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Monday, September 18, 2017

A Transsexual Coincidence

One thing leads to another. It certainly did last Wednesday, when blows were exchanged at Speaker’s Corner between transsexuals and feminists who don’t wish the former to have the rights they enjoy themselves.[1] These TERFs[2] don’t seem to realise how old-fashioned their prejudice is.  For transsexuals play a key part in a novel from 1960 that took nearly 50 years to get published.[3]

Murray Sayle’s “A Crooked Sixpence”[4] tells of an Australian journalist who comes to London following a girlfriend and manages to get a job on a newspaper, the Sunday Sun.[5]  Largely based on his own experiences from the 1950s[6], the book describes the underhand stratagems by which “human interest” journalists got stories to titillate their readers, regardless of the damage they caused to obscure individuals in their hypocritically moralistic exposés.[7]

A game-changer in the tale is a transsexual who offers to tell his/her story, naively hoping for fair coverage. (This was very modern: in 1961 the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic - the first in the UK[8] - was still 5 years into the future. But the successful fashion model April Ashley was just about to be outed as a transsexual - in the Sunday People.)[9]

The brutal editor, Barr, gives O’Toole his brief: offer £25 and “that bollocks about explaining his tragic plight to the public”, then turn on the trans in print:

“I see the angle like this: “This disgusting pervert has had himself mutilated to get money from the innocent British public. He even had the nerve to ask money for the revolting details of his sickening operation. You ought to be in a prison or a mental home, you're not fit to breathe the same air as the decent people of Britain, you contemptible beast.” With this twist, it ought to make a page lead.”

More than half a century later, the decent TERFs of Britain are turning on the often tremendously brave transsexuals, in a location famously dedicated to the principle of liberal tolerance.




[1] http://metro.co.uk/2017/09/17/woman-injured-as-feminists-and-transgender-groups-fight-at-speakers-corner-6933812/
[2] “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists”
[3] Originally published in 1961 but pulped almost immediately because of an attempt by a broke toff to sue the publishers: Michael Alexander was the model for “Michael Macedon”.
[4] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crooked-Sixpence-Murray-Sayle/dp/0955823846
[5] Based on The People, which was taken over by Mirror Group in 1961. Now called the Sunday People: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sunday_People
[6] He quit in 1956, like his fictional hero James O’Toole. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Sayle
[7] There was another book about Fleet Street - “The Street Of Disillusion” - published three years earlier (in 1958) by a man called Harry Procter. Like Sayle, Procter left the profession in disgust; but Sayle was to return a few years later and earn distinction in serious investigative journalism.
[8] https://youthtranscriticalprofessionals.org/2016/08/30/fifty-years-on-the-charing-cross-gender-identity-clinic-and-the-funding-of-a-category-without-parallel/
[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Ashley#Model.2C_scandal

5 comments:

Twilight said...

Nice points you've made Sackerson!
For a few months, back in 1962/3, I worked as cashier in a fancy coffee bar-cum-restaurant in Moseley Street, central Manchester. Occasionally, of an afternoon, a group of transexuals or would-be transexuals would visit the bar for coffee and chats. They were at different stages of trans-ing. Their visits possibly happened after hospital appointments with specialists. They'd ask me for advice on makeup and fashions...lol! A friendly, kindly and sensitive group of people, as I recall.

Whenever transexual is mentioned Jan Morris first springs to my mind. She swapped in the early 1970s. I wrote a blog about her years ago:
http://twilightstarsong.blogspot.com/2007/02/jan-morris-america-and-astrology.html

Nick Drew said...

Jan Morris was indeed inspirational (and a very good writer - the book on Oman is a particular favourite of mine, you won't be surprised to hear)

people of goodwill often need to keep their heads down when it gets as shrill as this: but I have to say, when you read of the (apparently) growing phenomenon of Trans women declaring that they are also lesbians, a serious reductio ad absurdum is hoving into view, not to mention an obvious moral / physical hazard

you could see why some quite genuine feminists are pretty upset by this turn of events

James Higham said...

It's taking on the look of one of those farces. A bedroom farce?

Sackerson said...

@Nick: As the song goes, when Oman loves a woman, she can do no wrong... You were in Oman on military service, then?

Nick Drew said...

Yup.

http://www.cityunslicker.co.uk/search/label/Oman

(ignore the 1st one in that thread)