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Mar 21 2013

Trans woman commits suicide after being bullied by the Daily Mail

It was exactly three months ago that Richard Littlejohn published a piece in the Daily Mail viciously attacking Lucy Meadows, a primary school teacher in Britain. Littlejohn targeted Meadows because she’s transgender and had chosen to remain in her job as a teacher after beginning to present as a woman – this was the entire basis for his outrageous, unprovoked assault on her identity, her career, and her very life. It was vile and hateful in all the ways we’ve come to expect from a publication that, like much of the press these days, treats trans women as alternately ridiculous or a threat to society. It was quite literally intolerant of everything that Lucy Meadows was.

So it came as a surprise today that the Daily Mail has completely removed any mention of Meadows from Littlejohn’s column. What happened? Did they suffer a sudden attack of morality, three months later? No. Their decision was based on something much darker than conscience.

Lucy Meadows killed herself this week.

Three months ago, Richard Littlejohn chose to single her out, a woman who had done absolutely nothing wrong, and tear her life apart in one of Britain’s biggest papers. Richard Littlejohn chose to refer to her as “he”, and include only photos of her from before she had begun to live openly as a woman. He called her existence “devastating” to the children under her care:

But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter? Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.

He said that Meadows’ students needed to be “protected” from her by their school:

It should be protecting pupils from some of the more, er, challenging realities of adult life, not forcing them down their throats.

He called her a threat to their innocence:

These are primary school children, for heaven’s sake. Most them still believe in Father Christmas. Let them enjoy their childhood. They will lose their innocence soon enough.

He attacked her very name:

Why should they be forced to deal with the news that a male teacher they have always known as Mr Upton will henceforth be a woman called Miss Meadows? Anyway, why not Miss Upton?

And he told her to “disappear” and move out of town:

It would have been easy for him to disappear quietly at Christmas, have the operation and then return to work as ‘Miss Meadows’ at another school on the other side of town in September. No-one would have been any the wiser.

Well, she’s disappeared now. Lucy Meadows is dead. Are you happy with yourselves, Daily Mail? Are you proud that you used your platform as a national publication to rip open the life of an innocent woman and put her deeply personal struggles on display for an audience of millions? Are you satisfied now that you’ve “exposed” a woman who wanted nothing more than to teach the students she knew and cared for? Did you ever think about how it would feel to be Lucy Meadows at the moment when your paper chose to label her as forever “male” and a threat to her own students? Obviously that didn’t deter you from publishing this disgusting, horrible column in the first place. So why bother hiding your deeds now?

What’s one life next to the opportunity for yet another vacuous, melodramatic headline about transsexuals?

259 comments

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  1. 1
    The Nerd

    And before someone says “it’s the Daily Mail, what did you expect?”… NO. Just don’t.

    1. 1.1
      Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner

      And before someone says “it’s the Daily Mail, what did you expect?”… NO. Just don’t.

      HATE THAT ARGUMENT. It’s the worst. I will quote Shakesville:

      I expect more.

      1. Bernard Bumner

        I am at a loss to explain how The Daily Mail continues to thrive as a mainstream newspaper, since it seems to reflect the personal politics of a readership somewhere to the right of all but the most extreme political organisations in the UK. I cannot fathom whether its readership really accepts the bigotry contained therein, whether they disagree with it and are simply desensitized to the monstrous nature of it, or whether it simply comforts them to know that they aren’t as vile as Richard Littlejohn.

        I presume that many of them find the bigotry comforting because it reminds them of their parents.

        I suspect that this story will utter fail to provoke the same reaction as the death of Jacintha Saldanha; a reaction of anger and grief reflected and amplified by such news outlets as, for instance, The Daily Mail.

        1. Padraig Fitzpatrick

          “or whether it simply comforts them to know that they aren’t as vile as Richard Littlejohn.”

          I think you hit the nail on the head with that one.I don’t buy newspapers but on the rare occasion one crosses my path I am usually tempted to browse through the pages out of a sense of morbid curiosity to see how far they’ll go this time.

        2. Anonymous British Journalist

          it has More to do with the fact that their readership is generally right wing and conservative, not to mention ill educated and biased, somewhere between the C2 and D categories, only just above someone on minimum wage, may be skilled at a GCSE level, not normally higher except by way of experience.
          (E.G machinists, machine operators, builders,) with a social and political lean towards the right, generally low intelligence.
          typical Daily Mail reader:
          Bob is 30-50 years old, Bob is slightly overweight, Bob works at a local factory, machining parts, Bob likes to watch Eastenders, Bob likes the current government because he believes that most people on unemployment benefit are cheating him out of his “hard earned wages”, bob has never met a gay person, bob will likely not meet a gay person in his normal routine, bob is okay with that. bob has nothing against gays, “because Allan car is quite funny” Bob is quite happy where he is, Bob watches ITV more than he does BBC, channel five more than four and he also has Sky, “because of the sports.Bob doesn’t like what he doesn’t understand. Bob likes going down to the pub after work, bob has an incredibly limited degree of social interaction.

          the daily mail likes to point the finger, at things that “bob” doesn’t understand, and doesn’t want to understand, or things that bob thinks are “bad” bob gets satisfaction from reading the daily mail, because the Daily mail tells “Bob” that it agrees with him and that He’s right. after a while bob gets bored of the Mail telling him he’s right so the daily mail thinks “I need to get Bob’s attention Back!” so the Mail pulls its finger out, and points at the nearest minority, not at the whole minority(because it cant get away with it) but a single person, a Story that will make bob go “Too Right, ” or ” Not In My Town!” so the Mail can earn £££ and keep its readership.

          1. Charlotte

            Well, I’m on a minimum wage, live in a working class area officially described as ‘deprived’, but I also have a degree and, coincidentally, I’m trans. The people of my own class and community are no more transphobic towards me than the people who live in the wealthy end of town – whom I work for. (Btw…I’m not the scullery maid lol:))

            The British press is dominated by ex-public school twits who were duffers at everything else and are only have such highly-paid jobs and opportunities because they happen to have rich parents (who probably amassed their vast sums of wealth dishonestly and immorally anyway). In fact, you can say that about most every area of British life – it’s not what you know; it’s who you know – and, of course, it’s been going on for centuries. The rich children are as obnoxious as their parents and look down on the hard, honest working classes of this country, dismissing us as ‘feckless’, ‘scum’, ‘animals’, ‘pitchfork-wielding peasants’ and ‘fascists’. Yet most bigotry, fascism and (especially) anti-semitism in Britain has emanated from the snobby, insecure stuck-up anally-retentive middle classes.

            So please stop trying to shift the blame for the journo’s misdeeds onto the long-suffering poor people of Britain, Anonymous British journalist. Look at what happened following Julie Burchill’s recent transphobic rant in the Guardian: the majority of those journalists who rushed to her defence were public school educated, Oxbridge, upper-middle class broadsheet columnists in papers such as The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph etc. In short, the born into privilege Toby Young’s of this world.

          2. Jane Doe

            A succinct and acurate potrayal of average britain.

          3. Knowledge Disco

            Sorry but you’re very much mistaken! The Daily Mail online is the most read new-source online. This view you’ve got of working class people being machine operators and such is so bloody outdated it’s laughable. The truth is the Daily Mail’s readership group is huge and varied. I’m absolutely shocked to see who actually reads it. There’s over titilation in every aspect of it, shock, sex, weight loss, outrage over punishmnet, outrage over the lack of punishment. Their sole purpose is to shock people and get them outraged.

            So before you start ribbing people and turning it into a class thing, I’ve seen doctors reading the daily mail avidly. It’s not a paper of the working class at all. It

          4. Bob

            @Anonymous British Journalist

            The most pathetic, poor articulated and innacurate description of an average DM reader you could find, anywhere! The DM is notoriously Middle England Shires, and looks down on the ‘Bobs’ of Britain.

            And I know many Bobs, and they all have a far better grasp of English than you do. You can’t be a journalist.

    2. 1.2
      Kate Donovan

      And the other issue with that argument is what you’re implicitly saying is:

      “The Daily Mail bullied someone so viciously that they seem to have felt it could be a factor in her suicide, and acted as such, and I think the problem here is that you’re upset about it.”

      Which is twisted as fuck.

      1. Molly

        I think the concern is that the Daily Mail is just covering their butt, not displaying remorse. Usually when one is sorry they say so, and then they stop the behavior they apologized for.

        Maybe I’m wrong and they did apologize. Perhaps you can link to that apology so we have all the facts?

      2. Navaehya Mathew Rudd

        What does a petition actually acheive at the end of the day? has anyone actually been successful with a petition?
        news always bully people, thats how news sells, thats how the same satanic system works, governements bully people, if its not children or disabled, then its animals they want to bully, people need to start waking up to the babylonian system that is

    3. 1.3
      David Silverman

      Actually, No. I wouldn’t expect that even of the Daily Fail, not even Richard Little John. In fact I wouldn’t expect that of anything that claims it’s human.

    4. 1.4
  2. 2
    Natasha

    I just can’t fucking deal anymore. I just want to hang Richard Littlejohn on flesh hooks and see how many days I can make him scream. I know that would solve nothing but it would make me feel better. Damn I’m starting to cry, it’s just overwhelming. Sorry nothing coherent to say now.

    1. 2.1
      opha

      >I know that would solve nothing but it would make me feel better.
      People like the author of that article do things like that out of the same purpose. Just a heads up, don’t lose our sense please?

      1. GoodGravey

        Opha, please remember that it is perfectly valid to have those feelings. To feel as though you want to do great harm to such a vile person who has done so much harm to others.

        It is all a matter of how it is expressed, and that those feelings are recognised for what they are.

        In my reading of it, Natasha has done this perfectly. I feel like I want to do great, prolonged harm to Littlejohn. And while it might soothe my baser instincts of revenge and anger, like Natasha said, it won’t solve anything. And while it might make one feel better at the time, it makes one, everyone, much much worse long term.

        Which is why Natasha has recognised those feelings for what they are, and expressed them in an entirely appropriate manner. I just wish more people would do that.

        Hugs offered, Natasha. Indeed to everyone over this.

        1. Molly

          Beware anything that sounds like a threat of violence can be used against you.

          If you feel the need to express your anger do it in a productive way like signing this petition:

          https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-daily-mail-fire-richard-littlejohn-for-victimizing-lucy-meadows-leading-to-her-possible-suicide

          Thanks to ben for sharing the petition.

      2. Usernames are smart

        How’s that view from the cheap seats, Opha?

        Feelings are always okay: anger, rage, loneliness, sadness, etc. What is not okay is if they are expressed in such a way as to hurt someone. Did Natasha say something to hurt Littlejohn? Did she threaten him?

        Not even close.

        I fully support Natasha as a human with emotions and would point out to you that she said, “I just want to…” The key word here being “I” (as in, she was talking about herself).

        1. Prabo

          Usernames are smart, did little john say anything that directly threatened Lucy Meadows? Not as far as this article says, although I haven’t read the whole thing, but Im sure that would be the included part if he had. I what they actually said, Natasha was harsher than he. Obviously, Natashas was a reaction, so excusable, i am not trying to defend littlejohn here.

          As you think, i think human beings can think what they like. and as you think, I think how they express it is of upmost importance. But 1) this applies to Littlejohn too, he can have any view he wants, and 2) I think as long as he keeps that view to himself, and doesn’t spread it to others, then this is fine. Which is a little convoluted in the way I expressed that, sorry.

          But the problem is that Littlejohn did express it, and that should be stopped.

          I would also like someone to look into other reasons? I think Littlejohn should be fired, and I think that a balanced, reasoned case, supporting this view, should be made for this, not one of people who seem to becoming almost as radical as littlejohn in reaction.

          There again, if a murderer comes into my home, I am allowed to stop him with the same force reflected, a law Im sure littlejohn would struggle eternally to preserve. Are we allowed to reply in kind to him? If “he started it”, is our reaction ok? I dont know. But I do think attacking people who feel reason is the way forwards, because it certainly is, nobody will listen to your opinion if you become angry and scream a lot. Something the writer of this article appears to have worked out, because she is reasoned herself.

  3. 3
    Erika Sorensen

    Disgusting. I don’t know what on earth is the deal with all the transmisogyny coming out of the British press in the last few months. It also broke today that an authority investigating the Burchill article decided that there’s no cause for action because it targeted trans women as a group and not any individual trans woman. WTF?? It ought to be clear to all by this point that promulgating hate on a national media platform is literally deadly. If anything I expect we’ll get a nonpology from the Mail though. =(

  4. 4
    Bernard Bumner

    I can’t sufficiently express my hatred of Littlejohn or my contempt for the Daily Mail and its readers.

    Whatever the circumstances of Lucy Meadows’ death turn out to be, the tabloid hacks who undoubtedly caused her harm and misery should at least be ashamed that they blighted her life. And if they do feel shame, then they should feel it doubly that it took this tragedy to stir their blunted consciences.

  5. 5
    Video Gone

    @The Nerd: Wouldn’t dream of it. I didn’t realise even the Mail could go that low. There are no words.

  6. 6
    BK

    For Lucy

    The light upon the garden where the
    Flowers came to bloom,
    Has faded with the sunset, now the
    Flowers mark a tomb.

    But soon the flowers wilt and fade,
    And scatter in the rain,
    And dawn breaks on the fields where
    Flowers blossom once again.

    The gardens where your light once shone
    Are just a memory,
    But memories, like flowers, bloom,
    If we but tend the seed.

    I cannot ever feel the warmth that
    Your light bore, again,
    I only have the seeds my tears will
    Water as the rain.

    1. 6.1
      Joe

      :). I cannot relate to being transgender as i am not nor do i know a transgender, and the idea is odd because i wouldn’t personally, but i don’t think that’s bad and if i did i would never say it. it is their choice and personally i like all the comments here, very respectful.

  7. 7
    Amy

    I have a hunch they removed mention of her in the article not because of remorse, but because they don’t want to *look* bad. Sickening.

    1. 7.1
      Video Gone

      Wouldn’t be the first time. The Mail did the same sort of damage control job after making some awful racist comments about the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

      1. Video Gone

        The Olympics thing is chronicled on game journo John Walker’s blog here, FWIW:
        http://botherer.org/2012/07/28/the-daily-mail-and-how-an-nhs-death-means-racism-is-fine/

  8. 8
    savannahs.

    But of course, here’s the bitter irony:

    Would having a trans woman teacher have been so difficult for the children? I very seriously doubt this.

    However, how do you think the children felt when they found out that their teacher committed suicide as a result of being bullied in the national press?

    I bet the latter will cause them much grief, heartache and confusion. Because they students: why is the world as twisted and sick as Richard Littlejohn’s mind?

    1. 8.1
      savannahs.

      Because the students will now have to wonder: why is the world as twisted and sick as Richard Littlejohn’s mind?

      1. Ems

        Yes, you nailed it. I would have a really hard time explaining to children that people could really be so cruel as to hound and bully a woman who had done literally nothing wrong. Explaining that said woman could have taken her own life because of it is unbearable.

    2. 8.2
      Florencey

      exactly what i was thinking- kids don’t care that much about this stuff. she would have only needed to give them a simple explanation along the lines of ‘i was born in the wrong gender, please call me miss now’ and they would’ve been fine.
      absolutely disgusting that this man’s even allowed to keep his job. in what world did he think it’d be ok to single out an individual member of public and destroy them for their life choices?! so angry.

    3. 8.3
      Sassafras

      I’m most sorry for any trans kids at that school. They probably heard a teacher was transitioning and got a hopeful idea that it was possible, only to see that teacher ridiculed by vicious adults and eventually commited suicide. Not the most uplifting lesson for them.

  9. 9
    flybywire

    Amy @7

    I have a hunch they removed mention of her in the article not because of remorse, but because they don’t want to *look* bad. Sickening.

    Agreed. What is it about large organizations that care only about image instead of the right thing. I can’t wait until all of humanity becomes more enlightened so such a terrible thing doesn’t occur.

    1. 9.1
      ck

      There is no money in doing the right thing, but money can be lost if your public image is tarnished. Therefore, keep the vile crap that draws in the reactionary assholes, but scrub references that could reflect poorly on the organization.

  10. 10
    Petethegoat

    sent him a message via the contact page on his website inviting him to comment.
    i’m not expecting a response, but if anyone else would like to ask him also: http://richardlittlejohn.net/contact.html

  11. 11
    Superglucose

    Please tell me we have the damn things he said saved on an archive somewhere. The internet does not forget.

    1. 11.1
      Harpsy

      Trigger warning, but here’s the archive.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20121226073921/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2251347/Nathan-Uptons-wrong-body–hes-wrong-job.html

      No, the internet does not forget.

