by Debbie Hayton
Tuesday, 2
March 2021
Reaction
16:38

Why is the NYT perpetuating myths about trans life in Britain?

The paper has a warped image of the UK's transgender climate
by Debbie Hayton
Credit: NYT

Readers of The New York Times might be wondering how trans people manage to survive in the UK. From the other side of the Atlantic the newspaper depicts a hostile climate where both the Left and the Right are out to get us.

Last Friday they published an interview with British transgender stand-up comedians Jen Ives and Bethany Black. The piece explains that, although life might not be a bed of roses for them, they manage to laugh at the world. But underpinning the story is the assumption that life in Britain is a daily struggle for transgender people.

I just don’t think it’s true, and I say that as a transgender person on this side of the pond. I also stand up in front of audiences — I am a teacher — and my life experiences seem no different to my colleagues. My pupils and their parents seem to care far less that I am trans than I know my subject and I can teach well. Surely these were the goals that transgender people set out trying to achieve?

But our American observers fail to distinguish between transgender people and transgender ideology. That is, the proposition that humanity is divided not by biological facts but by feelings in our heads. The rallying cry seems to be “transwomen are women.” They conflate dissent with the ideology with transphobia: a hatred of trans people.

After perpetuating the myth that JK Rowling was transphobic by defending women’s sex-based rights, the NYT suggested that feminists who do not accept me as a woman are questioning my very humanity.

That is a bold claim, but one that is not only untrue — even the most robust of feminist campaigners seem content that I am a human being — it is also unhelpful, and particularly to transgender people ourselves. Gender reassignment — whether it be social or medical — may relieve psychological distress but it does not change our sex.

The NYT does, however, make one valid observation. Unlike the US, where the response to transgender ideology is split on partisan lines, in Britain voices on both the Left and Right have criticised publicly the concept that a woman is anyone who feels like one, or thinks they feel like one.

In the bizarre world of American politics where liberals seem determined to grant biological males a free pass into spaces and places designated for females, the defence of women’s rights is left to conservatives, including former president Trump.

We might struggle to understand US politics, but the NYT clearly misunderstands ours. When voices across the political spectrum defend women’s rights, they are not erasing trans people. They are simply pointing out what we all know to be true: biological sex is real. It’s vital for women – if we ignore sex we ignore sexism – but it is also vital for trans people. When our rights are grounded in reality, we can be confident to live in society.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

It has been some time since any sensible person believed a word of the NYT on any subject, particularly life in Britain.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Or even life in the US.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

More particularly life in the US.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Are there any actual publications (not blogs or youtube vids) you do think are worthy of reading?

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

No publications, but I would recommend Reason.com and Spiked-online.com.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M
Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Try AllSides.com. It provides perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. The site encourages the readers to think for themselves; both about content and source: https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news

Last edited 1 year ago by Ralph Hanke
Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Triggernometry (UK) on YouTube

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I subscribe to the NYT for interest in American life and politics, but whenever they attempt to explain anything about the UK it is facepalm time!

Chris Mochan
Chris Mochan
1 year ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Anytime I read something in the paper about a subject I know intimately, it is always, without fail, completely inaccurate. This cannot be a coincidence so I have no option but to conclude that its the same across the board. If the NYT is always wrong about the UK, why would anyone trust their reporting on anything?

robert.harris14
robert.harris14
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

After the Bari Weiss affair and the hysteria following the Tom Cotton editorial, the New York Times isn’t even worthy of being distributed free of charge on undergrounds/subways. Moreover, one thing that has always annoyed me, even in the days when the NYT was a respectable newspaper, is that the Americans often call it “The Times”, when the real Times, i.e. the London one, was born 66 years before its American copycat in name. It’s a pity that “The Times” wasn’t a registered trademark or, if it was, that the trademark has expired. 

Last edited 1 year ago by robert.harris14
Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
1 year ago

The newest NYTimes debacle is the case of the science writer Donald McNeil being forced to retire. He has written a four part account from his side of the issue on Medium which is worth a read. The NYT, of course, allowed no comments. However, the WAPO did and it seems the NYT is losing a lot of supporters – me included.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

My own personal thoughts about this is that transgender ideology has been appropriated by the rich and powerful in order to keep the masses embroiled in pointless cultural, racial and sexual identity wars. It’s all just distraction while the public coffers are slowly being drained and our institutions become converted to extract rather than protect the common good.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Hear hear, I hadn’t read your post when I said more or less the same thing above!

