A complaint to The Guardian about their rampant transphobia
By Charlie Owen on
The newspaper cis are at it again
With reference to Stonewall risks all it has fought for in accusing those who disagree with it of hate speech by Sonia Sodha, Sunday 6th June 2021
As a trans woman of ever-increasing vintage (it is now 23 years since I transitioned as a teenager) I find myself becoming more and more horrified by the levels of transphobia in the UK media, which has arguably only increased since I was young.
Your publication plays an critical part in that media transphobia.
So I am disappointed - but not surprised - to see yet another anti-trans opinion piece presented as factual, evidence based journalism.
In the sea of inaccuracies some points Ms Sodha stand out as egregiously poor journalism:
Males who identify as women 🙄
"Stonewall’s campaign to abolish legal provisions for single-sex spaces, so that males who identify as women have the same rights to access them as those born female”
Factually incorrect: In the UK “males who identify as women” aka “transsexual/transgender/trans women” (depending on the words someone might use to describe themselves - from here on simply “trans women") have exactly the same right to access female single-sex spaces (toilet facilities, changing rooms, shelters) as other women.
As a trans woman myself I know this from long experience, and to imply that this is something new is simply wrong.
There is an exemption for this, as defined in the Equality Act 2010. That is when a service provider feels that denying access to a trans woman is “a proportionate response to a legitimate aim”.
So far the use of this clause has never been used as a defence in a discrimination court case. Given our litigious society one must assume this clause has therefore never actually been utilised.
Trans women are such stereotypes
"Disagreement on what it means to be a woman – whether it is solely based on a feeling or whether it is related to sex – is one thing, although gender-critical feminists regard the reduction of womanhood to gender expression as reinforcing regressive gender norms”
Transphobia: To assume that trans women by default express and reinforce regressive gender stereotypes is the worst form of transphobia.
BUT WHAT ABOUT KAREN WHITE??
"Karen White, a trans woman who committed indecent assault, gross indecency involving children and two rapes while a man, was placed in a women’s prison where she sexually assaulted female prisoners.”
Factually incorrect: There is absolutely no evidence that “Karen White” - aka Stephen Wood - is a trans woman. Occam’s Razor would suggest that the violent rapist White/Wood used a false persona and claimed to be trans in order to gain access to vulnerable women.
This is, of course, an enormous safeguarding error on the part of the MoJ, which will hopefully never be repeated. But to blame this act of male violence on a trans woman, and to imply that we are all somehow responsible for this individuals action (even if they were trans) is undiluted transphobia.
Stonewall doesn't know nuffin' about the law
“Despite [Stonewall’s] role advising organisations on equalities law, it misrepresents it, stating that trans people have the right to access single-sex spaces in line with their chosen gender (there are in fact important exclusions). “
This is as stated above. There are exclusions. However the bar for enacting these exclusions is EXTREMELY high, which is why they the usage of such has never even been brought to court. There is no foreseeable way that such extreme usage of the exemptions clause in the EA2010 would be applicable to which toilet someone used.
What was NOT reported by Ms Sodha was the fact that the “Authentic Equality Alliance” attempted to convene a Judicial Review of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights guidance which stated as such. This challenge was IMMEDIATELY struck down by the presiding Judge .
The Judge, Mr Justice Henshaw, ruled that the case was not even arguable and that the appellants interpretation of the EA2010 in this case - which is exactly the same as that espoused by Ms Sodha - was entirely “wrong in law”.
Allison Bailey can't hold down a job
"Stonewall is also being sued by a black lesbian barrister, Allison Bailey, for employment discrimination based on her gender-critical views”
Factually incorrect: Alison Bailey is not suing Stonewall. She is taking her employer to Employment Tribunal, and seeks to involve Stonewall in this alleged employment discrimination.
Transphobia is the new anti-semitism, or something
Finally, the very opening statement from Ms Sodha:
“How did it happen that [Stonewall’s] chief executive, Nancy Kelley, came under fire last week for likening a strand of feminism to antisemitism?”
Factually incorrect: Nancy Kelley described any belief that damages others can be challenged in the legal system. The quote from Ms Kelley in full:
"With all beliefs including controversial beliefs there is a right to express those beliefs publicly and where they're harmful or damaging - whether it's anti-Semitic beliefs, gender critical beliefs, beliefs about disability - we have legal systems that are put in place for people who are harmed by that.”
In conclusion, I must reiterate how utterly disappointing the publishing of this, and many previous similar articles, is to trans people. Disappointing, and in fact harmful, as others will take the innacuracy-laden article that you have published and treat it as gospel truth.
A critical question that must be asked: how many trans people do you have writing for you? Where are our voices being represented in your publication?
From your transphobic publication history the answer would seem to be "none".
There are many talented trans journalists and writers out there who would be willing to write for you. But instead you constantly push forward cis journalists who seem to have an agenda against us.
The Guardian is complicit in furthering this anti-trans agenda, and for reasons unknown seems intent in creating a moral panic about trans people like myself.
I hope you see this for the evil behaviour that it is before it is too late.
Yours, Etc etc
Write to them yourself
If you want to support trans people of all flavours then why aren't you writing to The Guardian to complain about them publishing transphobia?
Send them a letter, please.