      1. fractal

        I don’t want him ever writing again, and were I more prone to thinking that I have a right to make such decisions, I’d ask the entire goddamn internet to rise up in fury and make sure he never does again

  12. 12
    Scott John Harrison

    My friend Started a <a href="https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-daily-mail-fire-richard-littlejohn-for-causing-the-suicide-of-lucy-meadows"Change.org petition about this to try and get Richard Littlejohn Fired.

  13. 13
    Lotte

    As I said to a friend on Facebook, kids don’t hate and fear unless adults teach them to. Well done, Littlejohn. You’ve got blood on your hands. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

    I can’t blame Natasha upthread – I feel like that myself. I’m cis, but my best friend is genderqueer and the thought of anything happening to her because of bigots like Littlejohn makes me sick.

    RIP Lucy. May her memory be a blessing.

    1. 13.1
      Doc Mesa

      Amen. I’m cis male and straight but I have a small group of trans friends that mean the absolute world to me and more. It could have been any of them singled out by this mother****er and it makes my blood boil.

  14. 14
    Sarah HR

    I am so glad that the article is archived. I tried to go to the Daily Fail website and look at the comments section of the article and was a tad confused when I couldn’t find it. Of course, I didn’t think they’d sink as low as to completely remove the offending article from their site so its good to know at least they probably don’t understand the internet and once something is out there it’s there forever and someone archived it.

    Its sad news that Lucy killed herself. I wholeheartedly believe that Mail are at least partially to blame and I genuinely have a hard time believing this “””newspaper””” still even exists or that people still read it, but sadly people who have their attitudes still exist here in the UK, so they’re the ones buying the woman hating, racist, homophobic and transphobic sorry excuse for a newspaper and keeping it alive.

  15. 15
    mac

    The Daily Fail and that vile little man strikes again. Littlejohn is a horrible little man who keeps inflicting his pathetic unwanted opinions on everybody, hope he is pleased with himself this time, he is utterly vile!

  16. 16
    Sue Rickard

    Littlejohn’s bile is sadly indicative of a society full of fear and hate. Whilst this does not excuse his behaviour in any way whatsoever, he is not alone. We live in a world where, sadly, it really does seem to be everyone for themselves. Prompted by the pervading fear of poverty, violence, rejection, downright not belonging…

    It is up to every single one of us to reject this, as Christians would vehemently have us reject Satan, well guess what guys, here’s a damn good substitute and it really is the viper in our own nests. All it takes for evil to flourish, is for good men to do nothing.

    In the early 1980s, in a little town called Howth, in “Holy Catholic Ireland”, a sensation happened. A married man with children decided to be brave enough to tell the world that he was to be she. It was a 9 day wonder. Folk wondered what differences it was going make and then shrugged and got on with it. Some were uncomfortable and just avoided her, some were polite but distant, most, to their credit, made the effort to speak to her as the person they had always known. Naturally a few tried to foster hate, they were told to be quiet and keep it to themselves.

    Now if that can happen, all the way back then, THERE! Why oh why do we let this happen now. Because we need to take on the responsibility, each and every one of, that if we ignore the little things, then big bad things like this will happen.

    My heartfelt sympathies to Lucy and her clearly loving and supportive family. All credit to her colleagues. My sorrow for all her little ones, who knew her spirit, and instinctively see past the shell. Being recently bereaved of a son myself, with other but equally deep issues, by similar means, this is a poignant one for me.

    How far have we not come. Let us resolve to never be the one who didn’t say something, or do something, that could have made a difference,no matter what the senario. Let us lookout for one another. The “Leaders” are looking out for themselves and ‘their kind’. Community and a sense of such, CAN be manufactured, for what does that word mean? “To make or process a raw material into a finished product.”

    Society is us, ladies and gentlemen, we are the only ones who can change it.

  17. 17
    Matthew Miller

    It looks like Dick has a defender on Wikipedia scrubbing efforts to mention this incident.

    Richard Littlejohn

    1. 17.1
      John Cossham

      I wonder if a page on Lucy Meadows could be created, to commemerate her life, or indeed, a subsection of a page on transgender people, or ;famous’ trans people?

      I edit Wikipedia sometimes, I might slip something into Littlejohn’s page…

  18. 18
    Doc Mesa

    I encourage as many as can to visit the UK Press Complaints Comission website. The article date is 26/12/2012, with Clause 4 (Harassment) and Clause 12 (Discrimination) being breached. Please forward this on to as many as you can and hopefully we can bring this evil bastard to account.

  19. 19
    Amy

    Brilliant post. I’m boycotting Mail Online from now on.

  20. 20
    CerealDave

    A visit to the wikipedia page will confirm to most people what a piece of dogshit Littlejohn is. He pretends to live in north London but actually lives in Florida. He gets paid £800,000 per year to write his shit while better writers have to work day jobs to get by. There was a scandal when Johann Hari was found to be plagiarising old interview quotes and yet Littlejohn gets away with lying again and again.

    Sadly, the PCC are a useless, toothless organisation. A figleaf designed to make it look like the british right wing press give a shit about trivial things like accuracy. The Leveson inquiry called out everything they did but when the government tries to do something about it, they bleat about their freedom of speech being trampled down.

    Sound familiar?

    PS. Here’s the aforementioned Johann Hari pwning Littlejohn on his own TV show:

    1. 20.1
      Threepwood

      Ah yes that well known plagiarist Johan Hari.
      A man who maliciously altered wikipedia entries.
      If one of those maligned had committed suicide presumaby it would have been his fault yes?

  21. 21
    1. 21.1
      Petethegoat

      Apparently some people have had issue with the archive, so here’s a poorly stitched together screencap of the article; http://i.imgur.com/lIKWDwe.jpg

      As someone said above, there’s this petition- https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-daily-mail-fire-richard-littlejohn-for-causing-the-suicide-of-lucy-meadows. It’d be great to get some more signatures on that. If you’re at all concerned about the wording, I tweeted to the guy who made it and he agrees that it’s a bit sensationalist.

  22. 22
    Krasnaya Koshka

    This makes me weep.

  23. 23
    DM

    After the Daily Mail article or because of it? I don’t approve of the article but is there any evidence to suggest that he/she committed suicide because of it? It was also after him returning to school as as her and Daily Mail article or not I can imagine children having a great laugh. He also had probably had many years of emotional torment – it is not just one thing that leads somebody to suicide.

    1. 23.1
      Mel

      She. She. She. SHE. For goodness sake, SHE. Stop referring to her as HE.

    2. 23.2
      Sassafras

      Being outed and held up for ridicule in a national publication is not just a drop in a fucking bucket.

    3. 23.3
      Rani Bakr

      “It was also after him returning to school as as her and Daily Mail article or not I can imagine children having a great laugh.”

      I guess you missed the part where the school board, her students, her family and pretty much everyone BUT that sad sack of shit Littlejohn and the ONE FUCKING PERSON he could find that had a problem enough to make a scandal out of.

      Read things before you comment on them.

    4. 23.4
      Kenny Vee

      Read the article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/22/trans-teacher-lucy-meadows-press. She was hounded at home and at school, parents were being offered money to get a picture of Ms. Meadows (they refused because they have a lot more class than Mr. Littlejohn), even a drawing by a student was taken from a cached copy of the school’s website to use in articles about her.

      Her whole life became a nonstop attempt at avoiding the press. And she wasn’t even a celebrity, for whom many people look the other way when the stalkerazzi gather. She was just someone trying to teach kids until Richard Littlebottom got a bee in his bonnet that he didn’t like her. You can try to make excuses for the Daily Mail, but I’m afraid the facts in the case which you did not bother to familiarize yourself with shred your argument to pieces.

      1. Sassafras

        If anything, that shows me that not only does Littlejohn deserve all the condemnation in the world for his part in adding to this woman’s stress, but there’s an awful lot of lower-profile reporters who deserve a heaping helping of condemnation, too.

  24. 24
    LorrieAnne Miller

    What a stupid argument:

    “But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter? Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.”

    My kid knew a friend of the family was post op by age 7. That has never kept him (or any of his peers) from interacting with the family friend just like he would with any other adult friend of mine. It’s not kids who have a problem with the idea of transgender so much as adults.

    1. 24.1
      Katherine

      That is absolutely correct. No way are seven year olds supposed to have to compute this stuff. The suicide of a teacher is so incredibly hard to deal with, not to mention the awful message the intolerance sends to them.

  25. 25
    julieb85

    Daily Mail has much previous form for sensationalist reporting…. and was cited at the Leveson enquiry.
    http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Submission-by-Trans-Media-Watch.pdf

    In that ‘incident’ the local people of Liss in Hampshire came out strongly against the prurient press, notably the ‘Daily Mail’.

  26. 26
    Ophelia Benson

    Fucking horrendous.

  27. 27
    Dave Schofield

    There is a large mass of people in the Middle (both geographically and socially) of England to whom the Mail is weekly reading and to whom Mr. Littlejohn is bold journalism. I think this event shows a national-news-scale replica of what goes unreported elsewhere, those who don’t make the pages of the Mail still have to contend with jibes and bullying. The Mail might have taken this opportunity to make a dent in a way of thinking, but alas it hasn’t.

  28. 28
    Sophie Wood

    As much as I despise the views and bigotted opinions of Richard Littlejohn, and as much as I would dearly love to see him prosecuted for trans -motivated hate crime, I cannot believe that he would, as a human being, of sound mind with a conscience, have forseen such a tragic end for Lucy. This surely brings forward an urgent need for hate crime legislation to be extended to protect all minority groups along side a just and robust governance regime for the media. There is no justifiable rationale here for the defence of ‘freedom of speech.’ Many criminals are met with justice whilst not having been motivated for a specificic ‘endgame’ as a result of their actions. Littlejohn as an individual and the Daily Mail should be subject to this lawful process in the name of justice [never in the name of revenge or revulsion]. I would ask any politician of any party if they would have stood up for Goebbels and his press regime for representing Jews as being ‘Pigs’ and ‘evil’ and ‘conspiring against the master race in the ‘thirties’. There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to the the arguments they are currently so strenuosly defending against articles relating to trans people and other minority groups. good people really need to stand up now rather than ‘do nothing’ in response to this continual malifience.

    1. 28.1
      Mel

      If one is going to publish such vile matter regarding another person, they ought to expect that violence may be a potential end — especially if they are participating in the oppression of a member of a minority group.

  29. 29
    smhll

    But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter?

    Tangentially, it’s also disgusting that he thinks adults are people who don’t particularly matter.

    Additionally, his fears for children due to ‘confusion’ are foolish and unsubstantiated. I suspect he’s one of those blokes who thinks about genitalia a lot and therefore leaps to the confusion that seven-year olds confronted with a name and pronoun change will be similarly obsessed.

    1. 29.1
      theobromine

      Tangentially, it’s also disgusting that he thinks adults are people who don’t particularly matter.

      I don’t think he is saying that adults don’t matter, but rather that they are equipped to handle this sort of thing in a way that children are not. Because think of the horror of a child who “still believes in Father Christmas” finding out that gender is not immutable. It might even turn them GAY!!!111 (On the contrary: As others have said, children are often much more accepting of differences in personal appearance (once they get beyond the initial innocent curiosity), and I suspect the sexuality component would not even have been a question. So what if the teacher used to have a beard and wear pants and now has long hair and wears a dress? It could be handled just as they would appearance changes for a teacher who lost or gained a lot of weight, or had cancer treatment and their hair fell out, or any number of other things.)

      1. poxyhowzes

        Theo,

        By its very construction, the phrase “people who really matter” implies that there people who DO NOT matter. Whether that’s all adults or not is pretty much beside the point.

        Had Little John contracted those who “most” matter with others who matter “less” or even those who matter “least,” his readers would have a better understanding of his ‘us versus them’ bigotry.

        But he didn’t. He contrasted those who “really” matter with those who don’t ‘really’ matter at all.

        pH

  30. 30
    Abdul Alhazred

    It’s bullying as you say, but it’s also slander and indeed blood libel.

    Slander against Lucy Meadows, but also blood libel against the transgendered being considered not to be trusted with children. Gay people generally face this too.

  31. 31
    Matt I'anson

    The thing that is really upsetting is that someone who clearly has no knowledge about trans* issues is being paid and allowed to publish his opinions on something he evidently knows nothing about and that does not affect him.
    “It would have been easy for him to disappear quietly at Christmas, have the operation and then return to work as ‘Miss Meadows’ at another school on the other side of town in September. No-one would have been any the wiser.”
    Aside from the fact that one should not have to uproot one’s entire life in order to transition, as if it is some guilty secret, Richard Littlejohn obviously knows absolutely nothing about transitioning. What does he mean, ‘the operation’? As if there is one simple surgery like on tv where a character goes and returns in like a week, completely changed? As if it easy or indeed necessary to have surgery in order to life in your true gender?
    So why is this man, who hasn’t even bothered to understand even the basics of transitioning, allowed to level offensive and accusatory articles at an innocent woman?
    This is sickening and heartbreaking, but unfortunately a too common problem in a lot of journalism, as well as the rest of mainstream media, where trans* people, particularly transfeminine people are either demonised or made into a joke.

  32. 32
    KT

    Sadly this blog is incorrect.
    The Daily Mail article was edited on the 12th March, 7 days before the body was found. I believe that the edit might have been made as the result of a PCC complaint but it would appear on the face of it to have nothing to do with the sad death of Lucy Meadows.
    Let’s also not forget that we don’t know how she died, it might not have been suicide!

    1. 32.1
      Rasmus

      Well, I think we pretty much know. The phrase “there are no suspicious circumstances” is the standard police terminology for very obvious cases of suicide and it’s also the standard phrase that newspapers use.

      How do you know when the article was edited?

    2. 32.2
      freemage

      KT: The article was originally published 12th December 2012. Thus, it had been up for three full months by the time the edit occurred. If you seriously contend that the article didn’t feed into and poison the environment surrounding this woman (and thus, lead fairly directly to her suicide), then you’re an idiot.

  33. 33
    gilgamesh

    Since Superman isn’t free, this kind of sounds like a job for Anonymous…

    1. 33.1
      fractal

      Unfortunately they both suffer from the same problem, a complete lack of supervision

  34. 34
    Madison

    This is horrible. So what if she was born a man? The coworkers should not have been evil like this. Yes, there are hardships in life for everyone, but this was inappropriate and unnecessary. She did nothing wrong to the children and now she is gone from this world, a fellow member of the LGBT community that I also belong to isn’t here any longer. That wasn’t fair of them to say or do to her at all. No matter gender, race, sexuality, etc., it should not happen. R. I. P. to her.

  35. 35
    JJS

    Whenever the Mail changed the copy, who cares? They, Littlejohn, the lot of them, moralistic, septic, hate filled scum. And you can read the original Mail piece here here

  36. 36
    Monica

    After reading the story I am led to think the following .. they claim the stories were supposedly to protect the children .. did the writer of the stories ever consider that the students may have actually liked Lucy as their teacher no matter what her origins may have been. To most kids the teacher is just a teacher and their gender doesn’t make a real difference. So what if Lucy was transgender .. did it really make a difference to her quality of work? No. But the stories from the Daily Mail sure did. Ripping open someones past because of bigotry and personal dislike of someones gender is really hateful. Causing Lucy to choose suicide as a response to the actions of the Daily Mail writer in doing that to her proves how very far that the writer pushed.

    The problem with most whom choose to be bigoted against a person or a group of persons they perceive as different , is that they do not consider the repercussions. I truly hope that people learn from what happened as response to the daily mail reporter. In that learning I would hope that people will start to consider their actions and what could be a repercussion of those very actions.

  37. 37
    Eristae

    But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter? Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.

    Well, now we won’t have to worry about how seven year old children will react to their teacher transitioning from male to female. Instead, we get to worry about how seven year old children will react to their teacher killing herself.

    They will lose their innocence soon enough.

    And I’m sure that now they have.

    Congratulations, Richard Littlejohn and Daily Mail, congratulations. You managed to quite thoroughly do what you insisted that Miss Meadows was going to do.

  38. 38
    Rasmus

    A horrible loss for those who knew her. So sad.

    Also, worst use of “won’t someone think about the children!” ever. Here I was, thinking the anti-PC crows was supposed to loathe that particular argument, but I guess what matters to them is that they get to rationalize their hatred with whatever happens to be close at hand.

  39. 39
    Petunia

    she’s still referred as “he” and with her old name on the article about her death << the fuck is wrong with people?!

  40. 40
    SallyStrange

    It is so horrible and depressing, how bigotry twists minds and destroys lives as a result. I wish there were more I could do.