Vóreios Paratiritís
Vóreios Paratiritís
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

What is interesting is how much of the far lefts platform from the late 70s, early 80s, has been coopted by elite interests to maintain their grip on power. Sexual Orientation, Women’s issues, Race issues; all three have been subverted by Power for power.
It’s interesting that the ideological pioneers of the original leftist impulses – Hooks, Krenshaw, MacKinnon, Butler, etc.. – have not spoken up. In my more cynical moments I think the by any means necessary ethos meant that these thinkers were infinately flexible with the end results. Justice? Tyranny? who cares as long as we’re the ones on top.

Bob Green
Bob Green
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Stone Wall, the charity formed to promote the acceptance of lesbians and gays, an aim to be supported, succeeded in its ambition.
Then its well paid staff found they were putting an end to their own jobs so it switched its focus to trans issues and very successfully to, in terms of keeping the gravy train running.

Sophie Korten
Sophie Korten
1 year ago

Not that I take any mainstream news sources, journals, or otherwise as serious truth or reality and avoid as much as possible. I make this comment here as a Trans person.
The only hostile environments I can perceive that ‘trans’ people need to be concerned about, or anyone else for that matter, are the divisions created between pretty much everyone, that do not serve the interests of any of us – except those who will profit by such actions to data-mine and exploit in any way they can for profit, power and wealth. All iced with the current situation to solidify the manipulation of far too much by far too few.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sophie Korten
Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago

You could have stopped at “The NYT clearly misunderstands…”

The NYT has become a tabloid propaganda sheet. A snooty one, to be sure, but their long decline had them crossing the line (in about 2016) into yellow journalism. This fits their revised business model where, with failing ad revenue in print, their future is in on-line sales for which they merely feed red meat wokism to the faithful.

They are best ignored.

Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

I don’t think it is a misunderstanding. The NYT has an agenda. And it prints straight up lies with full knowledge.

9f8jznzz2n
9f8jznzz2n
1 year ago

Thank you. This is a breath of fresh air.

Hilary Easton
Hilary Easton
1 year ago

I’m not a conspiracy theorist in general, but I am sometimes tempted to think that the super-rich and their lackeys, the wannabe super-rich politicians and so on, are employing a diabolical ‘divide and rule’ strategy to distract us from their shenanigans. They set us one against the other by fostering excessive emphasis on differences of gender, race and so on, whereas we should make common cause against the international system that works only for them.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Hilary Easton

Or is it the case the while we are focused on these issues we are not looking at them.

G Worker
G Worker
1 year ago

The first time I came across the trans ideology was in the offerings of the Canadian Marxist site CTheory, back in the early 2000s. The only reason that radical equalitarian intellectuals had any interest whatever in these unfortunate creatures was because they want very much to believe that the sexes are fluid and there are no boundaries or borders that cannot be overstepped. Probably somewhere in their heads they know this is untrue, and that they themselves could not author a change of sex or race or sexual orientation or anything of Nature, to be frank. But they can make their politics on the basis of the dictate that the rest of us must pretend otherwise.
Trannyism does appear to be both the intellectual nadir and the end of the equalitarian line for Marxist theorists. There is nothing else for them to lie about.

Last edited 1 year ago by G Worker
Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
1 year ago
Reply to  G Worker

Or so we hope. I think there is always something worse they can lie about.
And we all know that anyone burning books and censoring speech never lead anywhere happy.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
1 year ago

The NYT is anti British, so why the surprise?
As I said in your article in today’s Spectator:
“‘transmen are men and transwomen are women”.
Seems perfectly reasonable to me. But it appears I may have it back to front.
I thought that transmen were men wishing to “trans”; and transwomen were women wishing to “trans”.
But who cares?
As long as they leave me, the law, & children alone, they can do what they want.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

“The NYT is anti British, so why the surprise?”
So was Barack Obama. The UK is just “too white”.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

Britain is not too white, I know, I am from London, but maybe it is the wrong kind of minorities for NYT and Obama to care about.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

To Barack Obama it was. Shades of colonialism. Not going to appeal to him or the NYT.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Obama & wife Michelle are clearly racist. Listen to their words, speeches & utterances. Funny that.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

“But who cares? As long as they leave me, the law, & children alone, they can do what they want.”
Except, they won’t. Teenage boys in dresses will be enabled to compel the school to allow them into the girls changing rooms. Your children will be taught that trans-women are actually women, in exactly the same way that my wife – who bore our son – is a woman. You and I know that is not correct, but they will be told it is potentially illegal to say otherwise.
No, the NYT is party to that ghastly pervasive ideology that says you must believe the right things otherwise your career can be ruined.

