Wednesday, 16 January 2013

My reply to Julie Burchill

Julie Burchill (a radical feminist journalist) recently wrote an article in the Observer online ( - which was later withdrawn by the editor - but was later published in a blog on the Daily Telegraph web site

In the article she attacked trans women (but not trans men) in vile disgusting terms and ranted on about us demanding greater privileges than natal women.  She describes herself as a working class journalist (but nevertheless dines out and tries to impress her more illustrious colleagues in the rad fem movement by buying them lobster and champagne dinners.

She did this in support of a colleague (Suzanne Moore) who wrote an article that, amongst other things, women were angry about "not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual".  It was a throw away line for which she has since apparently apologised (not realising that the murder rate of trans women in Brazil numbers many hundreds since records started to be kept a few years ago).  The article caused concern amongst the trans community and she was "driven from Twitter" by the storm that she had unwittingly unleashed (although why a seasoned writer was driven from Twitter is rather beyond me).

So in steps Julie Burchill all guns blazing on behalf of her 'friend' and produces one of the most hate filled and crude articles I have ever read and which was published by the Observer.  Besides being crude, it was also factually incorrect and just the slightest amount of research would have shown her this.

Her long introduction about her 'friend' showed her up as a sycophantic wanna-be worshipping at the feet of the woman that she has put on a pedestal, craving for a word of thanks for supporting her against the 'trannies'.

I probably know more transsexuals than she does, and the vast majority of them are caring, compassionate people - many having had to give up everything (family, friends, home, career) just to be true to themselves.  None of us demands greater privilege than any other woman - in fact it is often a fight to get any rights whatsoever.  If she really thinks that we are over privileged, she really should spend a few months walking in our shoes, she would certainly come away feeling very different.

We do not do this through choice (nobody would willingly put themselves through all the losses that we have to go through, the mental anguish, the physical pain of electrolysis and surgery), we do it purely to be true to ourselves.  An horrendous 84% of people who identify as being transsexual contemplate suicide and an astonishing 42% have actually attempted suicide on one or more occasions - which puts transsexual people as a group as one of the highest at risk anywhere in the world.

Maybe, by her bile she hoped that as a group, we would commit genocide and thus rid the world of what she regards as a problem.

Louise McCudden (a feminist journalist) wrote a much more reasoned piece in the Independent criticizing Julie Burchill's original article which can be read here

Thank you Louise for your understanding and compassion, it is good to know that there are people out there who can think more deeply about what we have to go through to be ourselves.

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Thank you for your patience -- Carol