  41. 41
    Larry McCauley

    A change.org petition intending to drive the Littlejohn creature from his post has been set up by a young activist who deserves both applause and gratitude for doing so…

    https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-daily-mail-fire-richard-littlejohn-for-victimizing-lucy-meadows-leading-to-her-possible-suicide

    I cannot – and please forgive me if this has been mentioned – conceive of an attack on Ms Meadows by the gutter press on the basis of race, sexuality or religion. But transgender / transexuality? That is a different matter altogether. Although part of the LGBT equation, it doesn’t always enjoy the same degree of understanding, resources or defence as the LGB lobby – and I am *very* glad that the LGB crew are doing well and fighting on! But the fact remains – trans people are the most vulnerable group in terms of vilification, family estrangement, stress, mockery…you name it, the trans community experiences it on a daily basis that no other group endures.

    This isn’t right.

    First Burchill, now this…dehumanising of trans people for being honest and courageous enough to state their identity in the face of what, for many, turns out to be too much. whatever laws exist for LGB people seem to be notable by their absence for the transgender community. This has to change, whether through legislation or applying the law with more rigour. And “journalism” of the sort the Littlejohn creature has spewed from the confines of his miserly little soul should be in the dock, not Ms Meadows and her many hopes for her future; a future that involved a passion for nurturing and educating our children, not for maliciously destroying lives through bigoted, illogical and vile poison. Ms Meadows appears to have had more integrity in her little finger than Littlejohn has in his whole body. I’m also reminded that the Littlejohn creature usually waits for women to die before besmirching them.

  42. 42
    Storm

    It’s not just about trans discrimination but the bigger picture. This display of behavior from this man became so destructive to another person that they felt finishing their human experience was a better option.

    It’s all too obvious how out of touch with ourselves we really are. “Us / Them”.. “he said / she said”..
    FFS, we all come from the same minerals and gas explosions! Time we started acting like a whole and not the notion of separatism and selfishness we continue to adopt.

    We all need to start respecting each other. xx

  43. 43
    keri Abrams

    Hey Mr. Littlejohn, why don’t you come after me next? I CANNOT be broken or destroyed by words spoken or printed. I hope you feel some type of remorse for destroying a human life. What secrets are you hiding, and I am sure you are, in your closet? Had thoughts for another man, fantasized about having sex with animals, come on and tell the world your secrets. And I know just the publication that would LOVE to print your story!!!!

  44. 44
    BecomingJulie

    Irrespective of whether or not it was a direct factor in Miss Meadows’ death, the article should never even have been published in the general media in the first place.

    It is nothing but the vile outpourings of a sociopath. Dehumanising an entire category of people for the sole purpose of making money is the very definition of sociopathy.

    The Daily Mail and all who followed in the same vein have blood on their hands.

  45. 45
    Tony Martin

    A trivial self serving bum like the author of this piece would probably not understand how deeply upsetting is the accusation to a good teacher that they are harming the children they love. Such an imbecile has no right to such a powerful voice.

  46. 46
    Jo Justice

    We change culture by speaking up and speaking out. dont’ let this be swept under the rug. Speak out of behalf of Lucy and everyone else defined by others as ‘different.’

  47. 47
    SNORElax

    Although the daily mail author wrote the article too viciously they did have a point. But they shouldnt of used this mans name so freely in the article.

    Rip

    1. 47.1
      Lucy

      What man? Lucy Meadows was a woman, and Richard Littlejohn is a vile worm, there are no men involved. Also, what point? Children cope pretty well with this sort of thing, it’s a few bigoted and narrow-minded adults who cause all of the problems.

      Being so publically outed and abused might or might not have led directly to Lucy Meadows’ suicide, but that is immaterial: the attitudes promoted by disgusting articles like that lead directly to the harm and death of trans people worldwide. I simply do not understand how someone’s transition is anyone’s business but their own and, if they choose, those close to them.

      A fucking mess, and a clear call that the press needs to change. Sadly, the recommendations in the Leveson report look like they will be watered down or abandoned.

    2. 47.2
      what

      Would have it been hard to mention what point the abusive writer had? Or were you just throwing that out here for shits and giggles?

  48. 48
    Winter

    Zinnia asked: “What’s one life next to the opportunity for yet another vacuous, melodramatic headline…”

    The thing is, I suspect that’s exactly the way the thought process behind the attacks on Lucy Meadows was reasoned. They sold papers and drove traffic to the Daily Mail website. That’s how business make money, and that’s the *only* thing they care about.

    As long as the outrage over destroying an innocent person’s life is less than the increased market share they picked up while doing so, the shareholders are served and everyone at the Daily Mail and other businesses like it are happy.

    It’s a sick and warped business model, and one that incentivises attacking trans* people and other vulnerable segments of the population.

  49. 49
    Toby Amber Whittaker

    Trans people are easy targets for so many reasons. By definition they are not ‘authentically’ anything – their entire identity is constructed outwards from an inner conviction, without evidence that they can call to support them – the only evidence that anyone has that someone born a woman is really a man or vice versa, is because of what they tell or express about how they feel.

    This makes it incredibly hard to be sure that one even is what one thinks one is, that one isn’t just creating a travesty out of one’s life – this is only possible with emotional support and people believing what you honestly tell them. When someone publically states to a readership of millions that he thinks you are mistaken, that you are a fraud, that everything you thought was the one thing you could hold onto, is fake – and to be told that children will be harmed by your very existence when your profession is teaching, to be made such a focus of hateful attention – would be difficult to deal with even if it only found the chinks in a suit of emotional armour.

    To someone who has spent their life constructing a fragile edifice of hard-won truth… I know I couldn’t have coped, if I was lucky I’d have got myself hospitalised before I could take an overdose or throw myself off a building. Everyone who has to go through life fighting these battles deserves support and at least tolerance, if not understanding. Transexuality, transgenderedness, whatever you want to call it, however you construct it in intellectual terms, is real. It’s a lived experience: I know, because I live it.

    This isn’t just the usual liberal-baiting, cheap jokes against the daily Fail – this is either cold, calculating hatred, or cynicism so cold that it might as well have the same name.

    It must not stand.

  50. 50
    Toby Amber Whittaker

    What about some kind of protest along the lines of: everyone buy several copies of the Daily Mail, then tear them to pieces publically? – not burn them, that would have too many bad connotations – but do something physically with the paper on the street that would draw attention, whilst explaining exactly why. the fact that all the copies had been bought with our own money would add irony to the situation, and make it entirely legal.

    1. 50.1
      Derik Palmer

      Like wipe our arses with it in public? That would work!

  51. 51
    Toby Amber Whittaker

    What about some kind of protest along the lines of: everyone buy several copies of the Daily Mail, then gather somewhere (their offices?) and tear them to pieces publically? – not burn them, that would have too many bad connotations – but do something physically with the paper on the street that would draw attention, whilst explaining exactly why. the fact that all the copies had been bought with our own money would add irony to the situation, and make it entirely legal.

  52. 52
    Denny

    Ironically (?) in the same column he wrote: “Twitter is a playground for vicious trolls and cowardly cyber-bullies who can ruin people’s lives with the most vile threats and smears.”

    Sounds more like the Daily Mail to me.

  53. 53
    Babs

    And was it not Littlejohn who sought the strongest retribution against the Aussie DJs whose prank led to the death of that poor nurse?
    I think so….

  54. 54
    Alan

    Here’s the original article (now censored by the Daily Mail) but available thanks to the good work of Internet Archive: http://bit.ly/ZBc0qW

  55. 55
    Christer555

    What sort of plonker kills themselves over a few words anyway? “Good riddance” said the genepool.

    1. 55.1
      Sassafras

      I didn’t know Miss Meadows, but just the fact that she didn’t make fun of suicide victims proves that she was worth at least ten of you.

    2. 55.2
      surething

      What sort of plonker writes this kind of shit? Why do we want you in the gene pool?

  56. 56
    Gareth Mitchell

    Sad hearing this thoughts are with her , family and friends here is the original piece by Mr Littlejohn…

    http://web.archive.org/web/20121226073921/http:/www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2251347/Nathan-Uptons-wrong-body–hes-wrong-job.html

  57. 57
    Tom Dussek

    What’s especially galling is that schools in the UK are legally obliged to have policies in place for how they support and provide equal status to all children, regardless of gender, race and sexuality. I’m a school governor and we’ve just had some equalities training which focussed particularly on trans-gender issues. We have school policies for how to support trans-gender kids, and that must also apply to staff members. There is light at the end of the tunnel – society is moving on. Children are being brought up to not see difference as a big deal. One day, Mr Littlejohn’s view of the world will shrivel and die. But how tragic that this teacher have died before that day.

  58. 58
    Beaumont

    Just some food for thought, here:

    Littlejohn’s an odious little man, with an odious little column, in an odious little rag. The article he published on Miss Meadows runs contradictory to my own views on the matter; and it is my belief that he was abusing the freedom of the press by confronting an ‘issue’ that didn’t really exist in the first place, and that was absolutely none of his business. He abused these powers to manufacture a moral panic, and, indirectly, sell more newspapers. This warrents contempt, not anger.

    Just as insulting to the memory of Miss Meadows are some of the comments I have been reading on this website. The feeling that you were born in the wrong body must be an extremely painful one; and it is one that I cannot fathom on a personal level. However, the resolve and will to go against the preconceptions of mainstream society and take positive steps to transitioning into your true form must be even more gigantic. A person capable of generating this resolve, such as Meadows, would not have been pushed to suicide by the actions of such a disgusting little man. Fact. Meadows is an example to all of us, as indeed are all trans people to one extent or another… but not because you people want to twist her into a martyr to justify your irrational hatred for a man who knows no better. Furthermore, Meadows was a teacher, with university level education. She would have been rational enough to understand that, in the grand scheme of things, the article meant nothing and would eventually have blown over; especially in today’s attention-defecit culture.

    To deny her rationality or her strength; without having known her at all; is frankly a disgusting display of arrogance on the part of some of the commentors on this blog. Have you no respect for the dead? Have you no shame?

    Littlejohn is an arsehole. Arseholes agree with him. However, society is not one whole, cohesive unit. The term ‘society’ shifts with context. This comments section, for instance, is a micro-society. A collection of individuals. Within this micro-society, Littlejohn’s sympathizers are in a distinct minority, making an attack on he – or them, social discrimination. Indeed, I have not seen any comment openly supporting the article in question; so we can safely assume that Littlejohn’s supporters are absent from this micro-society. This makes an attack on them “Xenophobia”. Furthermore, several have admitted to wanting to physically harm Littlejohn; so we can probably put “inciting violence” down on the list, as well.

    Come the fuck on, people! You want Society as a whole to change? You want to get rid of the Littlejohns? You have to reflect the change you want in the world within yourself! In this comments section alone we have discrimination, xenophobia, and violent language. We have hate speech. Hate speech justified by the hijacking of a tragic event, the suicide of Miss Meadows; whom no-one in this comments section knew personally and no-one knows for sure if Littlejohn’s article played a part in her death. Well done, people. Well done. If even in this tiny gathering we can’t be dispassionate, rational and calm; how do you expect Society as a whole to ever take on those attributes?

    Attack Littlejohn on a logical level. He works from manufactured emotion, and thus has no defence against that. To attack him in this despicable, disgusting and sub-human way – this emotional way, is to lower yourself to his level. You think you’re better than he is? Act like it.

    Oh, and just out of interest; I’m straight, male, nineteen years old and a student of History. I wonder how this will affect your responses to my arguments?

    /rant

    1. 58.1
      jefrir

      Why didn’t he know better? Really, “don’t be a bigoted shitstain” is not that hard a concept to grasp. Littlejohn has had plenty of opportunities in his life to learn more about trans* people, or to simply learn not to spout off bullshit about things he knows nothing about. He hasn’t taken those opportunities because he’s more interested in being a small-minded hateful bigot.
      And yes this comment section contains “discrimination, xenophobia, and violent language” – provided of course that you take care to define those terms in utterly stupid ways.

    2. 58.2
      surething

      irrational hatred for a man who knows no better

      Rational dislike for a man who should know better since he’s in a position of power to influence the opinion of others.

      She would have been rational enough to understand that, in the grand scheme of things, the article meant nothing and would eventually have blown over

      You think we’re Vulcans or something and nothing affects us emotionally? I mean, how much can you misinterpret what humans are like?

      Littlejohn’s sympathizers are in a distinct minority, making an attack on he – or them, social discrimination. Indeed, I have not seen any comment openly supporting the article in question; so we can safely assume that Littlejohn’s supporters are absent from this micro-society. This makes an attack on them “Xenophobia”.

      No, it doesn’t, that’s not what xenophobia refers to at all.

      Oh, and just out of interest; I’m straight, male, nineteen years old and a student of History. I wonder how this will affect your responses to my arguments?

      Shove your psychological experiments. I thought you were gay, female, 42 and a biologist before you wrote that.

  59. 59
    Cian

    Might be worth taking account of the Samaritans guidelines on reporting on suicide when writing about things like this : http://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/media-guidelines/reporting-suicide-tips-journalists

    Specifically in this case :

    “Avoid simplistic explanations for suicide

    Although a catalyst may appear to be obvious, suicide is never the result of a single factor or event and is likely to have several inter-related causes. Accounts which try to explain a suicide on the basis of a single incident, for example unrequited romantic feelings, should be challenged. Where relevant, news features could be used to provide more detailed analysis of the reasons behind the rise in suicides.”

  60. 60
    David Davidson

    Using a woman’s suicide to validate your own political prejudices? Stay classy.

    I’d be interested to know how anyone here knows that it was the Daily Mail that tipped Miss Upton over the edge. Or whether it wasn’t that living as a transgendered person is an incredibly tumultuous existence – one that all too often ends this way. I’m a big supporter of LGBT rights, but I’m also a supporter of free speech – all Richard Littlejohn was expressing (if you actually read the article) was an opinion concerning the effects on the children which Miss Upton taught. That’s a perfectly legitimate point of view.

    The fact that many here are so keen to indulge in a hypothetical link between the Daily Mail and Miss Upton’s suicide and then wallow in mastubatory self-validation just goes to show that there are despicable people on both sides of the political spectrum. Instead of sanctimonious preaching to the choir, perhaps you should all be ashamed of yourselves instead.

    1. 60.1
      surething

      That’s a perfectly legitimate point of view.

      People saying he’s an ass and that this kind of article would only add fuel to the anti-trans* fire is a perfectly legitimate point of view as well. It’s kinda funny how it’s the people with the most politically charged views that accuse others of being all political about an issue. Your post shows you to be despicable, no matter what your political ideology is, however.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    embertine

    I’m disturbed at the comments saying that Lucy Meadows probably was (implication: should have been) strong enough not to be influenced by Littlejohn’s article. Yes, perhaps she could have dismissed his hateful comments, were it not for the fact that he named her, named the school at which she worked, and made a point of seeking out and representing only those pupils and parents who had a problem with her. Do you think this article was likely to have been an end to it? Do you think this whole thing happened in isolation?

    We don’t know at this stage what else was going on in her life to prompt her to commit suicide. Maybe it had nothing to do with the article or its consequences. Maybe we won’t ever know. But please don’t be so ridiculous as to state that the Daily Mail hasn’t contributed to the culture of transphobic bullying that drives many trans folk to suicide.

    To state that transition is just inherently stressful, without examining the social stigma that helps to make it so, seems willfully oblivious. The way it is is not necessarily the way it has to be.

    1. 62.1
      David Davidson

      Just pointing out that singling out the Daily Mail and Richard Littlejohn in particular as the cause for this suicide has no basis at all and smacks of political agenda more so than genuine sympathy for the victim. Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian. Probably not. And some of them seem to be enjoying the outrage surrounding this case a bit too much.

      Also, read the damn article. It was not the vile assault on her identity that Zinnia Jones paints it as – in fact Richard Littlejohn was surprisingly sympathetic towards her. He merely presented a legitimate opinion on the effect a transgendered teacher might have on very young children (backed up by quotes from the children themselves). It may be wrong, but it’s an opinion that he has a right to hold and express.

      The only bullies here are the mob represented in this comments section.

      1. Zinnia Jones

        “He merely presented a legitimate opinion on the effect a transgendered teacher might have on very young children (backed up by quotes from the children themselves).”

        Excuse me? I’m trans, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I take care of my very young children every day. What exactly do you mean to imply about the “effect” I have on them? Explain that. Because that’s the sort of thing you’re saying about people like me, when you suggest that there can be some “legitimate” difference of “opinion” about the “effect” on children of being around me. Yes, I take it personally. Did you really mean to say something like that?

        1. Beaumont

          First, mucho respecto for you and your blog. I’ve followed quite a few of your posts so far, but this one’s the first one I’ve commented on.

