Can The New York Times resist the trans backlash?
The paper is facing internal dissent over its gender coverage
When even The New York Times publishes an op-ed defending J.K. Rowling, perhaps the game is up for the activist lobby.
Until recently, the NYT had turned a blind eye to science and reality (i.e. that human beings cannot change sex) and instead churned out inflammatory and dangerous nonsense, some of it catalogued by UnHerd. “Transphobia is Everywhere in Britain” wailed the Gray Lady in 2020. The following year NYT readers were led to believe that, here in the UK, there was “an active attempt to dehumanize trans people”. It’s just not true — and I say that as a trans person in the UK — but when ideology eclipses reason, inconvenient truths can be quietly ignored.
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However, it seems that things have shifted and for the better. Over the last year, the NYT appears to have changed its tune: “The Battle Over Gender Therapy”, published June 2022, explored critically the treatment of transgender-identified youngsters. Last month, a feature article considered the issues that arise “When Students Change Gender Identity, and Parents Don’t Know”.
Rather predictably, not everyone is pleased. On Wednesday, hundreds of writers sent an open letter to the associate managing editor for standards at the NYT. In short, they were outraged that the newspaper was reporting issues in a way they did not like. To justify their censorious approach, they asserted that “a tiny percentage of the population is trans, and an even smaller percentage of those people face the type of conflict the Times is so intent on magnifying.” Nothing to see here, in other words.
Those that called themselves “cis” launched into an emotional appeal: “We have seen those we love discover and fight for their true selves, often swimming upstream against currents of bigotry and pseudoscience fomented by the kind of coverage we here protest.” But trans people don’t need their pity: I’d rather they treated us as human beings, just like everyone else. We do not need to be recast as special or different, and certainly not used as a stick with which to beat the NYT.
If that was not enough, GLAAD jumped on the bandwagon. The once proud Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation parked a truck outside the Times building demanding that the paper stop “questioning trans people’s right to exist and access to medical care”. This was a cheap ploy.
If the NYT was concerned by these attacks on the freedom of the press, the paper went ahead with this week’s piece “In defense of J.K. Rowling”. In the most measured of tones, opinion columnist Pamela Paul concluded, “You might disagree — perhaps strongly — with Rowling’s views and actions … But nothing Rowling has said qualifies as transphobic”. Quite right. But Paul went further, warning:
Rushdie was demonised by one kind of fanatic; Rowling has been demonised by another. When emotional campaigns displace rational debate, we are in dangerous territory, reversing back into a world of superstition, religious fervour, and witch hunts. Will the NYT hold out? We can but hope.
This is not the end, nor is it the beginning of the end, but maybe the end of the beginning.
To quote a well known man.
Maybe peak radical trans is coming to an end as people are able to question the methodology and get other views published?
End of GIDS, Sturgeons problems, articles such as this seem to point to some changes happening.
I am off an age where a notice in a lodging window saying “room available; no blacks, dogs or Irish” could appear. Thankfully many, many things have changed since those days. This whole trans rights issue thingy is the first of any of these changes where increasing the “rights” of one group diminishes the rights of another.
Accepting peoples ethnicity, sexuality, sex, religion, lifestyle preferences does not decrease my freedoms. Whereas trans rights clearly reduces the right of women and girls substantially.
Maybe we can get to a place of accepting trans people without the need to push aside another grup?
Until all this cr*p started I had actually no issues with trans-people, I had sympathy for what they had to go through and accepted them for what they were. What I have a problem with (in addition to women’s only spaces) is the medical abuse of children, and the indoctrination of children to accept unreality as real and ignore scientific fact.
Exactly right. I have a close relative, a 14 year old girl, who has been caught up in this vile paedophiliac child mutilation cult. It’s an extremely serious safeguarding issue. She needs to be protected from trans activists.
Most sane people do not have any issues with trans-people and accept that some probably did face prejudice and harassment from some individuals. The problem is the trans-activists who like any other group of aggressive ideologues work to destroy peace in the social sphere and foist untruths on society.
My feelings exactly. Perhaps there should be a third gender, or perhaps a third and fourth, so biological women and men won’t be imposed on.
Me too. Until a few years ago I could accept that some men or women might not quite fit into their physical bodies. I would mostly go along with it, not because I felt compelled to, but because it caused me no real trouble to do so. However, it would have never in a million years have occurred to me back then that this fetish would become normalized, enforced, and eventually taught in schools.
