this article in the Daily Mail had me enraged yesterday, and I am still very angry indeed about it. It concerns a child of five who lives as a girl yet was born male. I personally think it’s a case of a kid being disinhibited enough to explore her identity; recent research indicates that Gender Identity Disorder is manifesting itself at younger and younger ages. But according to the daily mail, the child is mixed up and a result of the growth of the gender identity ‘industry’. Never have I read anything born of more hatred and judgementalism: rather than exploring the subject fairly and evenly, the article’s author, Paul Bracci, makes accusations left, right and centre, virtually accusing the child’s parent’s and authorities of abusing her, and encouraging her to be some sort of freak.
I have had enough of this: I have had enough of feeling I should tolerate other people’s intolerance. This girl can no more help being transgender – if that is hat she is than I can help having cerebral palsy. It’s a part of you, nothing to be ashamed of, and something that nobody has a right to judge. What can be helped, however, is what others decide to think about it. That is a conscious decision, so of others decide to take a prejudiced stance, why should that be respected? Yesterday I think I resolved the paradox of liberalism, the contradiction of having to tolerate intolerance, by assuming that intolerance is conscious. People can decide what to think; they can decide to educate themselves about a subject, but instead they choose to cling to narrow-minded ideas of how the world should be and everything else is wrong. Thus it is they who are at fault, they who have a problem, and they, rather than this transkid or her parents, who warrant social stigma.
The mail can similarly decide what to print; it chooses to spew all this bullshit. It prints tosh about how it’s views are backed up by evidence and born of ‘common sense’, when in fact most of the evidence on the subject supports a more tolerant stance, and to invoke ‘common sense’ seems the height of arrogance. How then does this sickening, unthinking hatred qualify as journalism? Such articles serve only to stir intolerance and sanction ignorance; why should this be part of our press? A lot will be made about the launch of the Sun On Sunday, about how it is gutter journalism. The Sun may be a lad’s mag in the form a newspaper, but it is nowhere near as harmful and deserving of scorn than the Daily mail. The sun does not pretend to be highbrow; the mail thinks it is highbrow journalism when it is nothing but the rancid ravings of the ignorant, arrogant and intolerant. Give me Page three over that classless, puerile crap any day. Mail readers seem to sneer at Sun readers, but at least sun readers don’t think they’re reading anything other than a rag.