          That said, it probably isn’t wise for you to act so aggressively to the guy who posted above. The “effect” that he was talking about was merely the consequences on a child’s development that any lifestyle of a parent, trans or not, has on a child’s development. My mother looked after me by herself, while holding down four jobs. That had an effect on me. You are a trans person. This will have an effect on your child. Whether it will be positive or negative depends largely on you… though I’m willing to bet your kid will likely be a lot more tolerant, well informed and sensitive to gender issues than the average kid. This is an effect.

          Similarly, the effect that a trans school teacher has on her pupils may well be positive; as indeed I and many others down here in the comments believe to be the case. Richard Littlejohn does not share this opinion, and his opinion is just as valid as ours; albeit wrong and bigoted.

          Attack Littlejohn all you like. He probably deserves it. My issue is turning Miss Meadows into a martyr for your cause, when she’s dead and can’t answer back. Any number of factors could have influenced her suicide; and I happen to believe that an educated person such as herself with the emotional strength to undergo transition (as well as endure the many years of torture that being trapped in the wrong body must have been) wouldn’t have been affected as dramatically as you seem to assume by the words of a silly little man in a silly little paper. Furthermore, to assume otherwise is presumptuous in the extreme, patronizing to her memory and to be guilty of speaking ill of the dead.

          Yes, I’m male and proud of it, and my views on gender binary and feminism have been attacked before now in the university debating club. However, I am well informed and my last girlfriend, whom I broke up with on moving to Scotland, was trans. I can assure you, I’m no apologist for Littlejohn, nor am I a transphobe. But what you are implying in this article is morally wrong, and I hope you see it now.

          1. Sassafras

            . The “effect” that he was talking about was merely the consequences on a child’s development that any lifestyle of a parent, trans or not, has on a child’s development.

            Wrong. The “effect” that was being referred to in the original article was described as “devastating”, and that it would make children worried and confused. It was NOT about positive or neutral effects, only negative.

            I happen to believe that an educated person such as herself with the emotional strength to undergo transition (as well as endure the many years of torture that being trapped in the wrong body must have been) wouldn’t have been affected as dramatically as you seem to assume by the words of a silly little man in a silly little paper.

            I happen to believe you should shut the fuck up about lecturing trans women on how suffering works. How dare you tell people who have suffered that if they’re strong enough to stand one type of pain, then a little national shaming and ridicule on top of the pain they’re already going through won’t bother them.

            You ex-girlfriend is lucky to be rid of you, because you’re a pompous condescending ass.

          2. Ichthyic

            ” Any number of factors could have influenced her suicide”

            the fact is though, NOBODY should have to endure an ignorant bigot to be paid by a public newspaper to attempt to shame them for doing their fucking job.

            sorry, but even if this WASN’T a contributing factor to a suicide, it sure as fuck does nothing more than to contribute to bigotry against trans folk who just want to live their lives in peace, just like the rest of us.

            there is NO difference in what this vile prick did in that paper, and saying that if this person was gay, then they shouldn’t expose “innocent children” to that.

            Your ignorance and privilege is showing. better put some pants on.

        2. David Davidson

          You’re misinterpreting me. I am merely defending his right to a contrary opinion – not the opinion itself.

          It’s an opinion I happen to disagree with, but it’s an issue which ought to at least be up for debate.

          Whether or not you agree with him – this issue ought to be a subject for reasoned debate on both sides without having to resort to unfounded personal attacks – let alone blaming the other side as being culpable for a woman’s suicide.

          All I see is a knee-jerk reaction to a Daily Mail article simply for the crime of being a Daily Mail article. At worst, it’s using a woman’s suicide as a stick to bash the other side of the political spectrum. Richard Littlejohn did not call Lucy Meadows disgusting or vile. In fact at no point did he attack her personally. He merely stated an (in my opinion wrong) opinion on the effect she might be having on young children. If you disagree with him, then argue against him. But pointing to a woman’s suicide and screaming “you’re to blame!” is unfounded and going to get nobody anywhere.

          1. Sassafras

            All I see is a knee-jerk reaction to a Daily Mail article simply for the crime of being a Daily Mail article.

            Then you’re due for a trip to the ophthalmologist, because no one gives a shit about Littlejohn’s “politics”, we care about him attacking a trans woman in a national publication and painting her as dangerous to children. If you can’t see that people genuinely care about that rather than your stupid political game, then you’re contributing nothing here but useless distraction.

          2. Ichthyic

            I am merely defending his right to a contrary opinion

            LOL

            no, you weren’t.

            fail.

      2. Sassafras

        Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian. Probably not.

        Here is a video and post on this blog from two months ago, of Zinnia’s partner Heather criticizing a disgustingly transphobic article published in The Observer (the Guardian’s sister paper and a lefty publication). One of the commenters points out a similar nasty publication from years ago in The Guardian. So not only are you flat-out wrong, you just basically proved you’ve never read this blog before, know nothing about the blog or its readers, and swanned in to pretend to know something about it, because you care more about the politics game than about trans people being hit with bigotry by those with national platforms.

        1. David Davidson

          The difference is that the aforementioned article in The Observer WAS transphobic. I do not believe the article in the Daily Mail was – it was an opinion regarding the potential effects of a transgendered teacher on young children. It may have been a mistaken argument, but it’s a legitimate question and not in itself a transphobic question to ask.

          Richard Littlejohn did not attack Lucy Meadows personally, nor call her vile or disgusting. Have you even read the article? And yet you have a mob of commentators here railing against the evils of the Daily Mail and Richard Littlejohn in particular; petitioning to get him sacked and his paper of the shelves; and decrying him and everything he stands for (the right) as bigoted, worthless trash not even worthy of discussion. I think, given the content of the article, that this betrays political prejudices more so than it does genuine sympathy for Lucy Meadows.

          If you want to combat transphobia then you need to engage the left and the right. There are defenders of LGBT rights on both ends of the political spectrum. You ought to pick your battles more wisely, starting with the real bigots and not merely those on a political wing opposite to your own.

          I repeat, read the article – its content and the reaction here do not add up.

          1. Sassafras

            The difference is that the aforementioned article in The Observer WAS transphobic.

            Whoa, hold your horses right there. When you brought up the Guardian, it was to claim that the blog author and commenters are motivated by political bias and NOT opposition to transphobia. Specifically you said “Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian.” The fact that they DO oppose transphobia regardless of the political leanings of the source (even directly challenging the very paper you said they wouldn’t challenge!) means that your claim that this blog post was primarily motivated by political bias is flatly WRONG.

            Richard Littlejohn did not attack Lucy Meadows personally, nor call her vile or disgusting. Have you even read the article?

            Have you? I read it when it first came out and it disgusted me even then. He claims that the effect on children of knowing about transsexual people is “devastating”, and that by allowing Miss Meadows to continue teaching would be for the school to “elevate its ‘commitment to diversity and equality’ above its duty of care to its pupils and their parents.” He may not have used the words “vile” or “disgusting” but he did call her selfish for wanting to transition and keep her job, and claimed she did not care about her students (“By insisting on returning to St Mary Magdalen’s, he is putting his own selfish needs ahead of the well-being of the children he has taught for the past few years.”). The whole screed is a call for “protecting” children from the knowledge of trans people and says that people like me have a negative effect on children merely by being around them; your claim that it is not transphobic is ridiculous. Repeatedly misgendering Lucy Meadows is also pretty bog-standard transphobia as well.

            “I don’t care what they do in their own time, but don’t let them anywhere near my kids!” is about as obvious a bigotry as it comes.

            You ought to pick your battles more wisely, starting with the real bigots and not merely those on a political wing opposite to your own.

            As I showed you in the very comment you’re replying to, people here speak out against transphobia regardless of the perpetrator or publication’s political affiliations, so you are willfully lying by making this statement. You are not arguing in good faith and your contributions to the discussion are intentional deception.

          2. David Davidson

            Firstly, I posted:

            “Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian. Probably not.”

            That is not the same as: “Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about a transphobic article in the Guardian. Probably not.”

            I would expect people here to criticize the article in The Observer (which, I ought to point out, is not actually the Guardian, but that’s beside the point) because it was transphobic. It meets the criteria. The article in the Daily Mail was not, but unfortunately Lucy Meadows’ suicide followed its publication (and again, it ought to be pointed out that there has been no link established between the two). I only wanted to express my cynicism regarding the primary motive behind all this outrage, which I do not believe has much to do with Lucy Meadows as much as it has to do with political prejudices.

            Now, you believe it was transphobic, but what is transphobic about expressing a view that a male teacher who later becomes a female teacher might be confusing for young children? Is that not a legitimate question? Is anyone who asks it automatically a bigot in your mind? Is it a thought-crime to even consider contemplating such a question? I don’t think so. It’s a matter of empirical evidence, not of “correct” and “incorrect” opinions. Either it is confusing for young children, or it’s not. The answer is not up to you.

            Richard Littlejohn did not call Lucy Meadows “vile” or “disgusting” or any such thing. It was not a bigoted article. It may have been badly-written, overly-simplistic, badly-considered – but it was not bigoted.

            Spitting bile at anyone who exhibits even the slightest deviance from the political consensus within the trans community, without any attempt to engage with people who may disagree with your views, is not going to help anyone. Already the image of transsexuals in the public’s mind is one of overly-sensitive, pedantic and neurotic individuals obsessing over gender-neutral words and telling anyone who identifies as “male” or “female” to f***off. You want to perpetuate that image by throwing a fit over nothing? Fine. But don’t expect any progress to be made.

          3. Sassafras

            “Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian. Probably not.”
            That is not the same as: “Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about a transphobic article in the Guardian. Probably not.”

            Unless your point is that you think people would care LESS about a Guardian article that led to a suicide (an idea even more divorced from reality) then there is no need to point out the difference.

            The Observer (which, I ought to point out, is not actually the Guardian, but that’s beside the point)

            And as I pointed out before, the Observer is a sister publication to the Guardian, shares its political leanings (which was the whole point of your comment) and one of the commenters criticized an older Guardian article as well. Quit trying to earn rhetorical points with quibbling. You said people only attacked the Daily Mail article because of political bias and YOU ARE WRONG.
            You want to talk political prejudices? You are not a regular reader here, you had no interest in this blog until the blogger dared to criticize your precious Littlejohn. YOU are the one who is acting out of political prejudice and projecting it onto others.

            it was transphobic. It meets the criteria. The article in the Daily Mail was not,

            You are not the judge of whether or not something is transphobic, and come around to tell trans people that you know better than they do what counts as bigotry against them is the height of arrogance.

            Now, you believe it was transphobic, but what is transphobic about expressing a view that a male teacher who later becomes a female teacher might be confusing for young children?

            The part where he says it IS confusing and damaging with no question, that it is “devastating”, that it is selfish for trans people to transition where children might find out, that it is placing “diversity” over the well-being of children to allow trans people to be near them, and that children need to be protected from the very knowledge that trans people even exist. Those are blatantly transphobic attitudes, and I mentioned them all before, and you ignored them in order to repeat the assertion that Littlejohn said nothing bigoted about trans people.

            Spitting bile at anyone who exhi–

            Someone whose first post in this thread was to accuse the writer of using this woman’s death because of an assumed hate of the Daily Mail, and called the commenters despicable, masturbatory, sanctimonious, and worthy of being ashamed of themselves should REALLY shut his toxic mouth rather than accusing others of spitting bile.

        2. Beaumont

          Let me put it to you like this: what does the word “transphobic” actually mean? An irrational fear of transpeople, which can be expressed through hatred or mistrust. I hold that transphobia is a condition of ignorance, and can be cured through education. Now, can you blame the kids for being “worried or confused”? I doubt most of them had ever encountered a trans person before. I wouldn’t pick the word “devastating” to describe it, as that’s a bit of rhetorical bombast designed to sell a newspaper. Yet the effect would be significant at first, before the kiddies got used to Miss Meadows as she chose to present herself to the world. Littlejohn did quote some of the kids on this, he wasn’t making it up off the top of his head.

          Now, Littlejohn’s an arse. An arse who reckons kids should be sheltered from life’s inconvenient truths (i.e. some of us aren’t comfortable with our genetically assigned gender); that the poor little darlings should never face confusion.

          I believe otherwise. Kids rule, they’re smart and sensitive; and after the novelty wore off I believe the most dramatic effect of all would have been a class of kiddies comfortable with the idea of a transgender woman. Awesome, no?

          Not according to Littlejohn, but this shouldn’t make him the target of hared. I doubt he was even getting at the fact that she was trans… hell, a gay teacher would probably have prompted the same reaction; or an enthusiastic Zoroastrian for that matter… anyone ‘weird’! He’s just your common or garden leech, feeding off the ‘think of the children!’ mentality; full of ill informed predjudices. That’s not hateful. That’s just sad.

          Besides, I wasn’t actually referring to Littlejohn’s article when I was explaining the “effect”… It was in reference to David Davidson’s comment and in reply to this blog’s author’s response. Not really any of my business, I know, but then neither is the tragic suicide of a schoolteacher any of yours. Or Ms. Jone’s, for that matter, which has been my point all along.

          I’ll say nothing of your comment on my personal life or estimation of my character (based on the intimate accumulation of knowledge over the space of two comment boxes); but I would advise that you look up the ad hominem fallacy before commenting back on here. My point still stands.

          To address what you seem to have been saying just before that, I would say: just because you belong to a minority does not mean you are intimate with every emotion felt by another member of that minority. Conversely you should not assume that just because I have not been in the exact situation as a fellow member of the human race; my capacity for empathy is compromised. Neither of us knew Miss Meadows personally, so it is a matter of our conflicting views on the resilience of the human spirit. The point is moot.

          If you cannot defeat my reasoning with dispassionate logic, then it is you who has nothing more to contribute to this discussion.

          1. Beaumont

            BTW: This one was aimed at Sassafras, not David Davidson. I’m kinda thinking of all of our comments so far as a long conversation, so it made more sense for me to ‘wait my turn’ and post at the end. That’s all :)

          2. Sassafras

            Littlejohn did quote some of the kids on this, he wasn’t making it up off the top of his head.

            He went on to describe Ms. Meadows as selfish for transitioning where children could know about it, said children needed to be protected from knowing trans people exist, said the school was disregarding the well-being of the children. Those were not quotes, those were Littlejohn’s opinions.

            Now, Littlejohn’s an arse.

            Then feel free to quit defending him and telling us not to get angry with him when he’s described us as a danger for children to be around.

            Besides, I wasn’t actually referring to Littlejohn’s article when I was explaining the “effect”… It was in reference to David Davidson’s comment and in reply to this blog’s author’s response.

            And David and Zinnia WERE referring to the “effect” as presented in Littlejohn’s article, so you apparently didn’t even understand what you were replying to.

            Not really any of my business, I know, but then neither is the tragic suicide of a schoolteacher any of yours. Or Ms. Jone’s, for that matter, which has been my point all along.

            You seem to have overlooked an important fact: Lucy Meadows wasn’t special. She was a normal, non-famous woman with a normal job who had the misfortune to catch the eye of a journalist with an ax to grind. If it could happen to her, then it could happen to ANY trans person, and THAT is why it’s my business, and Zinnia’s business, and every other trans person’s business. The culture of transphobia affects us personally, so yes, a blatant example of the media targeting a trans woman for ridicule is our business.

            just because you belong to a minority does not mean you are intimate with every emotion felt by another member of that minority.

            YOU are the person that claimed to understand a transitioning woman’s emotions well enough to say that she would not have been negatively emotionally affected by a hateful article. You claim that I can’t have a true idea of what Lucy was going through despite sharing some of her experiences, but that you CAN have a true idea of what she was going through despite sharing almost none of them. Interesting double standard there.

            Neither of us knew Miss Meadows personally, so it is a matter of our conflicting views on the resilience of the human spirit.

            Not when you bring up your ideas on how transition makes a person able to resist emotional damage and then condescendingly preach that to people who have actually been through it. When you bring the emotional effects of transition into the argument you are not only talking about something you have no experience with, but you are trying to use it to scold people who DO have experience with it and understand it better than you do. That’s where the “pompous, condescending” part comes in.

            If you cannot defeat my reasoning with dispassionate logic

            Being dispassionate is for people who, like you, are discussing things that don’t affect them. Transphobia affects me personally, so I’m not going to lock away my emotions and calmly discuss whether my very existence is a danger to children.

          3. Beaumont

            I must admit, I missed the ‘selfish’ bit last night, in the heat of the moment… Okay, Littlejohn’s a transphobe. You’ve got me there.

            My main point still stand, though. I don’t like to see the dead being dug up.

            I will say that the “double standard” that you were referring to would seem to be a failure of communication on my part. You will forgive me, it was five in the morning. I merely said that you ought not assume that I have ‘no’ idea what Miss Meadows was going through at all.

