speak ridden drivel. Am I right? So Burchill is only trading insult for insult. I like the intemperate way she defended her friend. I like the way she never turns the other cheek. I like her vulgarity. Lobster and champgne in Fredericks indeed. It's so eighties.

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:22:15

nkf "So Burchill is only trading insult for insult."

On a whole community in a National paper confused

Would you accept it if Clarkson had a go at women with equivalent language in a National paper?

TheOriginalLadyFT Sun 13-Jan-13 19:30:27

It reads like a piece written in anger, which is never a great idea, and I suspect it won't have done Moore any favours

I don't much like the way she says it, but the article does make some points I have sympathy with

nkf Sun 13-Jan-13 19:33:04

I'm not entirely sure who Clarkson is. But I walked past a newspaper stand today and the front page had some hideous headline which used the word "bitches." You don't have to look very hard to find insults either aimed at women or using words associated with women as insults. Some newspapers do precious little else. MN is increasingly full of threads where the word, "cunt" is bandied about. If you want to pick a routinely insulted group of people, women would be top of the list. Sounds like the twitter posters piled on those kind of insults in their response to Suzanne Moore's piece.

Punkatheart Sun 13-Jan-13 19:34:21

I worked for Victim Support last year and trust me, hate crime against transgender people is very real, very violent. Who wants to give the haters more fuel? It was ridic - to use a JB term.

Scarlet - that's an interesting point and you sound lovely. Your sister is lucky to have so much support. So many transgender people do not have support from their families - so imagine being hated or jeered at by society.

As a journalist, I also ran a story about a Down's Syndrome little boy who was bullied so badly at college - threatened with a knife - that he gave up his ambitions for college, went to his room and stopped talking. Then one day he decided to do a fundraiser to people in a similar situation. He wanted to help thos who were bullied for being different. Now imagine that a couple of people who happen to have Down's Syndrome make some horrible remarks to a journalist. Then ANOTHER journalist makes vile comments about ALL Down's Syndrome people. Not acceptable, is it? So why should this be?

kim147 Sun 13-Jan-13 19:39:22

nkf But two wrongs don't make a right. I totally agree about mysogyny in the media. I can imagine some of the twitter comments.

But that's no excuse to keep perpetuating hate in such an article against another oppressed group, is it?

Thanks Punkatheart. We're a very close, supportive family. It's been so hard for her, I've seen first hand the struggle she goes through, dark depression and self harming, even WITH a supportive family. She was beaten up in a club recently. It's a subject I get quite emotional about.

I didn't even realise there was an "issue" with some feminists and the concept otftransgenderism until relatively recently.

Can I ask someone more knowledgeable - do (some) feminists only have an issue with MtoF transgender people? The idea they can never really understand the "struggle" of being a woman in today's society? Is that what it's about? I'm asking because I don't know. What is the consensus surrounding FtoM transgender people?

This thread is not accepting new messages.