Transgender ideology is being used as a means to wrest children away from the protection of their parents and has very powerful people backing it:
I don’t think separating children from their parents is a significant motive in the trans issue.
Here is one such example: https://thevelvetchronicle.com/father-jailed-for-refusing-to-affirm-daughter-as-male/
It’s not the transgender people themselves. They are merely the ‘useful idiots’ in all this, however through transgender ideology the state can appear to act as protectors of a sexually-confused child by removing him or her from parents who are hostile to the idea of their child undergoing transition.
In the US right now transgender ideology is being taught in schools without prior consent or knowledge of parents. The one good thing to come out of COVID lockdowns was that for the first time parents had access to their children’s course materials and were horrified to discover that this ideology was being taught to their children by teachers who believe that traditional gender roles are a form of oppression.
The purposefully mis-named ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill which was passed in Florida was an attempt by politicians to curb this ideology from being taught to children too young to fully understand the ideas behind sex and gender. Unfortunately, too many people in the US view education as a vehicle through which to get their political and sexual beliefs validated by society – by preaching them to an age group too young too question.
All normal people must feel awful for the tiny % with gender dysphoria who are the football in this left wing hate-fest. The lefties think destroying their lives is an acceptable cost of their “men with beards and penises are women” campaign. There is probably a segment of not so normal people who blame the Trans community at large and i expect that there’ll be some violence from them. This is exactly what the Grauniad, NYT etc wanted. They may have had an easier task when the only “out” homos were William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg but i think aside from a few narrow highly macho cultures (protesting too much?) there is almost 0 appetite for bashing different sexual behaviours in the anglosphere these days? What would be good is an appetite for applying the law to those inciting violence on racial, gender or religous grounds starting with the Graun and NYT, then down the food chain to the SWP, “Daily Stormer” if its still a thing and similar outfits
I don’t think it’s about left or right.
But what are “trans-people”? What is a “trans-person”?
If are talking about dysphoric individuals then fine.
I also have a problem with females in male only spaces, such as changing rooms and toilets etc. Not from safety per se, but from privacy and dignity.
It’s all very confusing and because it is people feel they have to take sides.
If something ends with the medical abuse of children, does that not suggest there was something “wrong” with it in the beginning?
Yes, Cultural & political elites express concern about the crisis in mental health in young people, yet at the same time can’t see, or are too afraid to say, that the Trans agenda of replacing sex with gender-ID – a performance, not a sexuality – is causing it!
Everyone who claims to be Trans is already either L, G, B or Heterosexual autogynephile. For clarity, the acronym should not be LGBT, but LGBHa.
Interesting that the Left may give up trying to set queer against straight or working to destroy the family as a concept. Perhaps they are learning that their low hanging fruit (black v white, poor v rich and all religions against each other) are their only proven tools? Sadly for them their toolkit gets no sympathy from the vast majority of humanity and only flourishes where resources are so scant society is near collapse anyway. (this explains why they are so set on destroying trade at micro and macro levels, after all to them mass murder and starvation are prices worth paying for their Utopia which no-one has ever seen – like the homelands and the fields of green eh?)
What was that all about?!!
The extreme left’s penchant for genocide.
“I am off an age where a notice in a lodging window saying “room available; no blacks, dogs or Irish” could appear.”
Times have indeed changed, our pub lets dogs and black people in there now
Would you like to rewrite that post?
No, why’s that?
I thought that notorious photo of a notice in a lodging house window was created for an art installation and just reflected the artist’s worldview rather than reality. I’m sure there was some prejudice (but also goodness and kindness); but this is a useful meme and is just rather too convenient
Where did you grow up? I grew up in an industrial city and never saw any such sign – I am not saying they didn’t exist but they were not ubiquitous and so do not remotely signify the attitudes of the majority.
How did a, supposedly, reputable newspaper get into that state in the first place?
Because the online subscription game means abandoning all notions of journalistic standards in order to appeal to a narrowly defined market segment willing and anxious to pay to have their prejudices reenforced.
I would recomment reading Bad News: How the Woke Media is Undermining Democracy, by Batya Ungar-Sargon, this gives a history of what has happened to newspaers in the US. It’s not really applicable to UK papers, but I found her arguments to be very convincing about, particularly, the New York Times.