            I have some small idea, I ought to think, in the same way that you might have some small idea of any other emotional trauma you haven’t suffered. Because you’re human, and humans can empathise! Social creatures, and all that jazz. I probably have a somewhat better idea than the average guy, since my last girlfriend had seriously considered suicide at one point, and I literally had to talk her out of killing herself. Just because I am not trans does not mean I have no capacity for empathy. Based on how strong I believe one must have to be to bear the emotional weight of transition – a belief gathered through empirical experience – and based on my extremely low opinion of Littlejohn and the Mail; I feel there must have been something more to Miss Meadow’s death than just one more bigot (albeit one shouting from a higher platform). This opinion is equally as valid as yours, and a hell of a lot more respectful of the dead.

            Dispassion and detachment are critical weapons in an argument. You can smash someone’s head in with a brick, and that’s an emotional victory. You can wear your suffering like a badge or hold it like a gun and demand recompense – that’s an emotional victory. But to argue from an objective position is the far better skill… and the far more likely to work. You’ve managed to convince me Littlejohn was a transphobe, and you did it with sound reasoning. Works better than calling me “pompous” or “condescending”, no?

          4. Alexandra

            “But to argue from an objective position is the far better skill…”

            A few snags in this reasoning:

            (1) Impossible. We all see the world from our own subjective point of view. It’s written into our thought processes in ways that may not even be obvious to us. I’m not sure what “empirical evidence” you’re referring to in describing the trauma of transition or the “resilience of the human spirit,” as you have not said that you either transitioned yourself or were the subject of an attack article in a national newsrag. I believe that those who care whether internet commenters use “sound reasoning” would call your conclusions about how well she handled the article speculation based on assumption.

            (2) Not true. People are emotional creatures. Reason is a tool, to be sure, but it need not be dispassionate.Forms of philosophical morality based on reason invariably reach absurd conclusions when tested in particular hypotheticals (i.e. Kantian deontology and lying to a murderer about the location of his prospective victim), and the absurdity is perceived viscerally, without an ounce of reason. Making clear one’s subjective position advances conversations much further than making assertions that one’s own ideas are blunt truth. Folding emotion into reason is a far better skill than pretending at objectivity.

            So please, check your privilege, the one that shields you from having such experiences and feeling the sharp end of a bullied trans woman’s subjectivity, and leave the rest of us to our emotional reactions and expressions of our points of view as trans women or allies. A trans woman about whom a terrible attack article was written has taken her own life. Viewing the former event as a probable element of the causation of the latter is surely at least as permissible an inference as any made in the “reasoning” of the original article about the effects of her transition on children.

          5. Beaumont

            Alexandra: You’ve actually hit the nail on the head, there. I am a Kantian, a believer in Human dignity; and I do not think that using someone’s suicide to extrapolate a social argument is in keeping with treating everyone as an end in themselves.

            You say that the philosophical system to which I suscribe is “absurd”, but it has important implications for LGBT rights. If everyone accepted that they were their own moral arbiters, allowed their morality to be dictated by reason alone, and treated everyone as an end; there would be no grounds for discrimination against Trans people in the first place.

            I have always maintained that what Littlejohn wrote was immoral. But what has been implied in this comments section is also immoral, and two wrongs do not make a right.

            I do not see what “privilege” has had to do with it. If you must know, my morality is a constant struggle to try to view things ‘universally’, i.e. objectively. In that respect, I draw a great deal of strength from the Meditations of Aurelius; whose attitudes are much like my own. Furthermore, I have experienced great poverty in my life and am only at university thanks to the Student Loan system, which will chain me to a massive debt for much of my adult life. I suggest that you resist the urge to hypothesize about another person’s life without having met them. Coincidentally, that is what I have been trying to say all along.

            You’re right, a large art of my argument is based on assumption. However, it is the far more moral thing to assume the best and allow the woman to rest in peace than to assume the worst, based on absolutely no more evidence, and use her as a totem for one’s political points. This compromises her status as an end in herself, and if you were to do so you would be committing the same transgression (albeit by different means, you’re not spouting transphobic nonsense) as Littlejohn.

          6. Alexandra

            The thing is, you can’t see things universally, because you’re a singular being. Even your example of struggle is not remotely comparable to that of a trans woman. I’m not saying it’s not as hard, but as someone who has both tons of student loan debt (law school and being disowned by family beforehand) and is trans and faced a period of regular harassment when I started transitioning, it’s apples and oranges. You may not have class privilege over her, but you at least have cis privilege, and what this privilege has to do with the argument is that you can only speculate as to what she felt or how well she could have handled being attacked in a national newspaper for being trans. You have not satisfactorily explained how you could understand the situation any better than someone like me other than to simply assert that you “struggle to view things universally,” as if empathy is an endeavor unique to you. It’s nice that you “struggle” to understand things from others’ points of view, but there’s no way you could ever know whether your struggles bore you a correct understanding without at least asking the person you seek to understand or, failing that, those similarly situated.

            Bullying and suicide have an established correlation. While the causes for each suicide are complex, that has never been a reason to dismiss any likely factors out of hand. Being bullied on a national scale while in a vulnerable position (i.e. starting the difficult and terrifying process of transition) doesn’t seem to present us with any exceptional circumstances militating against inferring a connection between the article and the suicide. I am not persuaded that it is the “best” conclusion to think that she did not take her own life because of the article in the first place, but even if it is, why should anyone assume the “best” in any given situation. Further, how would anyone determine what assumption is “best” in the first place?

            I’m actually having difficulty determining where your argument is ultimately going. I get that you think it’s distasteful that people are making a social commentary in reporting her death. I presume you would find both implicit and explicit social commentary impermissible. I disagree deeply with this point and believe that social commentary in the most egregious situations sharpens the focus on social issues and grounds them in reality where social argument in the abstract plays out more like a hobby or a game. But leaving that aside, what would you have people do? Should the suicide be reported separately from any mention of the article, despite statements from her friends about how the article affected her? What end do you hope to achieve? Are you just being contrary? Because with feelings running high this is hardly the place to play out that desire.

            As for the “let her rest in peace” point, she’s not getting any less dead for our discussing this. No matter the content of any posts or comments here, these words will not resurrect her, and no one is trying to do so. Surely you’re not arguing that social factors that may be implicated in a death cease being important with the death of that person, and the situation can never be brought up to speak out against such factors in the future. That has some interesting implications for those who speak out against genocide or social-bias-motivated murder.

            Finally, how is it “the same transgression” to make the permissible inference that the article had something to do with her suicide as it is to write the attack article in the first place? These actions are different in kind, intent, and impact, and certainly your conclusion that they are morally equivalent is not intuitive. It might make morality look neat and clean, but it comes at the cost of avoiding moral and social complexity by defaulting to a two-faced universalist individualism.

        3. Winterwind

          Sassafrass, I’m very impressed by your patience and articulateness in the face of stubborn ignorance and insensitivity. I would have given up ages ago.

          1. Sassafras

            I can be a little stubborn myself, but in this case it works for me because I’m right. ;3

      3. surething

        Ask yourself if any of these people would give a damn about Lucy Meadows if she’d committed suicide following an article in the Guardian

        Yes, they would. Unlike yourself, some people can separate politics from basic human decency. Get it?

  63. 63
    John Oakes

    Is there no legal action that can be brought as a result of this terrible occurrence?

  64. 64
    Matthew Walker

    Apart from all the PC fury and bluster from the author, and the knee-jerk reaction of all the American’s and others in the replies, he or she is dead, and no amount of bluster and touches and pitch forks against Littlejohn will change that fact.

    1. 64.1
      zibble

      he or she

      She.

      no amount of bluster and touches and pitch forks against Littlejohn will change that fact.

      We’re working from the assumption that other trans people exist, and so we’d like to discourage Littlejohn, or people like Littlejohn, from doing this again. Or to educate people about the monstrous bullying trans people face. Or simply to balance out national scorn with international support.

      1. Matthew Walker

        Then instead of raging about this incident on a blog site of a lesbian, gay … activist write to the Press Complaints Commission, and set out your complaint regarding this case.

        As for she, doesn’t change the biological fact she was born a he, and as a he was able to father a child. Just because a man thinks they are a woman, doesn’t make him one.

        1. zibble

          Then instead of raging about this incident on a blog site of a lesbian, gay … activist write to the Press Complaints Commission, and set out your complaint regarding this case.

          People *are* writing to the PCC. They are also writing directly to Littlejohn and the Daily Mail. And because we’re not particularly convinced the PCC or the Daily Mail will give a shit, people are pursuing other measures, such as public awareness. That is the purpose of “raging” on this blog site, to organize and encourage multiple forms of activism. Your criticism of this is unclear.

          Just because a man thinks they are a woman, doesn’t make him one.

          A little education about neural networks: the brain constructs an image of the self as one of our “senses”, called proprioception. This is a proven scientific idea – famed neurologist Oliver Sacks writes a lot about people with malfunctioning proprioception, who just have no sense of where their limbs are if they’re not looking directly at them. He also writes about “shadow limbs”, which are the product of a disconnect between the physical body and the brain’s wiring. Eg, recent amputees will “sense” a limb that isn’t there. This is not a delusion, they’re perfectly aware that they no longer have a leg, but their brain is wired as if that leg exists, so they’ll feel an itch on a toe that doesn’t exist.

          Male and female bodies have different equipment, and require different wiring – at the very least, if you have a penis, you need a part of the brain that expects a penis. The full extent of the differences is manifold. So, given that it IS possible for a person to have a “gender” to their brain, and given that it IS possible for nature to make mistakes (say, at a rate of 1 out of every 500, one estimate for the number of trans people in the world), is there any evidence that transgender people are born with a male brain and a female body, or vice versa?

          Yes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7477289

          Now, if one is born with a mind that’s one thing and a body’s that’s something else, which is more important; the mind or the body? In the case of shadow limbs, we don’t tell people “stop being delusional, you don’t have a leg”, we allow people to alter their body to conform with their neural network in the form of surgery and prosthetics.

          Nearly everyone here was willing to accept her as a woman, as was the school, as was the community, as were the children. She would have lived happily, healthily, while hurting no one and, instead, people who knew nothing about her or the issues she was dealing with vilified her rather than learn the actual facts.

          1. Matthew Walker

            If they are certain Littlejohns article was the primary cause have they/ the LGT… ‘community’ considered legal action?

            I don’t mean the criminal courts, as its not a criminal case but a civil case/action. As an internet witch hunt I doubt will do anything except paint the people taking part as a small bunch of malcontents with a chip on their shoulder. The British civil courts are there for this sort of thing.

            And the blame and fact can be aired in a court of law, as that’s what the law is for.

            But if you do go that route, good luck, as you’re going to need it in spades.

          2. zibble

            Bro, don’t act as if you give a fuck when you can’t even say the word “community” without sarcastic scare quotes. We know what we’re doing, and you don’t know shit.

          3. Matthew Walker

            I know your ‘community’ won’t get your objective through an internet witch hunt i.e. Littlejohn fired, but knock yourselves out trying. Good luck, you’re going to need it. Bye

        2. Trevor

          You refuse to acknowledge that trans women are women. This makes you a bigot. If someone says they are a woman, then they are. It is not complicated. Just because you and society define gender and sex in a particular way does not make it right.

          tl;dr – You are a transphobic bigot, you are Richard Little John’s intended audience.

          1. Matthew Walker

            I believe what nature does, and what you are born as. If I was born with 4 more arms does that make me an octopus?

            You call me a bigot , you ignorant slandering moron, you are so narrow minded you piss on anyone who has a different opinion to you.

            Get an education. As for the transphobic slander. As usual, it’s always those who preach ‘diversity and equality’ loudest who are the most vindictive and intolerant bigots imaginable. Sp fuck off and take your infantile attitude with you. Its people like you that give the GLBT… ‘community’ a bad name. As for Littlejohn, I rarely read his column.

          2. zibble

            If I was born with 4 more arms does that make me an octopus?

            If you were born with that body, I would support your right to elective, corrective surgery or even to live as a human being who happened to have an unusual number of arms. You seem to be arguing that if a person is born with 4 extra arms, they should just live in the sea, and you don’t seem to care that they’d drown.

            Get an education.

            I understand it’s quite long, but could you read the post I made above?

            It’s always those who preach ‘diversity and equality’ loudest who are the most vindictive and intolerant bigots imaginable.

            It only seems this way because only “liberal bigotry” affects you. ACTUAL bigotry, as in the murders, beatings, and even systemic bullying that LGBT people face is much, MUCH worse than your experience of having not everyone think that you’re super awesome for going to a trans blog to insult a victim of bullying who killed herself.

            It’s not about bigotry against you, it’s about taking responsibility for what you say.

          3. Trevor

            “I believe what nature does, and what you are born as.”

            Last I checked, we are all born as infants. Does that mean we are all still infants?

            If you say that trans women are men, you are transphobic. If you do not understand this, then you are the one who needs an education. The information you need is around here somewhere, just look for it.

        3. guthrie

          The PPC is totally toothless in this sort of situation, and telling people to coplain to it is like telling people to take a long walk off a short pier.

        4. evangelineclaire

          Anndd the fact that they are biologically male doesn’t change the fact that for whatever reason, they identify as a woman and can’t really change that. Kthnx.

          1. evangelineclaire

            So let em be what they are. Someone who simply hadn’t had a chance for surgery, or perhaps did not want to go through with a surgery.

    2. 64.2
      Ichthyic

      no amount of bluster and touches and pitch forks against Littlejohn will change that fact.

      have even for a moment considered this is a case of prevention, not an attempt at resurrection?

      idiot.

  65. 65
    Lee

    Littlejohn is an ogre but is misrepresented in this article.

    I agree with his point tho.this was liberalism gone too far.

    1. 65.1
      zibble

      How dare she be allowed to teach!!!? Children might learn not to hate transgender people!!!!!

      1. Lee

        Ridiculous straw man argument Zibble.

        Il stick to my opinion thankyou very much.

        1. theobromine

          Since you are commenting, you evidently seek to do more than keep your opinion to yourself, so perhaps you could explain how liberalism has “gone too far”

          1. Lee

            I seek to do no more than state my opinion on the matter as has everyone above me.

            You clearly disagree with it. That is your opinion.

            Now you want me to elaborate on it so that you can deconstruct it ?

            Im game if you are theobromine ? But if we are going to turn this into a debating competition then you have to state your position also before we proceed. thats the way these things work but there is no objective judge to decide whos is most valid so this could go on for a while but hey ! Im doin nothin at the mo !

            What do you say ?

          2. theobromine

            Lee: You can see my position in 29.1. I’ll willingly answer any questions you wish to ask for clarification or elaboration. I’m not into formal debating, but I don’t see any substance to your statement that “liberalism has gone too far”.

          3. zibble

            Now you want me to elaborate on it so that you can deconstruct it ?

            You wanted a woman to be fired, and you don’t feel the need to even say why?

            This isn’t primary school, don’t hide behind this “it’s my opinion” nonsense. Can you just try to step outside yourself for a moment and see how whiney it sounds to imply you’re entitled to say callous things to grieving people without them getting angry when this poor woman wasn’t even entitled to privacy?

          4. Lee

            I could substantiate theobromine but i will offend a lot of people, including yourself probably.
            You may be able to discredit it, i may be able to back it up with hard evidence.

            But at the end of it i assure you that niether of our opnions on the matter will have changed and we will have got nowhere. Im all for learned discourse but i think the polarity of this subject dissuades it.

            Lets just agree to disagree shall we and send our wishes to the family of this poor individual and hope theres a heaven somewhere with Lucy Meadows teaching in it.

          5. leftwingfox

            Lets just agree to disagree shall we

            You are a valueless human being worthy of nothing.

            Let’s just agree to disagree on that.

          6. theobromine

            ‘m trying to imagine the intersection of the set of people who believe in a literal heaven in which Lucy could teach with the set of people who think she would be qualified to go there. So far, my imagination has failed me.

    2. 65.2
      Lee

      Try freethoughts blog Theobromine ! Might help you.

      Thankyou for your correspondance anyway.Have a nice day.

      1. theobromine

        Lee: at the risk of being rude, I won’t thank you for yours, as I have not actually seen you say anything of substance that could actually be discussed, regardless of the veneer of politeness in which you have wrapped your comments.

        1. Lee

          Il even give you the last word ; )

  66. 66
    Lee

    Thats your opinion and you entitled to it.

  67. 67
    Lee

    I didnt see your response Zibble.
    You have my apologies.
    You raise many points, il be replying to none of them, draw what conclusions you will and have a nice day.

    1. 67.1
      Beaumont

      That… that was really silly of you. You’ve just wasted your own time and made yourself look a twat! I’d probably be on your side, if you hadn’t just done the internet equivalent of:

      “I know something you don’t know!”
      “Go on, then?”
      “Can’t tell you, it’s a secret!”

      If your object was to tee people off then congratulations, brother.

      1. Lee

        Nice try Beumont….

