Suzanne Moore and the Resulting Conflict Between Julie Burchill and the Trans-Communities in the UK

I regularly read the Guardian UK, indeed I regularly use the Guardian as a source for many of the articles I think people should read.

I also am on Stephanie Stevens: Yahoo mailing list: Transgender News and get many of the stories I pass on through her service.

I’ve been following this story over the last week, just knowing it would probably escalate.

The original piece with the offensive line, which I tended to see as one of those attempts at humor by cis-privileged people who think they are being funny was on:  New Statesman:  Seeing red: the power of female anger

For the record the line is:  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.

Isolated from the context of the over all piece it comes off more offensive or thoughtless than it does within the context of the entire piece.

Suzanne Moore wrote a piece in The Guardian on Wednesday 9 January 2013 that was an attempt to apologize.  See: I don’t care if you were born a woman or became one: Sexuality used to be the big battle. Now we need to unite in anger against the breakdown of the social contract

Paris Lees has an open letter to Suzanne Moore in Diva Magazine: An open letter to Suzanne Moore:
Paris Lees responds to the furore surrounding an article in the New Statesman in which Moore quipped women are expected to look like Brazilian trans women

This led to Julie Burchill weighing in in an article in the Observer/Guardian:  Transsexuals should cut it out

I recognize the name, Julie Burchill.  I remembered her as a journalist back in the days of punk rock and NME (New Music Express circa early 1980s).  She wrote a book about the rise and fall of the Sex Pistols.  So I went on Amazon to see what she had written lately.  I discovered that for two cents plus the Amazon used book shipping charge of $3.98 I could get one of her recent books:  Not in My Name.

Here is what the Amazon review had to say about this book:  It is a great and glorious tradition the world over – to vehemently state one thing and then do the exact opposite. Royals are doing it, reformed smokers are doing it, and politicians are virtually synonymous with it. Welcome to the heyday of hypocrisy. From the Everyday Hypocrites (cyclists, white hip-hop fans, reality television-haters) to the truly pungent Stinking Hypocrites (chav-haters, green campaigners and anti-Americans), Julie Burchill and Chas Newkey-Burden pull no punches in their witty harangue of those who shamelessly say one thing and do another. This book features the modern hypocrite’s favourite holiday destinations, sporting heroes and the hilarious Hypocrites’ Ultimate Weekend.

And a reviewer: “Julie Burchill is an independent journalist in every sense. Her iconoclastic op-ed pieces have over the years succeeded in offending people from across the political spectrum. A lifelong and unrepentant Communist, her political positions are nevertheless somewhat eclectic, and as time as gone by it has become more and more difficult to spot anything conventionally left-wing about her output.”

So I get the feeling Julie Burchill has found that making hateful digs at oppressed minority groups get her attention and sells books and writing.  I guess it beat the dole.

Jane Fae has a blog piece in response to Burchill at:  This is personal and a piece at The Independent:  Burchill’s attack follows the same pattern – trans stories are only of interest if we star as villains

Roz Kaveney has her response at the Guardian UK:  Julie Burchill has ended up bullying the trans community

While I’m not a big fan of TS/TG people getting down and dirty fighting with feminists, particularly over something that started out as a pretty minor issue, I am really please to see we no longer let these folks get away with beating up on us.

3 Responses to “Suzanne Moore and the Resulting Conflict Between Julie Burchill and the Trans-Communities in the UK”

  1. steviejayne Says:

    The Julie Burchell piece has now been pulled online with an apology by the editor.

  2. DaisyDeadhead Says:

    I had always loved the Sex Pistols book… but you always have to worry about people who become unaccountably besotted with Maggie Thatcher … and (even worse) adopt the “Israel right or wrong” line. Ugh.

    I don’t think she realizes that nobody thinks she’s funny with that shit any more.

    • Suzan Says:

      Some people who identified with the Punk scene did a lot of hippie punching and hated folks like John Lennon for b eing squishy soft and sentimental. I had a friend who went around boasting how she was brutally honest. I used to tell her, “I can’t handle brutal honesty with out pain killers, how about some gentle lies, that don’t leave me wanting to take downers.”

      When you make meanness and snark your total stock and trade they lose their power when they are needed and you become a nasty asshole no one likes.

      One of the things I liked most about hippie was the love and optimistic take on life. It is too easy to be mean and it is way too easy a rut to get into.


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