My normal rule is that if it happened to you yesterday, then it will happen to me tomorrow.
In the U.S. we have the same attitude towards California. “Where California goes, the nation goes.”
“It’s not really applicable to UK papers,”
I respecfully disagree. Look what’s happened to the Guardian, and especially the poor bloody Independent, in relation to which I feel desperately sorry for Andreas Whittam-Smith.
historical perspective: read _The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History_ by Ashley Rindsbergrecent changes where ‘finding out the truth’ was made subordinate to ‘engagement’ which then became ‘giving our subscribers what they want to hear’ read _Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy_ by Batya Ungar-Sargon
That journalism went from being a blue collar job to a university graduate job is a large part of the problem, too.
(edit … get a phone call interruption in the middle of typing a note here, finish the call, finish the note, and ooops — others have already made my recommendations. Sorry about that.)
When was journalism a ‘blue collar job’? Surely almost the definition of white collar!
Perhaps a more apt description would that journalism used to be a non-graduate job that appealed to those who were literate, but not necessarily with or without school leaver qualifications
You’re quite right. In the US it was a low level job for literate working class people.
It was the same in Australia. That was how I got in. It was the only way I could.
In the UK it means non-graduate.
‘Blue collar’ does not mean ‘non- graduate’ in the UK and never has done.
Yes it does
Is blue collar even used in the UK? I don’t remember hearing it when I grew up there. Working class was blue collar.
It is (cultural colonisation by the USA!), and most certainly means manual labour, so unless wielding a pen or bashing a keyboard counts as manual labour, journalism ain’t blue collar!
I got into the business in the early ‘90s. An undergrad degree was a prerequisite even back then, but there were plenty of veteran reporters who didn’t have a degree. The young university grads back then were very much influenced by their older co-workers. As this group retired, attitudes in the newsroom shifted over time.
My father started out as a copy-boy, soon after the War. After a year the union forced the managers to move him up or out, so then he was a reporter. No education in journalism. He, and everyone else, figured it out as they went along. (Mario Puzzo, Nora Ephron, Pete Hamill…) The guys who worked the presses wore blue shirts. The ones in the corner offices wore white shirts. The reporters were somewhere in between.
And the owner was a woman, Dorothy Schiff. The paper was the NY Post; proudly Democratic, pro-worker, “liberal” to the core. A long time ago, a very different world.
Maybe I would have done better to say that journalism was a trade which became gentrified into a profession. This cost it its working class roots and set the stage for becoming ‘stuff written by and for the middle class’.
Many years ago newspapers were about news so they had reporters. Now they’re about opinions and news so there are journalists.
Managing editors control the quality (or lack of) and the direction of its journalism.
Mark Thompson 2012- 2020 at the NYT having accelerated BBCs demise as DG beforehand.
Ask the BBC who commissioned staff training carried out by Stonewall……
They have similarly ‘through the looking glass’ views on obesity –
Spreading the view that ‘we don’t know what the causes of obesity are’; that it is not an issue of personal responsibility; not a disease but a condition; and that the problem with obesity is not so much medical but social, i.e. fat shaming and prejudice, to which the correct response is fat pride. Meanwhile, back in the real world obesity kills as many Americans as covid, year in, year out, no let up (mask shaming good, fat shaming bad).
I’m sure some people are more likely to overweight because of genetics, but it doesn’t absolve people of personal responsibility. The same holds true for drug addicts and alcoholics.
Always enjoy your essays Debbie. I’m sure the trans lobby is very supportive of your writing. Afterall, they did demand the NYT hire more trans writers. Maybe GLAAD will put in a good word.
They sure did make that demand, one that conservative and church-based groups would never dream of making of an institution offending them.
Which is why we lose.
The Times’ statement and Pamela Paul’s nice, understanding and generous op-ed are just fig leaves to the newspaper’s imminent capitulation. Watch for the Times to announce a meeting with GLAAD and the appointment of a transgender columnist.
Conservatives are dumb about power; leftists are smart about it.
To paraphrase an extremely successful leftist, liberals will hire you to sit in the office from which you can fire them.
The dictionary definition of liberal has been lost. It’s now used as an insult when in fact it’s what we should all aspire to.