        1. Hendo

          Firstly, I would like to pass on my condolences to the family and friends of Lucy Meadows, this is a human tragedy and I am sure that we are all aware of the pain that a loss incurs to the deceased loved ones.
          This is getting a little personal. Can we look at the facts? Like it or not transgender people are far more likely to commit suicide than practically every other minority group in our society, it would be far more constructive to Lucy’s memory if people actually focused on why this is so. We don’t have to play the blame game, maybe just identifying external pressures that make transgender people miserable may help?
          The third sex in Asia seem to be far happier and much more accepted than here in the west, can I suggest that this is because they are indistinguishable from the females which surround them? It is a fact that a man who throws a dress on and walks, talks and is identifiable as a man will freak out even the most liberal person (let alone a child!).
          Life is hard, I would like to be a pro footballer but in a second I would look like an idiot if I tried it…I would not be able to turn to the crowd and complain because they hurt my feelings….this death is a tragedy but it is also a wake up call.
          If any bloke could look like a woman I say good luck, I would probably pass a compliment….but dont take your own angst out on the rest of society because they are not living your dream with you.

          1. Sassafras

            Can we look at the facts? Like it or not transgender people are far more likely to commit suicide than practically every other minority group in our society, it would be far more constructive to Lucy’s memory if people actually focused on why this is so.

            You then go on to opine that non-Asian trans women are too mannish and that’s why they kill themselves. You are not dealing with facts, you’re dealing with self-assured bigotry and racism.

          2. Hendo

            Sassafras,

            please could you show me where I stated that non Asian trans women are too mannish and that this is why they kill themselves?

            You go on to call me a bigot and a rascist….a very personal attack which shows me that you are an ignorant self opinionated person who hurls insults at people you have never met simply because they do not share your world view. You have displayed an excellent example of fascism…well done.

            Please do not try to teach others about understanding and tolerance as you have none yourself, you are an ill mannered keyboard warrior looking for the worst in others whilst exhibiting the worst in human behaviour yourself.

          3. Sassafras

            please could you show me where I stated that non Asian trans women are too mannish and that this is why they kill themselves?

            Sure:

            The third sex in Asia seem to be far happier and much more accepted than here in the west, can I suggest that this is because they are indistinguishable from the females which surround them? It is a fact that a man who throws a dress on and walks, talks and is identifiable as a man will freak out even the most liberal person (let alone a child!).

            You plainly say that Asian trans women are happier because you think they’re harder to tell apart from cis women. You then say:

            Life is hard, I would like to be a pro footballer but in a second I would look like an idiot if I tried it…I would not be able to turn to the crowd and complain because they hurt my feelings….this death is a tragedy but it is also a wake up call.

            Thus, that trans women that don’t pass have no right to complain if everyone makes fun of them, and that Lucy’s death is somehow a “wake-up call” about it. Seriously, I shouldn’t have to quote things from one comment before, do keep up.

            You go on to call me a bigot and a rascist….a very personal attack which shows me that you are an ignorant self opinionated person who hurls insults at people you have never met simply because they do not share your world view. You have displayed an excellent example of fascism…well done.

            Actually I didn’t call you a bigot and a racist, I said you were using bigotry and racism instead of facts, which you were. You claimed Asian trans women pass indistinguishably (which is as racist as saying “all asians are good at math!”), and implied that the rest of us need a “wake-up call” about how if we can’t pass we deserve to be ridiculed and don’t have the right to be upset about it, which is plain bigotry. I’m sorry if you don’t want to own it, but it’s right there for everyone to see. It’s also very telling that you find the accusation of racism and bigotry to be a more personal attack than actually saying something racist and bigoted.

            That you whine about me supposedly hurling insults at people I have never met while you spend the rest of the comment hurling insults at a person you have never met is just delightful hypocrisy icing on the fail cake.

          4. Lee

            Dont bother Hendo.
            They’re all borderline….

        2. Hendo

          OK so by accusing me of using bigotry and racism you were not accusing me of being a bigot and a racist? That does not make sense?

          You use “we” when you describe passing the test of looking like a woman…please do not take out your anger on me because you patently look like a builder who has thrown a dress on! I stand by my argument that if I try to play top flight football and fail then I can expect people to take the piss…as should you.

          It is really sad that you do not see the world as it actually is, people are cruel and the world really does not care that you will never fullfill your dreams.

          Am I a bigot? hell no, if you looked like a woman I would be happy to court you…somehow I doubt that you do, at a guess you are sibgle, sad and angry, please have a good life and maybe one day you will have a job and be fullfilled (we both know different though).

          1. theobromine

            Hendo:
            What gives you the right to judge who looks “like a woman” and who looks “like a builder who has thrown a dress on”? Of course, you can choose to court whoever you want, but that does not give you the authority to criticize the womanliness of those who don’t meet your personal standards of womanhood.

          2. Sassafras

            Um, first of all, fucking gross. I’m not interested in being “courted” by you so keep that shit to yourself. The job thing is even more ridiculous; what does my employment have to do with anything? You’re seriously just grasping at straws because you can’t handle when someone disagrees with you.

            somehow I doubt that you do, at a guess you are sibgle, sad and angry, please have a good life and maybe one day you will have a job

            Wrong on all counts, though obviously you won’t believe me because to your brain-like organ stub, the only way someone can disagree with you is if they’re ugly and jobless. Which smells quite a bit like projection on your part.

            you are an ignorant self opinionated person who hurls insults at people you have never met simply because they do not share your world view.

            You said, right before calling me ignorant, fascist, ill-mannered, “a builder in a dress”, sad, angry, and unable to keep a job, all because I committed the crime of pointing out that you’re saying racist and bigoted things. Don’t think that people can’t see how you behave, it’s obvious.

  68. 68
    Ichthyic

    You may be able to discredit it, i may be able to back it up with hard evidence.

    funny, I thought that was what you were specifically asked to do, back up what you said. In any way. hard evidence would be grand.

    it’s pretty clear you have none though.

    does you mum know what a waste of space you are?

    1. 68.1
      Lee

      Thank you for your kindwords.

      1. Hendo

        Ichthyic,

        you come across as a vile angry person who DEMANDS that the rest of society accepts your opinions…sorry love/mate it just does not work that way. I could label you just as you seem to label everyone else who does not agree with your point of view.

        You have gone too far

        “Does your mum know what a waste of space you are?”

        Is your mum proud of you? Do not attack people who you do not know, it exposes you as an angry unbalanced bedwetter who is unhappy in their own skin….deal with your problems yourself instead of imposing them on the rest of society.

        By the way, men who dress up as women and still look like men make the rest of mankind either puke or laugh….try changing that!

        1. Rasmus

          By the way, men who dress up as women and still look like men make the rest of mankind either puke or laugh….

          Has that ever actually happened, aside from in fiction and in transphobic hate fantasies? I mean the puking, of course. Don’t get your self riled up for nothing. You should find some evidence before you post hateful comments on the internet. I mean, you should probably not post hateful writings on the internet at all, especially if you don’t like being called nasty names.

          Speaking of dealing with your own problems. Do aim for a toilet or waste bin the next time you feel like puking and keep your stinky mouth closed afterwards. Problem solved as far as I’m concerned!

          1. Lee

            “By the way, men who dress up as women and still look like men make the rest of mankind either puke or laugh…. ”

            You forgot “recoil”

          2. Rasmus

            Those were not my words. See the box?

            Your personal opinions don’t become objective truths by you repeating them.

            I have personal opinions of my own. My theory is that certain people become upset when they see other people who look different from what they’re used to. It might be transgender people, or black people, or punks, or metal heads, or what have you. This is not really a big problem. After all, cis people who don’t like trans people can easily avoid them by looking the other way. The real problem is that some people haven’t learned to be responsible for their own feelings and emotions and so they blame their negative reactions on the person that looks different. They are emotional six year olds in adult bodies.

            If you feel recoiled by trans people then I’d suggest staying away from them and their blogs. See a trans person walking down the street or riding public transport? Look away! Problem solved, for you and certainly for the trans people who don’t have to read or listen to your crap.

    2. 68.2
      Hendo

      The fascist needs to get a job….

  69. 69
    evangelineclaire

    Oh my fucking god, are you serious? What does the one who wrote that have to say for himself? Really sad and heart broken that xe (Actually, I did not read it all. What do they identify as? I have a play wife that identifies as a she on the chat we both go to, but offline he has no problem being referred to as he, and his first name Ian, as a husband and a father of children, etc, and he says he likes to dress sometimes.) committed suicide… did he talk to his wife and kids? Orwere they divorced/grown up? How sad they must be…

    Just recently I was watching a program about something similar happening (someone *threatened* to out them. I do not think they were transgendered, but they were transvestite, meaning they appeared to have a sexual fetish for dressing as a woman for sexual gratification and nothing more.) and I didn’t watch it all but the prosecutors were suspicious he killed his wife because he was afraid she would tell and follow on her threat to take the kids… that was sad (not comparing these two events btw, obviously. Murder v Suicide) and now this…

    I wonder if this same person would object to my play wife having a job where she works? She’s worked in schools if I recall correctly and with autistic kids (she has Asperger’s). Fucker.

  70. 70
    evangelineclaire

    It also pisses me off that that guy thinks him having a wife and children is fucking relevant…what was he implying? That its even worse because of that? Eh, lemme calm down because I dont know if it was just a pointer to something strange (I guess I was a little confused when my play wife was fine as a man with kids and stuff as well.. also finding out they’re male… just made it hotter)

    1. 70.1
      evangelineclaire

      Hope no one minds my gynemimetophilia… it can get pretty strong…

  71. 71
    Ichthyic

    Actually, I did not read it all

    having just come from the mess you left over on Pharyngula, where you were banned, AGAIN, I have to say this does not surprise me a bit.

    do you comment on blogs just to look at the words come up on the screen?

  72. 72
    evangelineclaire

    Ichthyic I made a very thorough reply to this. Please dont respond to my very valid comment just to chide me for being banned (it was an autoban due to where I used to go. Not valid IMO). Your last sentence makes it VERY clear that you didn’t read what I had to say about it or my feelings. So, please, fuck you and fuck off, you insensitive fuckwad.

    If you had read the post you would have realized I was empathizing with the loved ones surrounding him… and you dismiss all of that with one post? Fuck you. I’m sad right now. Go bother someone else.

  73. 73
    evangelineclaire

    You don’t see me following the harassers from that thread everywhere to continue it, do you? So don’t follow me here (even if you didn’t actually mean to run into me, but I know some people do like to search names) with bullshit I am so over and not thinking about right now. Concentrate on the fucking suicide of this person, okay? And have some respect. At least Im not here commenting just to insult someone.

  74. 74
    Ichthyic

    chide me for being banned

    actually, I was chiding you for not even bothering to read the article, or understand the slightest thing that was going on before you posted.

    but do go on. I’m sure your opinions will be very informative!

  75. 75
    Ichthyic

    So don’t follow me here

    yes, because yet again, everything is all about you.

    ever think I came here because it was linked, and had nothing to do with you?

  76. 76
    Winterwind

    Shorter critics: don’t talk about things on the internet! Complain to the authorities or file a legal brief. The internet is for talking about things that *I* find important.

  77. 77
    Jimmy Boy

    Can someone confirm the link to an archive of the original page? The links I’ve tried so far are all broken…

  78. 78
    Jimmy Boy

    @ Lee

    Lets just agree to disagree shall we and send our wishes to the family of this poor individual and hope there’s a heaven somewhere with Lucy Meadows teaching in it.

    How fucking offensive can you be? Let’s actually try to make sure that journalists who harass private individuals because of their gender stop having a platform to operate from perhaps? Let’s ensure the debate is focused on the journalist perhaps? Shall we actually do something about the scumbags who pollute our society with their ignorant hatred every day? Or shall we offer meaningless platitudes to do a dead woman so we don’t have to face up to what has happened here?

    You think the reaction is liberalism gone too far and you hope for a ‘heaven somewhere’?

    Let’s just check: is there any ‘liberalism’ (whatever that might be) that you think hasn’t gone too far?

    1. 78.1
      Lee

      Strawman argument again Jimmyboy.

      Any liberalism that hasnt gone too far ? Ian Huntley being employed again as a caretaker springs to mind !

      1. Jimmy Boy

        WTF?

        You’ll show me my straw man then Lee, I’m sure. I know what a straw man argument is…I wonder if you do? Demonstrate your knowledge by pointing mine out please.

        Your Ian Huntley comment is just so bizarre I have to wonder if you’re in fact in need of some help? Do you understand how a debate works?

        1. Lee

          For gods sake….

          Ok, lets debate Jimmy boy but im not goin on for days.

          My position is this ;

          A trans gender person transitioning in front of a class of kids is not ideal.

          This is my position and seein as the subject is opnionate ( ie , cannot be proved by facts, for or against ) we may be here some time.

  79. 79
    Jimmy Boy

    @David Davidson

    Have you responded to any of the trans people posting here who you have slandered? Are you going to?

    When you call us a “mob” and “bullies” is that because you don’t want to face up to the reaction to what you wrote? Will you pop down to the pub tonight to sit and whine about the liberal bullies on the internet without actually confronting yourself about the views you hold or the things you have said?

    Your arguments have been shot and you reduced to trone trolling in defence of what exactly?

    1. 79.1
      David Davidson

      I have stuff to do. I can’t sit around posting responses to people I don’t know know on the internet all day.

      I’ll say it again: I’m a big supporter of LGBT rights. All I did was express some cynicism regarding the political biases of some of the commenters here (which, if you read all the comments about the Daily Mail being a hate rag, I think I could back up fairly easily). From what I read of the article, none of it supported the conclusion which Zinnia and many here drew from it, so I drew the conclusion that the fuss was due to political biases rather than a legitimate response to transphobia. And I was also unhappy that a woman’s death was being used to indulge what I saw as a mob validating those political biases.

      And furthermore, I’m very concerned about the way in which the trans community is currently engaging (or rather, not engaging) with the broader public. Do we not want acceptance and tolerance? Why then is “dissenting” thought, even within the trans community, shot down with such hate and vitriol? All we are doing is fostering an image in the public’s mind of neurotic victimhood. In the last ten years or so, I’d even argue that the trans community has gone backwards and not forwards. The reason for that can be found in the sorts of comments you read on this blog.

      No doubt I’ll be met with more personal attacks for blaspheming against the consensus. We really are screwed.

      1. Sassafras

        You think that an article that claims that children should be protected from being around trans people is NOT transphobic. You have destroyed your own credibility as far as anything involving trans people is concerned.

      2. anto

        David I agree with you and support your trying to bring a little moderation to this foodfight.
        The reason I came across it was I got an email from a US consumer advocacy group called Sumofus asking me to sign a petition to get Littlejohn sacked. So I checked out the article and while I disagreed with the things he said and thought he’s a bit of a berk, I didn’t really think what he said was as bad as Sumofus and a few of the contributors here are making out.

        Sassafras I’m sorry to be ganging up on you mate, I really am very sympathetic to the transgenders’ cause and support it every chance I get. From what I read though, Littlejohn’s article seemed to be all for Ms Meadows and trans teachers generally being employed in schools. What he was advocating was just keeping the transitioning out of sight from the children.

        1. Doc Mesa

          Why? Why should transitioning be kept of sight of children?

          Children suffer Gender Identity Disorder as well. It might well have been that one of the kids in Miss Meadow’s class could be trans as well. Now, such a child would be afraid of coming out as trans, having seen what happened to their teacher.

          1. anto

            Yeah you’re probably right Doc, I don’t disagree it could be a good thing for the kids, and their parents. And the school seems to have approached it in that way.

        2. Jimmy Boy

          Anto: do you think that Richard Littlejohn is in favour, in any sense, of the rights of transgender people?

          And do you think there is any chance that he knows that he has to write contradictory stuff so he doesn’t get too badly nailed for his views?

          And, let’s just see: have you checked what any transgender people think? Or maybe you don’t need to do that, because – well – your a worldly-wise kind of guy, and you’re very sympathetic to transgender people, so you can speak on their behalf? You just ” get it”, right?

          1. anto

            Hi Jimmy, I appreciate your response. Without knowing anything about this reporter I expect he’s writing what he thinks will appeal to the readers, that he sees himself in the business of entertaining the punters. And you and I deplore that and would like to see him and others like him have a change of heart. And maybe getting him sacked might fast-track that happening, but I doubt it.

            I’m not a transgender but I’ve lived on the margins for most of my 65 years and I’m very close to a young person who’s going through that sort of struggle now, and we talk a lot about what works and what doesn’t in softening people’s attitudes.

      3. Jimmy Boy

        What is this “dissenting” that we think should be tolerated here? Is it reasonable debate about say, what constitutes a workable definition of transgender? Is it a debate about say where in the world being transgender is better and worse?

