Bullies are usually the first to complain that they are being “picked on”.
Imagine if somebody, upset by the words of a few people who happened to be black, made disparaging remarks about all black people. If someone else chimed in to agree with them, and to heap more abuse on black people, that person would be, quite rightly, labelled a racist. If black people were to complain, most people would agree with them.
So why should Transsexual people be assumed to be fair game? Or anyone else for that matter.
I still haven’t seen the original piece by Suzanne Moore which started the latest Twitterstorm, so I won’t comment on that nor, for the moment, will I make any judgement about Moore herself.
I have seen a follow-up article by Moore’s friend Julie Burchill, and it’s sickening.
Even worse, it hasn’t been published by a rag like the Daily Mail but, incredibly, by the Observer. I wasn’t sure if I should put a link to the article here, but you’re all grown-ups, so you can choose whether or not to read it. Click here, but have a bucket ready.
Burchill complains that Moore was “being monstered on Twitter, to the extent that she had quit it, for supposedly picking on a minority – transsexuals.”
Whatever the rights and wrongs of Moore’s piece – and, I repeat, I haven’t seen it yet – Burchill makes sweepingly disparaging remarks about Transsexual people. Has she never heard the adage “two wrongs don’t make a right”, or has she just forgotten it? Phrases like “women – real and imagined” pepper Burchill’s rambling diatribe, so it’s hardly a focussed rebuttal to a few people on Twitter, but out and out bigotry.
At one point Burchill writes “To my mind – I have given cool-headed consideration to the matter – a gaggle of transsexuals telling Suzanne Moore how to write looks a lot like how I’d imagine the Black and White Minstrels telling Usain Bolt how to run would look.”
I haven’t seen anyone tell Moore how to write (though that could have happened, Twitter feeds can be fast moving). What I’ve seen people complaining about is what, not how, she wrote.
I don’t understand what it means to be Transsexual, or gay, or black, or any number of aspects of a person that automaticallyputs them at a disadvantage in society.
I do, however, know what is to be human. Burchill and her ilk would do well to take a refresher course on that subject.
- Gender is not a punchline (fearlessknits.wordpress.com)
- Julie Burchill has ended up bullying the trans community | Roz Kaveney (guardian.co.uk)
- A Letter To the @commentisfree Editors about Julie Burchill (graunwatch.wordpress.com)
- Julie Burchill and trans women. (considertheteacosy.wordpress.com)
- “Nasty Idiotic Tripe”: Standing Against Julie Burchill’s Decade Of Transphobia (thequietus.com)