Vile transphobia in the Guardian/Observer from Julie Burchill

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Jan 13 2013 14:23
Vile transphobia in the Guardian/Observer from Julie Burchill

Shockingly awful essentially hate article about transsexuals from Julie Burchill in the Observer with a supposedly working class feminist figleaf:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/13/julie-burchill-suzanne-moore-transsexuals

the first comment in response to it is excellent:

Quote:
I am a woman, working class and a feminist. You do not speak for all „natural-born women“. You do not speak for me. You use the language of a bigot when you speak about the trans lobby. What is next, an article about the gay agenda? I have been a feminist for as long as I can remember and this is the first time I feel ashamed of that. You do not speak for all of us.

I think this is particularly interesting considering recent discussions on here around privilege theory etc

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Jan 13 2013 14:41

A fairly robust response doing the rounds:

https://quinnae.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/unguarded-and-poorly-observed-a-response-to-julie-burchill/

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Jan 13 2013 14:48

A PDF of the Burchill piece here if you don't want to give them more hits and ad revenue.

I find it interesting how much the columnists all hate the "mob" on twitter with such a passion - it must suck to get paid to spout your opinion on things and then have people actually *respond*. The audacity of it all, can't we just focus on the Real Enemy here?!

Laurie Penny wrote a good piece on this (yes, you heard, and what?) http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2009/12/cis_feminists_s

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Jan 13 2013 14:55

The Daily Mail are claiming their article was stolen and they want it back

wojtek
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Jan 13 2013 15:02

Context here.

I liked the part when Owen Jones while defending Suzanne Moore pointed out that the Conservatives were 'the real enemy'.

Can't help think this and the links are very pertinent:

Columnism - Ulrike Meinhof

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Jan 13 2013 15:22

Juliet Jacques' open letter to Observer reader's editor here http://adventuresofagoodcitizen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/dear-readers-editor-i-am-writing-to-you.html

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Jan 13 2013 15:42

As a slight aside, I honestly thought Julie Bindel was trying to make amends with the trans community, and her bezzy mate comes out with this offensive garbage and there she is supporting Burchill to the hilt with counter claims of bullying. Why does she want to trawl this shit up again?

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Jan 13 2013 15:44

reading through the comments on the guardian (and twitter comments since it's publication) is a rather worrying experience, especially where people are suggesting Julie Burchill should be reported to the police, I'm with voltaire on this one

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Jan 13 2013 15:51

Cardy Lady - How do you mean 'with Voltaire'? Ignorant on the connection but interested as from reading Candide many many times I like the cut of his gib and would like to know more.

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Jan 13 2013 15:52
cardy lady wrote:
reading through the comments on the guardian (and twitter comments since it's publication) is a rather worrying experience, especially where people are suggesting Julie Burchill should be reported to the police, I'm with voltaire on this one

Yeah thats rather sad.

Anyone who knows Birchills history will know she is a troll par excellence, she has said some quite quite horrific things over the years in her attempt to make guardianistas cough up their muesli. This ranks quite highly, and the attendant shit storm is exactly what she revels in.

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Jan 13 2013 16:17

Voltaire is usually credited with the line “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (though it was actually Evelyn Beatrice Hall summarising his views in her biography of him - sadly saying "I agree with Evelyn" wouldn't be recognised by 99% of people)

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Jan 13 2013 16:15

@ webby - voltaire was an adamant believer in free speech I think it's an important principle to stand by - calling on the authorities to ban certain words, thoughts, concepts is dangerous and usually backfires on those calling for such bans

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Jan 13 2013 16:17

Ah, ok, got it. Thanks.

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Jan 13 2013 16:25
Quote:
@ webby - voltaire was an adamant believer in free speech I think it's an important principle to stand by - calling on the authorities to ban certain words, thoughts, concepts is dangerous and usually backfires on those calling for such bans

Thanks CL, couldn't possibly agree more. Let people say what they like. At least we know where we are with them then.

I've never had much time for Ms. Burchill going all the way back to her NME days but I must admit I do quite like it when people that ruffle a few feathers even when they are talking shit!

wojtek
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Jan 13 2013 16:46
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I must admit I do quite like it when people that ruffle a few feathers even when they are talking shit!

wtf??

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Jan 13 2013 17:38

A bit of back story re Bindel (one of Burchills strongest feminist supporters on this outburst) Clearly it was only ever going to be a temporary truce.

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Jan 13 2013 17:06
Quote:
wtf??

Sorry, but the idea of Observer readers spitting their museli across the breakfast table on reading this amuses me, that's all.

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Jan 13 2013 22:38

Did a quick look at this Julie Burchill's wikipedia page, and found a few interesting stuff about her:

Wikipedia.org wrote:
She is a self-declared "militant feminist."

She has written about her lesbian relationships, and declared that "I would never describe myself as 'heterosexual', 'straight' or anything else. Especially not 'bisexual' (it sounds like a sort of communal vehicle missing a mudguard). I like 'spontaneous' as a sexual description."[1] However in 2009 she said that she was only attracted to girls in their 20s, and since she was now nearly 50, "I really don't want to be an old perv. So best leave it."

In 1999, Burchill 'found God', and became a Lutheran[8] and later a "self-confessed Christian Zionist".

Around this time (1977) she was briefly a member of the Socialist Workers' Party after meeting the journalist Paul Foot.

She confounded the left again, and won many admirers on the right, by writing articles favourable to Margaret Thatcher.