        No. The “dissent” you are talking about involves discrimination, prejudice and hatred.

        I don’t think there’s much to be tolerated really.

        And furthermore, I’m very concerned

        Are you now? And the things you are “very concerned about are…” what exactly? Ensuring that transgender people stop being abused the way they are as a matter of routine, by public figures – and then the wider public at large? No. You are “very concerned” about those uppity transgender people getting a little vitriolic in their reactions to this ongoing barrage of hatred.

        Well. Fuck me.

      4. Jimmy Boy

        Hey David Davidson… are some of your best friends gay too?

  80. 80
    Harley

    According to the article it hasn’t actually been reported anywhere that Lucy killed herself.

    Its been reported that her death is ‘not being treated as suspicious’, which means that at this stage the police don’t think that she was murdered. It could have been a matter of accident or illness, and I think its not only disrespectful but potentially damaging for her family and friends to see such a thing, if it isn’t true, so please stop spreading rumours which as yet have no factual basis to confirm them.

    Yes, the death of this young woman is tragic, but please can you think about the effect that this will have on the individuals who knew her. Losing someone you know to suicide has an extra element of grief, and its unfair to put that on people who knew Lucy until there’s been a full inquest and we know what’s happened.

    This is irresponsible, insensitive and immoral, and while it isn’t impossible, or even unlikely that Lucy killed herself it is not right for you to spread rumours about this poor woman, without knowing the truth.

  81. 81
    Charlotte

    Well, I’m on a minimum wage, live in a working class area officially described as ‘deprived’, but I also have a degree and, coincidentally, I’m trans. The people of my own class and community are no more transphobic towards me than the people who live in the wealthy end of town – whom I work for. (Btw…I’m not the scullery maid lol:))

    The British press is dominated by ex-public school twits who were duffers at everything else and are only have such highly-paid jobs and opportunities because they happen to have rich parents (who probably amassed their vast sums of wealth dishonestly and immorally anyway). In fact, you can say that about most every area of British life – it’s not what you know; it’s who you know – and, of course, it’s been going on for centuries. The rich children are as obnoxious as their parents and look down on the hard, honest working classes of this country, dismissing us as ‘feckless’, ‘scum’, ‘animals’, ‘pitchfork-wielding peasants’ and ‘fascists’. Yet most bigotry, fascism and (especially) anti-semitism in Britain has emanated from the snobby, insecure stuck-up anally-retentive middle classes.

    So please stop trying to shift the blame for the journo’s misdeeds onto the long-suffering poor people of Britain, British journalist. Look at what happened following Julie Burchill’s recent transphobic rant in the Guardian: the majority of those journalists who rushed to her defence were public school educated, Oxbridge, upper-middle class broadsheet columnists in papers such as The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph etc. In short, the born into privilege Toby Young’s of this world.

  82. 82
    Wave

    None of the articles I’ve read about this tragedy have established any direct link between Littlejohn’s screed and Lucy Meadows suicide.

    How, exactly do you link the two?

    Did she leave a note? Did she give any indication she wanted to kill herself because of Littlejohn’s article?

    It would seem that the more time elapsed between her suicide and the article, the less the article can be invoked as the principle reason for that suicide.

    A significant number of male to female transgendered individuals regret their decision and are sorely disappointed with the results.

    If Meadows killed herself for other reasons still unknown, then people here are doing to Litteljohn what they claim Littlejohn did to Lucy Meadows

    Those seeking a sex-change undergo extensive assessments pre-op, but we rarely hear about post-op followups and the degree of satisafction felt by those who’ve undergone the procedure.

    For some, the results, far from bringing satisfaction, turn out to be devastating.

    Until more facts come to light, that shouldn’t be discounted.

    Not every transgendered individual lives in some sort of post-op bliss, you know.

    1. 82.1
      Sassafras

      No. You do not get to claim that we need absolute proof that this traumatic event that we know happened could have contributed to her death, but then you bring in a hypothetical event that you made up to explain it. We know she was hounded by Littlejohn and other reporters and that they invaded her privacy regularly, and such stress could obviously have contributed to her suicide; we do NOT know any such thing about her having post-transition regrets.

      A significant number of male to female transgendered individuals regret their decision and are sorely disappointed with the results.

      This is a common boogeyman that people like to bring up as a way of presenting transition as a scary dangerous path rather than as a beneficial treatment for people sorely in need of it. Unfortunately your scare tactic just doesn’t hold water. The reason we rarely hear about these sorely disappointed and regretful people that you’re waving about while saying “booga-booga!” is because they’re incredibly rare. When one is found, that same person will be cited over and over and over ad nauseum as the poster child for the dangers of transition, while the thousands of positive outcomes are ignored, because obviously it’s more important to protect one cis person from making a mistake rather than let a thousand trans people get care that relieves their suffering.

      A 2011 study (Close, Colin, Affirming Gender, Affirming Lives: A Report of the 2011 Transition Survey. Santa Rosa, CA: GATE, 2012.) showed that satisfaction with transition was overall 96%, and that the “regrets” were over the particular techniques used, not the decision to transition at all. Particularly relevant, it found that those who received genital surgery were more likely to report an increase in quality of life than those that didn’t.

      These treatments WORK. That’s the reason they still keep happening, because they’re what actually helps people with gender dysphoria. Your attempt to portray the one thing that reliably helps trans people feel better about their lives as a cause of her suicide would be laughable if it wasn’t so offensive.

      What’s even more ridiculous is that Lucy was just starting her transition, so you claiming she killed herself over “post-op” regrets is extra stupid. It shows even more that you don’t know anything about trans people and are just leaping to the defense of your dear Littlejohn.

    2. 82.2
      Jimmy Boy

      We don’t know there was a causal link. I’ve not read anyone make one either.

      We do know though, that a noted right wing bigot published an article in a national paper, that no one would have wanted to be on the receiving end of. And the cause of this attack was her decision to change her gender and remain in her same job. We know that Littlejohn decided that would be negatively impacted by being made aware that their teacher was transgender and had reassigned.

      The reason that there is massive outrage globally here is because of a) the bigotry and b) the power imbalance.

      To equate what Littlejohn did with the reaction to it is a category mistake.

      I wonder if you have ever been on the receiving end of a national paper’s campaign of hate – with all that goes with that?

      As for your statement:

      “Not every transgendered individual lives in some sort of post-op bliss, you know.”

      I’ve rarely seen anything so revealing… (Here’s a hint: in what way is the success of the op vaguely relevant? Oh I see – your going to argue that there is no link between Lucy Meadows death and Littlejohn’s article? Well – just to be clear: I don’t know, I’d not be surprised if there was – but it makes absolutely no fucking difference.)

  83. 83
    Wave

    The study you cite is useless because it’s motivated for ideological resons and therefore cannot be considered sound or scentific.

    It isn’t just transgendered people who are troubled; the entire LGBT community suffers from higher rates of drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide than the hetero community

    And those “claims” are supported by many studies, investigaions and statistics.

    I suggest that people here check out the stats for dyke-on-dyke violence.

    You’ll have to work hard, though, because those damning statistics are hidden away in secure places and NEVER talked about.

    I’m gay myself, so please don’t try and blow sunshine up my butt on any of this

    I’m not defending Littlejohn, just common sense.

    Where is the PROOF Meadow’s suicide is directly related to Littejohn’s article.

    Lazy speculations and specious associations don’t amount to TANGIBLE proof.

    Unless Meadows left a suicide note/letter ( or some such TANGIBLE evidence) in which she cites Littlejohn as the principle cause of her suicide, you really can’t make the claims you make.

    I know, that may be hard for some to understand.

    So before you light the torches, don the hoods and burn the heretic at the stake, make sure you have some goddamned FACTS proving Littlejohn has _blasphemed_ in the way you claim he has.

    The fact The Mail has chosen to remove the article is NOT an admission of guilt, nor is it any sort of proof Littlejohn ‘killed’ meadows

    And if, in the end, Meadows committed suicide for entirely different reasons, then many commenters here are as sanctimonious and opinionated as the Catholic Church.

    To judge from this thread, people should learn to breathe through the nose.

    I,m often astounded at the extent to which ‘rational’ atheists can come across as a braying, bloodlusting mob of true believers.

    1. 83.1
      Sassafras

      Riiiiight, a study that shows a positive result JUST HAS to be biased. I seriously doubt you even looked it up, you just decided the results were wrong because they contradicted your fiction.

      While we’re talking about being sound and scientific, YOU were the one that claimed “A significant number of male to female transgendered individuals regret their decision and are sorely disappointed with the results.” So you know what? YOU FUCKING PROVE IT. Show me a sound, scientific study that’s not motivated by ideological bias that this is the case, or shut up.

      And I’ve had enough cis gay people vomit transphobia on me, so you can save that bullshit about your being gay giving you some special insight on trans people.

    2. 83.2
      Goodbye Enemy Janine

      So before you light the torches, don the hoods and burn the heretic at the stake, make sure you have some goddamned FACTS proving Littlejohn has _blasphemed_ in the way you claim he has.

      Funny how the person trying to defend the bigoted words of a habitual bigot claims the people who are reacting to the harm done are, in fact, the ones pushing towards violence.

      1. Sassafras

        Janine, you have my awe at being able to completely unhinge his mind with a single sentence. That’s some skill right there. XD

  84. 84
    Wave

    It’s not what’s between your legs that’s important ; it’s what’s between your ears that counts.

    If your brain is a “size 2″ pre-op, so it shall be post-op.

    And asking that some valid and tangible proof be presented allowing a direct causal link between Littlejohn’s article and Meadows’ suicide si NOT tantamount to vomiting transphobia.

    Your claims that Littlejohn somehow “killed” Meadows are, at least at present, totally baseless, and yet you nonetheless want to assassinate his character, destroy his life and put an end to his entire career!

    Just what kind of Brownshirt are you?

    1. 84.1
      Sassafras

      So is this you admitting that you have no evidence of significant numbers of transitioners being devastated with transition regret?

      And you’ve just called us Nazis. I don’t suppose you’d like to show some evidence that calling out this awful article is the same as genocide?

      And asking that some valid and tangible proof be presented allowing a direct causal link between Littlejohn’s article and Meadows’ suicide si NOT tantamount to vomiting transphobia.

      No, but claiming that “A significant number of male to female transgendered individuals regret their decision and are sorely disappointed with the results.” and offering that as the reason for her death based on zero evidence IS vomiting transphobia. Ignoring evidence about the general positive satisfaction rating of transition as “biased” despite offering no evidence yourself IS vomiting transphobia.

      Also, I never said Littlejohn “killed” Meadows. He led a media charge in demonizing her and invading her privacy to the point that she had to sneak in and out of her house; the idea that he and the other reporters didn’t directly contribute to her stress and eventual suicide is ridiculous. It’s like claiming that the suicide of a constantly-bullied gay kid can’t be linked to the bullying unless there’s a suicide note that spells it out. No one is buying it.

    2. 84.2
      Jimmy Boy

      Who knows what impact his article had on Lucy Meadows? Well – there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence from her friends in fact. But… ignoring that inconvenient point for a moment…

      Who gives a shit? Nasty bigot with national platform picks on vulnerable transgender woman in a disgraceful way. Do we need any more? What the fuck are you defending?

  85. 85
    Wave

    Funny how the person trying to defend the bigoted words of a habitual bigot claims the people who are reacting to the harm done are, in fact, the ones pushing towards violence.

    Once again, where is your proof linking Littlejohn’s screed with Meadows’ suicide?

    Tell ya what, you’re out for the guy’s head for no other reason than the fact you detest white hetero males ( you bigot!) whose only sin is to have disagreed with your “enlightened” world view.

    People have a basic right to criticise the LGBT community’s “theology” just as we’ve a right to criticise Catholic orthodoxy.

    Afterall, the theologies of both are largely championed by queers, right?

    1. 85.1
      Sassafras

      you’re out for the guy’s head for no other reason than the fact you detest white hetero males ( you bigot!)

      LOLOLOLOLOL

      Wow, I hadn’t expected you to go completely into cartoon mode.

    2. 85.2
      theobromine

      I haven’t seen any LGBT people or allies complain about the fact that cis heterosexual men publicly identify as men and have sexual relationships with women. Regardless of whether it contributed to Lucy’s suicide, Littlejohn has complained about what it will do to kids “who still believe in Father Christmas” to be exposed to trans women publicly identifying as women. I see a distinct lack of symmetry here, and no lack of bigotry.

    3. 85.3
      Goodbye Enemy Janine

      Once again, where is your proof linking Littlejohn’s screed with Meadows’ suicide?

      Where is your proof that all of us are Brown Shirts out on a witch hunt?

      Shit? Where is your proof that we all hate white hetero men.

      Oh, wait, you are a gay man who argues that LGBT people are dysfunctional. I can see why you feel the need to defend the bigoted words of a straight man.

      (Just so you know, Littlejohn would still be reprehensible even if Lucy Meadows had not committed suicide.)

    4. 85.4
      Rasmus

      The blog post actually does not claim a causal link between the article and the suicide, that part is entirely your assumption and I think it’s a reasonable one in absence of more in-depth evidence.

      Littlejohn’s article was out of line regardless of what it led to. It would have deserved to be criticized every bit as much even if Meadows was still alive today. Where is the evidence that any schoolteacher’s transition has ever distressed or harmed his or her students? A newspaper has no business publishing baseless attacks on private individuals. It’s part of basic press ethics to be particularly careful and respectful and fair when you’re dealing with private individuals. They’re not suppose to criticize a schoolteacher (or matters pertaining to her employment) in the same way that they might discuss and criticize a member of parliament or an outspoken public intellectual.

      Littlejohn, is an example of one such public ‘intellectual’. He must be prepared to receive swifter and less substantiated criticism. If he can’t handle that he should not be writing opinion pieces for a large newspaper. (As for your Nazi reference, do you know who else was a public individual? Hitler!)

  86. 86
    alex shaw

    Instead of teaching children to be accepting of others we should teach them to hate and to bully.The above article is beyond hypocritical and transparent in his hatred of minorities.

  87. 87
    Linda cox

    LTTLE JOHN you piece of shit I used to think you we’re funny, does the sun ever sink this low never buy the mail again. I hope you are disaplined and sacked this is the first I have heard of this story so sad how could you sink so low.

  88. 88
    Linda cox

    I retract my message above rest in piece Lucy x

  89. 89
    Wave

    Oh, wait, you are a gay man who argues that LGBT people are dysfunctional. I can see why you feel the need to defend the bigoted words of a straight man.

    I am also a gay man who worked with aids victims back in the early 80s when the diseases was known under the acronym GRIDS ( Gay Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome ) and when all the other truth-to-power gay “activists ran away and hid for fear of catching “it”.

    And would LIttlejohn’s words be less bigoted had he been gay and not straight.

    Funny how the person trying to defend the bigoted words of a habitual bigot claims the people who are reacting to the harm done are, in fact, the ones pushing towards violence.

    For some, a ‘bigot’ is a merely a conservative who’s winning an argument against a not-too-bright leftist-progressives.

    If the brownshirts on this thread ever got their way and imposed their version of pink sharia on everyone they disagreed with, western free speech and free debate would degenerate into mere two dimensional echo chambers.

    YOu can be gay, flamboyant, an artist, transgendered AND a vegan, and yet still be a frothing fascist. As one appraches ones 60s it becomes quite easy to extract the salient points of fascismas expressed by certain individuals be they beguiling, smiling leftists (John Galiano anyone?) ou crane rase Far Right thugs

    Once again, could all here please take time out from gum-thumping and provide me with some legitimate, concrete and tangible proof that would demonstrate some sort of causal link to Meadows’ suicide?

    Just repeating ad nauseam that Littljohn “said-bad-things-about-Meadows” and therefore *killed* her doesn’t quite do it.

    No, you can’t provide the proof because this entire thread isn’t concerned with uncovering the truth of what happened; it is but a smear campaign, a vile campaign of character assassination motivated by little more than base resentiment against Littlejohn

    1. 89.1
      Rasmus

      I’m still waiting for you to quote the part of Zinnia’s article where you think that she claims a causal link. And now you’ve gone and claimed that it’s a repeated claim. I guess you need to find at least two separate quotations, or whatever number you think adds up to “add nauseam” [sic].

      I haven’t had time to read all of the comments so I guess there may be one or two that makes that claim, but most of the commenters have not explicitly claimed a causal link. Most of us are assuming it because it seems very likely, in the absence of more in depth evidence, that the article contributed to the challenges that Lucy Meadows faced.

