By Tim Stanley, Telegraph
On Sunday, Julie Burchill – the Bernard Manning of feminism – wrote in the Observer that the Left was being undone by a vast conspiracy of transsexuals
. Or, to be precise, by “dicks in chicks' clothing”. And so began a day of civil war on Twitter as the Left tore itself up over her right to be so offensive. It raises the question: “Are the Observer’s subeditors still on Christmas leave?” If so, I’d encourage them to stay that way. The paper is a lot more entertaining when no one’s bothering to edit it.
The dispute began when Suzanne Moore wrote a piece for The New Statesman about feminist fury in modern Britain
. Buried in the middle of it was a sentence that read, “[Women] are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual.” Personally, I wasn’t offended by the phrase “body … of a Brazilian transsexual” – but then it’s not my place to decide what’s offensive and what’s not when it comes to transgenderism. I’ve not been born in the wrong body, fought for years for the right to change it, undergone complex surgery and then suffered the bigotry of others. Some of those who did find Moore’s line unamusing asked her on Twitter if she could redact it. All Moore had to do was apologise for potential offence caused (the old “get out clause” for not actually correcting anything). Instead she made a “robust” defence of herself that climaxed in a tweet that could easily have been written on a toilet wall: [...]
[...] But the big takeaway from the Moore/Burchill controversy is just how illiberal liberals can be when they get in to a fight. When not done insulting foes, they try to censor each other – and they're not above using the moral authority of a nominally Right-wing government to do it. Late on Sunday, Lynne Featherstone Tweeted that Julie Burchill should be sacked for the offence she had caused
. How very liberal: silencing dissent in the name of political correctness. Welcome to the Brave New World that Leveson made.
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