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?