      When we’re talking about an outspoken public individual like Richard Littlejohn we don’t need to wait for concrete and tangible proof. Littlejohn should have waited for concrete and tangible proof before he publicly opined about Meadows’s employment, because she was not a public individual with her mouth to a gigantic megaphone in the form of a major newspaper, but Littlejohn did not give a shit because he had a deadline and he understood that a good old bit of ‘common sense’ bigotry always gets people riled up and coming back for more.

      Do provide evidence for your libelous repeated claims that some people here are behaving like Nazis. Concretely speaking I’d like evidence that there is a conspiracy to dehumanize and persecute a group of people. Citations please.

      It’s hard to imagine that you would know anything about winning an argument. You know, when your internet opponents become silent it doesn’t mean that you’ve beaten them. It usually means that you’ve bored them to the point where they can’t be arsed to reply. Spicing your shit with libel doesn’t hep either.

      1. Rasmus

        Oops Muphry’s law fail. Never trust a spellchecker…

        Anyway good luck supporting your claims.

    2. 89.2
      Jimmy Boy

      Wave – who the fuck is claiming this fucking causal fucking relationship you are basing you entire argument on? Please fucking quote it. It ain’t in the article.

      Read it again. And then feel free to apologise for your fucking fuck wittery.

  90. 90
    Wave

    I’m still waiting for you to quote the part of Zinnia’s article where you think that she claims a causal link.

    If she makes or assumes no causal link, then why is she attempting to “stick” Littlejohn with being directly responsable for meadows’ death?

    If as you claim, Zinnia can’t make any causal connection between LIttlejohn and the suicide, then what gives her the right to call for littljohn’s sacking and the end to his career?

    She ‘s making out as though he were directly responsable, yet hasn’t a shred of proof to back that view up?

    “Goodness!” “Math is hard”, says Barbie!

    She hasn’t cited any other plausible reason for the suicide, so she is claiming ( or at least STRONGLY implying) Littlejohn’s article led to meadows’ death.

    So Zinnia has nothing but a bit of flimsey circumstantial evidence to support her arguments, her big bleat.

    Vulgar slander and baseless accusation tells me Zinnia’s soft bigotries and demons of misandry will always get the better of her

    She’s is just engaging ina vulgar smear campaign against someone whose views she finds repellent.

    Zinnia finds Littlejohn’s views on transgender issues repellent, therefore LIttlejohn *killed* Meadows?

    Birllliant, lefitst enlightrenment logic

    1. 90.1
      thisguy

      Everything you’ve posted here “is useless because it’s motivated for ideological reasons and therefore cannot be considered sound.”

      More seriously, I’m sorry you’re too dumb to follow a discussion in earnest, much of what you’re repeating here has been answered above.

    2. 90.2
      Rasmus

      I don’t think Zinnia has called for him to get sacked from the Daily Mail, at least not here. It’s not like being fired from one newspaper would end his career either.

      Yes, I think Zinna is implicitly suggesting that there could be a link (and I think that the only logical and moral conclusion if that were true would be that the Daily Mail ought to fire him). If Littlejohn can’t take angry and suggestive criticism then he’s not cut out to write opinion pieces for a major newspaper. But of course he can. If he couldn’t he would have quit a long time ago, or he would at least have toned down his attacks on minorities. Freedom of speech is not meant to guarantee comfort, or freedom from criticism for journalists who write for large publications.

      Anyway this isn’t leading anywhere. Happy Nazi hunting and watch out for pink panzers! I reckon the pink Brownshirt Kristallnacht will happen around the same time that the radical feminist war against men erupts.

  91. 91
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    For some, a ‘bigot’ is a merely a conservative who’s winning an argument against a not-too-bright leftist-progressives.

    If the brownshirts on this thread ever got their way and imposed their version of pink sharia on everyone they disagreed with, western free speech and free debate would degenerate into mere two dimensional echo chambers.

    You are a funny person, Wave. Let’s see if I can do this.

    For some, a ‘brownshirt’ is a merely a person who’s winning an argument against a not-too-bright individual.

    I wish you knew your history well enough to know what a Brown Shirt was. Instead, you are taking your history lessons from Jonah Goldberg.

  92. 92
    Wave

    No one appears to be able to address any of the points or issues I,ve raised.

    It’s just one long tirade of righteous indignation, the likes of which I’ve been listening to from ‘gamma’ level progressives

    Some here as so intellecually bankrupt, dishonest and ideologically blinkered, rational argument and debate become impossible.

    Has anyone here ever tried to teach a chimpanzee Chopin?

    Or even chopsticks?

    A word of advice to those ‘commenting’ on this thread; if you feel you’ve sufficient intelligence AND honesty, then go take up a trade.

    1. 92.1
      Joe

      Have you not been reading the responses to your posts? Almost all of your posts have at least one person responding to them, either asking for evidnce to back up your claims (which they have not received) or refuting your claims. This is hardly people being unable to address your points.

      Also:

      Some here as so intellecually bankrupt, dishonest and ideologically blinkered, rational argument and debate become impossible.

      This coming from the person going on about ‘brownshirts’ and ‘pink sharia’. Given that people have actually been rationally replying to your posts, it seems to me that the problem here isn’t where you think it is.

  93. 93
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Sorry, it is hard to respond to someone who constantly godwins and goes off about pink sharia.

    You speak like a a member of the gay Tea Party. Hope you do not mind that these people do not want you at the same table.

  94. 94
    anto

    well i read littlejohn’s article and i question whether he’s right in claiming what the school and ms meadows did might be damaging for a child, but i don’t think it was as bad as zinnia says it was. i think zin if you’re going to critique an article or a writer on the overhtetoppedness of a/their piece it behooves you to studiously avoid being overthetop yourself.

    my heart goes out to lucy nonetheless. personally if my 6yo had been at that school i’d’ve made a few enquiries of people who might know and if the consensus was, as i’d (inexpertly) expect, that in fact kids wouldn’t be adversely effected by exposure to lucy’s transition, i’d’ve packed little gandolf off with an apple for his teacher as a way of saying onyer miss.

    just thought of another devastating riposte: what if tomorrow’s mail headline was littlejohn tops himself over wrong job article furore?

    1. 94.1
      Joe

      Zinnia wasn’t critiquing the article for being over the top, but for being bigoted. Noting how the article is bigoted and being angry about the Mail’s treatment of Miss Meadows is hardly over the top.

      This is also the hole in your “devastating riposte”. Littlejohn’s article created a media circus out of Miss Meadows’ life and called into question – with no reasonable justification – her ability not only to teach, but to work with children at all. On the other hand, Littlejohn is experiencing a pushback against his bigoted article – his ideas are being attacked, not him. The two really aren’t comparable.

  95. 95
    Wave

    @Joe Trans woman commits suicide after being bullied by the Daily Mail

    That’s the the title of this article. It supposes a direct link between meadows’ death and Littlejohn’s article ( bullying), a statement that, without any solid proof, amounts to mere slander and baseless character assasination.

    Standard yellow journalism.

    And nothing more

    1. 95.1
      Joe

      It supposes a link, sure. It is completely reasonable to suggest that the stress brought on by Littlejohn’s article and the subsequent response to it was a contributing factor in Meadows’ suicide. This is consistent with what we know about suicide. Zinnia’s post does not explicitly state this, but then, neither does it explicitly claim that there was a direct link (i.e. that Meadows commited suicide directly because of Littlejohn’s article). I agree that the article supposes a link, but it does so in the same one might suppose a link between the bullying a teenager experiences and their suicide – there is so very often a link that it is reasonable to assume one until shown otherwise.

    2. 95.2
      Jimmy Boy

      And you think that’s a causal link?

      Here’s what a causal link would look like: Littlejohn’s article caused Lucy Meadows to commit suicide.

      I haven’t seen it. But it’s the whole basis of your argument – wherein you’ve taken some very seriously high moral ground, judged a whole bunch of people, categorised them, dissected them – and delivered your wonderful wisdom.

      Lovely.

  96. 96
    Sam Thorpe

    When I transitioned in my teaching job at a Catholic school some 15 years ago, the children did not care at all. I left as Mrs. whist the school sorted things out, to return as Mr. The children had NO PROBLEM whatsoever. Children are accepting, open and just want to be accepted themselves.

    The problem is, we do not win by hating the reporter, hate will never defeat ignorance and intolerance. Fear cannot be won over with anger. We need more people to love and accept and lead by example. Showing the way with love and education.

    I now work as a consultant and therapist, and in particular I deal with and give talks and workshops on self identity and the perception of gender. I teach emotional self management tools to individuals and groups who struggle with bullying and prejudice and aim to work further with those on the other side, struggling to accept those that are different. Please contact me for further information.

  97. 97
    Robert Ruane

    As an American, I never heard of Littlejohn until today, but our country’s equivalent is talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. Littlejohn’s actions were unconscionable and deplorable. I was bullied as a teenager because I had Asperger’s Syndrome. I hope the recent turn of events has a chastening effect on Littlejohn, but that may be like hoping Limbaugh becomes a progressive.

  98. 98
    lol

    Someone with the name “Richard Littlejohn” that SCREAMS Robin Hood fanboy should not be attacking someone else for their name.

  99. 99
    1. 99.1
      Sassafras

      That poor man, the BBC really screwed him over. Also, Wow, that really makes the Daily Mail look like total hypocrites. And I notice you’re not in the comments of that article scolding the Mail for implying a link between the harassment and the suicide without definitive proof.

  100. 100
    theobromine

    Lee and Hendo:

    I am saddened by your apparent lack of compassion for people who do not meet your social norms of appearance. You seem to think that it is perfectly appropriate for someone to freak out and/or recoil and/or laugh and/or puke at the sight of someone who looks like a man but is “dressed like a woman”. Do you have equal discomfort if a woman dresses “like a man”? Is it OK for a priest to wear a cassock? For a Scot to wear a kilt? What about other people who don’t fit your norms, based on their physical disabilities, body size or shape, skin colour, etc?

    Why would it be a problem if kids in Lucy’s class had questions about her transition? Should we refrain from hiring teachers with physical handicaps because it would cause kids to ask questions about people in wheelchairs or with crutches or missing limbs? Should we refrain from hiring dark-skinned people to teach classes of white-skinned children or vice versa?

    1. 100.1
      Lee

      You have my apologies Theobromine.

      That was a cheapshot from someone who has had an awful lot of abuse on here and an awful long day at the office.

      Have a nice life y’all !

      1. theobromine

        Thanks for the apology for the “cheapshot”. Would you like to answer my questions?

  101. 101
    AC

    Is there not ANY criminal charges that can be pressed against this Richard motherfucker? Absolutely horrifying. I literally classify what he did as murder.

  102. 102
    Kim Beesley

    Some things never change. What should we expect from a rag that had the headline ‘NO MORE YIDS HERE’ in response to the arrival of the lucky few Jews who managed to make it here, fleeing from Nazi Germany in the 1930′s?
    Some wise person at the time (was it Bertrand Russell?) said ‘ If you read the Mail cover to cover and do not end up hating someone, then the editor has failed!’.
    Apart from this brave woman’s family and friends, I cannot begin to understand the effect that this has had on the children who knew her. Shame on you Littlejohn, shame.

  103. 103
    dig this

    F*ckin’ remarkable things here. I’m very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and i am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  104. 104
    Sharylee

    Wow. I’m half expecting my comment to get scrubbed because there is obviously only one side of the issue being presented here. What the journalist suggested was true, in my opinion, that he shouldn’t have transformed himself in front of school children like that. He/she could have been discreet even if it meant some sacrifices on his/her part. It is confusing for children and I wouldn’t want my children subject to that. Why can the transgender be completely open in his/her intentions, but the journalist is criticized for the same behavior. If Mary was so “sensitive” she should have been more discreet. She is responsible for her own actions and blaming others for her own actions is not totally fair. Her suicide was most probably a complicated decision just as her life obviously was. Tolerance is one thing, and there is lots of it here for Mary, which is good, but it can’t just go one way! You all need to be tolerant of both sides of an issue, which I’m not expecting, but it has to be said anyway.

  105. 105
    theobromine

    [interesting to see this thread awaken after a half year's silence]

    Sharylee: Please explain the harm that it causes children to be exposed to a person in transition. Why is it so critically important that kids be protected from having the immutability of gender challenged? Why is it a problem to expose children to disruptions of social norms, as long as the teacher is accepting and understanding of initial confusion, and willing to answer the kids’ questions?

    As I asked upthread: Should we refrain from hiring teachers with physical handicaps because it would cause kids to ask questions about people in wheelchairs or with crutches or missing limbs? Should we refrain from hiring dark-skinned people to teach classes of white-skinned children or vice versa?

  106. 106
    theobromine

    Zinnia: You may wish to trash the spam at #103

  1. 107
    What about Richard Littlejohn? » Pharyngula

    [...] is talking about Lucy Meadows. Who was she? Just some schoolteacher in the UK. But Richard Littlejohn: he’s a big name. He [...]

  2. 108
    actually, richard littlejohn is in the wrong job | leftytgirl

    [...] tragic story emerged today from Accrington, a small town in Lancanshire, England. This week, grade school pupils [...]

  3. 109
    What If Everyone Could Just Live? | saralinwilde

    [...] it’s not 100% clear that she took her own life – the impression I initially got from Zinnia Jones on Freethought Blogs. Death could have been suicide or it could have been natural; it’s an ambiguous case. But I [...]

  4. 110
  5. 111
  6. 112
    Intersect This: White Cis Feminism in Scotland | A Thousand Flowers

    [...] existing as a trans woman who was also a teacher has committed suicide. You can read the full story here. Littlejohn is cruel and wrong to suggest that children are either incapable of understanding or [...]

  7. 113
  8. 114
    Trans teacher in UK kills herself after being attacked in the press | Secular Trends

    [...] A trans teacher killed herself this week after being bullied by a major paper, as reported by Zinnia Jones at FreethoughtBlogs. [...]

  9. 115
    The Death of a Teacher | Geoff Coupe's Blog

    [...] Lucy Meadows is dead, most probably she committed suicide. What drove her to take her life was quite possibly the toxic combination of The Daily Mail and Richard Littlejohn. [...]

  10. 116
    Shit that Pissed me off This Week – 3/22 | Grail Diary

    [...] In England, the Daily Mail Published a Taunting Editorial about a Trans Gender Teacher and that Teac… [...]

  11. 117
    Canadian House of Commons passes trans anti-discrimination bill » The Crommunist Manifesto

    [...] Meanwhile, across the pond, a trans woman was publicly hounded by the Daily Mail until she committed [...]

  12. 118
    RIP Lucy Meadows – Ozy Frantz's Blog

    [...] Lucy Meadows was a trans female teacher who didn’t quit her job upon transition. The Daily Mail chose to misgender her and talk about how her existence is a threat to the innocence of the children she taught. This week, she killed herself. [...]

  13. 119
    Periodical Political Post *158 « milkboys – The Boys Blog

    [...] Trans woman commits suicide after being bullied by newspaper [...]

  14. 120
    Trans suicide | l’esprit-d’escalier

    [...] coverage, is that Lucy was the target of a vicious article in the Daily Mail just three months ago, covered in detail by Zinnia Jones (no direct link to the DM). Jane Fae wrote about the links between Lucy Meadows’ story and press [...]

  15. 121
    Periodic Political Post | Queer Landia

    [...] Trans woman commits suicide after being bullied by newspaper [...]

  16. 122
    Mädchenmannschaft » Blog Archive » Geschichtsrevisionismus und transphobe Hetzartikel – kurz verlinkt

    [...] Transphobie, Suizid]: Zinnia Jones auf FreethoughtBlogs berichtet über den Suizid von Lucy Meadows, einer Trans*Frau und Grundschullehrerin, die einem [...]

  17. 123
    The Ethics of Journalism: How to Destroy Lives and Not Get Fired | Hempstead Homepress

    [...] first located this article by another article covering it, which explains with much greater articulation the despicable nature of the whole [...]

  18. 124
    Canadian House of Commons passes trans anti-discrimination bill | Crommunist

    […] Meanwhile, across the pond, a trans woman was publicly hounded by the Daily Mail until she committed […]

  19. 125
    The League of Gentlemen: Drag and Transmisogyny in British Comedy | Bitch Flicks

    […] taxi driver Barbara (voiced by Pemberton): in 2013, the mainstream British media is still rifewith transmisogyny, and how much worse would it have been in a sitcom in 1999? And at first it does seem like the […]

  20. 126
    January 2014

    […] misuse of pronouns, releasing information against our wishes, media that puts us at risk, even bullied by the media? There are guidelines for journalists around reporting on our men and […]

  21. 127
    Trans suicide | Cis Is Not A Dirty Word

    […] coverage, is that Lucy was the target of a vicious article in the Daily Mail just three months ago, covered in detail by Zinnia Jones (no direct link to the DM). Jane Fae wrote about the links between Lucy Meadows’ story and press […]

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