Its meaning has been distorted. It used to mean ‘live and let live’. Now it means ‘live and make government do everything to insulate me from the consequences of my actions’.
The best way to kill off someone is by giving them everything they could ever want.
I predicted that the woke and the trans activists in particular would go to far and create a backlash. Think I was right.
When there was a 4000% increase in teen girls being treated with chemicals and surgery..
When schools took it upon themselves to hide from parents what was going on and openly encouraged, going so far as to provide chest binders…
When beloved authors were attacked…
When government opened up women’s private spaces to biological men…
When none of this is allowed to be questioned in any shape or form in complete defiance of common sense…
It was inevitable that there would be a backlash.
We have reached a point where the majority are no longer afraid to speak out against the tail wagging the dog.
What may work in favor of JK Rowling and against Rushdie are traditional bisala and shajaea in Islam (courage and gallantry). Such notions can easily distort in the minds of mentally ill jihadis but are also useful social glue. There is no such tradition in socialism, which excepting perhaps the NSDAP tends to get others to do the fighting for them. I think the NYT are trying to get their excuses in early as grown ups in the Anglosphere are starting to push back. We know that setting white against black, poor against rich, or queer against straight is wrong but when the “minority of fringe extremists” turns out to be about 6M NYT + 125K* Guardian readers it adds “dangerous” to “wrong”.* I realise many like myself look at these hate sheets to better to know the enemy and though its dark humor a lot of the content is funny as they mewl and puke over this or that perceived insult or injustice. – As if there weren’t enough real problems already!
That’s why I “do” the NYP comments. I like to go where angels fear to tread. Preaching to the converted can get a bit boring. The bigots don’t get tired of it ,but they need to hear another voice.
The bigots commenters are all at the NYT rather than the NYP.
As a frequent commenter at the NYP, I think there are plenty of posters there who have a prejudiced frame of mind. Just look at the comments on any story involving a criminal who happens to be black.
Whether they are just a very vocal very narrow fringe, or if that’s a more common viewpoint, I have no idea.
The NYP attracts people who haven’t been indoctrinated by a college education and therefore haven’t been taught how to make their opinions more palatable to the chattering classes. Some of the biggest racists I’ve come across weren’t my plumber or delivery man, but academics who suffer from white savior syndrome.
Of course the NYT accused Britain of being trans-haters. It has recently been run for years by ex-BBC staff who despise the U.K.
A few days ago I commented that I seemed to be the only(biological) female voice here. Can anyone figure out why that might be? I’m curious.
It simply isn’t true. Under this very article you’ll find Linda Hutchinson, Laura Creighton, and Karen Arnold. And for all we know polidori redux may be female.
What are you insinuating?
ALL females are female due to biology. What next, ‘wet water’?
“We have seen those we love discover and fight for their true selves, often swimming upstream against currents of bigotry and pseudoscience fomented by the kind of coverage we here protest.”
Here is part of the problem – “true self” what on earth does this mean? Pseudoscience? Is it a religious belief? A platitude?
Flagrant, self-righteous and unashamedly nasty intolerance seems to be a core pillar of Woke Imperialism.
Agreed. Woke is just viscerally disgusting. It’s a fig leaf for anti-white racism, transvestite fetishist misogyny, and sadistic paedophiliac child mutilation. It’s time to stop tolerating it.
Ms. Hayton is a national treasure (I only wish she was a citizen of my nation, the US, as we need more honest and smart people like her over here)…
That’s Pamela Paul, a columnist, not the NYT editors.
Some hope for change at the NYT:
I imagine Debbie sees Andrew Sullivan as a great ally. Godspeed the both of them.
Rushdie and Rowling are both heretics, just from opposite fundamentalist camps.
Intersectional postmodernism: all the problems of religion (sin, guilt, etc…) but untempered by God (grace, mercy, forgiveness).
Don’t be silly.
I got a bit of a case of mental whiplash when I read in this article “reality (i.e. that human beings cannot change sex)” and then “I say that as a trans person in the UK”!
Oh well, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The truest sign of intelligence is the ability to entertain two contradictory ideas simultaneously.” 🙂
Where’s the contradiction? Hayton knows he is a man despite his female presentation and that all the cross sex synthetic hormones and crude surgery in the world cannot change his biological reality no matter how much he wishes it to.
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