In 2002 she narrowly escaped prosecution for incitement to racial hatred, "following a Guardian column where she described Ireland as being synonymous with child molestation, Nazi-sympathising, and the oppression of women."

One of her most consistent themes is her championing of the working-class (which she still identifies with, despite now being a successful journalist) against the middle-class in most cases...

On the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder by shooting in 2005 she told the Guardian "I don't remember where I was but I was really pleased he was dead, as he was a wife-beater, gay-basher, anti-Semite and all-round bully-boy."

A defender of Israel, The Jewish Chronicle described her in 2008 as "Israel's staunchest supporter in the UK media"; she has two Israeli flags in her home,[4] declaring in 2005, after Ariel Sharon's withdrawal of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, that "Israel is the only country I would fucking die for. He's the enemy of the Jews. Chucking his own people off the Gaza; to me that's disgusting."

She is among those British journalists who wholeheartedly supported Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Commenting on the 2011 Egypt protests, Burchill wrote in the The Independent: "It would be wonderful to think that what replaces Mubarak will be better. But here's the thing about Middle Eastern regimes: they're all vile. The ones that are 'friendly' are vile and the ones that hate us are vile. Revolutions in the region have a habit of going horribly wrong, and this may well have something to do with the fact that Islam and democracy appear to find it difficult to co-exist for long".

She's described as a leftist. More like a social fascist to me.

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Jan 13 2013 22:58
Ramona wrote:
Laurie Penny wrote a good piece on this (yes, you heard, and what?) http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2009/12/cis_feminists_s

Is this and the appearance on Novara part of some sort of communist rehabilitation? grin

I too thought it was a good article, critical yet reconciliatory.

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Jan 14 2013 02:12

Burchill is bloody nasty.

cardy lady wrote:
I'm with voltaire on this one

I suggest you go back to Voltaire given that he was a brutal violent sexist arsehole, this reference actually says more than I think you want it to..... eek

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Jan 14 2013 02:21
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
She's described as a leftist. More like a social fascist to me.

Only if you can't spell "total fucking lunatic".

wojtek
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Jan 14 2013 22:24

Statement from John Mulholland, editor of The Observer

petey
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Jan 14 2013 23:08

she sounds all-around appalling, from the wiki entry

wojtek
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Jan 15 2013 22:09

Simon Kelner, who defended the disgraced Hari, has now come to Julie Birchill's defense.

Harrison
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Jan 16 2013 01:27

She wrote for NME? Well thats a great start point if you're looking to present yourself as in touch with the grassroots.

Harrison
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Jan 16 2013 02:22
Quote:
The comments posted beneath the article have also been removed in line with our deletion process and as a result these comments will no longer appear in individual users' profiles.

"Oh hai there, basically we've taken care to dissociate your bigoted views from your lovely fluffy liberal internet personas so now you can remain quietly phobic without having to admit you are."

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Jan 16 2013 15:34
Webby wrote:
Quote:
wtf??

Sorry, but the idea of Observer readers spitting their museli across the breakfast table on reading this amuses me, that's all.

I think it's pretty dangerous to think that was the only motivation or effect of this. Burchill and her mates had a good laugh about this prior to publication - they all seem to genuinely loathe the 'trans cabal' as Bindel puts it. For the uninitiated, that is what you get called if you get upset with people using you as the butt of the joke or the idea that being trans is defined by what you've done to your genitals.

The whole fucking thing is vile because people die as a result of transphobia, not because someone got upset over breakfast.

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Jan 16 2013 16:06

But I think Burchill is not political not like Bindel, she does it for effect a lot of the time, vile as it is, but part of her twisted MO is 'liberal baiting'. Bindel though who no doubt past her grubby mits over the document before it was published is I think where things get particulalry sour. Her and the increasingly irrelevant reactionary grouping of 2nd wave feminists have lost, they are ideologically and morally bankrupt, the whole trans discourse decks their essentialist ideological bedrock. Sad really, that they cant move on.

NannerNannerNan...
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Jan 16 2013 18:21

It's kind of weird how right-wingers always have to make their enemies (invariably the weakest in society) look like huge monsters. I think it's why you see a lot more conspiracy theory shit with them.

Seriously, fucking "trans cabal" is on the level of ZOG shit.

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Jan 16 2013 18:54
Quote:
I think it's pretty dangerous to think that was the only motivation or effect of this. Burchill and her mates had a good laugh about this prior to publication - they all seem to genuinely loathe the 'trans cabal' as Bindel puts it. For the uninitiated, that is what you get called if you get upset with people using you as the butt of the joke or the idea that being trans is defined by what you've done to your genitals.

The whole fucking thing is vile because people die as a result of transphobia, not because someone got upset over breakfast.

Ok, I agree, vile is a fair description for the reasons pointed out above.
I suppose my point is that every single day I am confronted with things that I find 'vile', some of which would upset others equally and some far less important that would have other people scratching their heads as to what my problem is. However disgusting all these things are, including this jumped up piece of insignificance, I refuse to get my knickers in a twist about them - if I did I would never get to sleep at night. Anyone that falls for this bollocks is probably beyond redemption anyway. She is just one of countless 'public figures' that I take no notice of. In the chart run down of nobodies she probably falls somewhere between Nick Griffin and Billy Fucking Bragg(shudder!).

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Jan 16 2013 19:19

what gets published in newspapers has an effect on the people who read it. The problem isn't that its offends people its that its promoting hate of trans people on a national platform, and we cant just ignore it as irrelevant because its not, the normalisation of the kind of attitude is one of the reasons why so many trans people get murdered