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Blow
Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

My teenage daughter attends an all girl school – one of their students is trans. I don’t know the details of how they manage the day to day of changing rooms in the school but it doesn’t seem to be a problem for my daughter or any of her friends. They take it in their stride and are rather bemused by any fuss about it. My teenage son goes to a mixed boys/girls school and one of the student heads of year is trans. Similarly, not a problem for the students.
I think on this issue, which is obviously very contentious at the moment, a reasonable consensus will be reached in relatively short time – largely due to the young people who are growing up and see this as an issue of friendship, relationships, individualism, freedom, self expression and empathy rather than a political standard to be waved or as an attack on standards to be protected.
Appreciate this is a wholly subjective view and others will no doubt have their own contradictory anecdotal evidence.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
1 year ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

That may look very different at age 10 and at age 15, particularly if the trans girl considers herself to be a lesbian, attracted to other girls. My son had many close female friends when he was on the high school track team; I doubt they all would have been comfortable naked in the shower with him.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

We’re all going to Hell in a handcart I fear.

Web Wu
Web Wu
1 year ago

I am a Trans-Terrestial (I self-identify as a Martian on Tuesday afternoons) seeking victim status, obsessive support, discussion in the context of Marxist-Leninist Doctrine, and legislative/constitutional initiatives.

Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
1 year ago
Reply to  Web Wu

It’s all fun and games until you realize in the most Wokish parts of America we also have “otherkins.”
We can thank parents who fostered this mental illness in these perpetual babies. Otherwise they’d all be dead now as none of them have an ounce of ambition to survive on their own and have sold their souls to the corporate owned government in exchange for a way out of work or accountability.
I’m not sure the end destination will make them so happy, but they sure are riding a high of power at the moment.
I want to identify as a heretic who charges $300 for services the Wokish can’t provide for their own survival. Hopefully some of us can profit off their unearned wealth as we pull their anti-reality rug out from under them.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

The campus paper known as the NYT perpetuates a lot of myths. One of them used to be that Andrew Cuomo had found the secret sauce to handling Covid. As such, while the author notices the obvious among the unwoke:
 They are simply pointing out what we all know to be true: biological sex is real.
the Times reverts to its campus roots. The paper conflates dissent with any aspect of leftist dogma as heresy, if not hate.  

vince porter
vince porter
1 year ago

Transgenderism, which most people would casually ignore, is just part of the culture wars. Nothing in the culture wars is real and all of it is tainted with hypocrisy. In Canada, for instance, white faces have almost disappeared from advertising though the country is 80% Caucasian. 70% of North Americans are overweight, but, fat people rarely show up in ads. Even fast food advertising pretends that fat people don’t exist, though without fat people fast foodies would not exist. So, fat shaming is not allowed, but, it seems OK for skinny actors to appropriate fat actors. So, it goes. Processing by the bull.

Malcolm Powell
Malcolm Powell
1 year ago

% UK population registered disabled  18%
% UK population which is BME            13%
% UK population which is LGBT             2%
% UK population which is trans             0.5%
Do you think we could have a bit more coverage and discussion about the problems faced by minority groups of a significant size not these tiny minorities which are so hugely vocal

Karen Lindquist
Karen Lindquist
1 year ago

Debbie, I am thankful that you are raising your voice on this.
I stand with trans people who stand for truth. If we don’t stop this propaganda that is attempting an Orwellian coup in all western countries, it will go bad on all of us.
The NYT, The Boston Globe, so many of our papers are owned by people who are promoting an agenda that is toxic and based on lies. And people are buying it because they don’t bother to dig too deep.
Oh, and the NYT is so busy firing journalists for ridiculous reasons and censoring/silencing those who don’t tow the party line that one could hardly call it news.
Chomsky made it clear 30 years ago that is was doing this, and it has, over the decades, become nothing but a propaganda machine. Yellow journalism at it’s worst. “All the news that’s fit to print” indeed.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 year ago

Right. And the NYT and Boston Globe are owned by the /same/ people, too.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

Activism of any sort is seldom interested in truth. It is interested in activism for its own sake. If truth were the issue, there would be no furor over “only women get pregnant.”
With the supply of credible issues waning, new ones have to be invented. Otherwise, the activist crowd might have to get real jobs. At the same time, this movement threatens to make womanhood obsolete. If one can be a woman simply by claiming it, the entirety of feminist doctrine can be trashed. And imagine being a young male who is possibly gay, or a tomboy. Instead of being allowed to grow up and figure out who you are, adults are standing by ready to engage in medical experimentation, including surgical intervention.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

May be if Biden starts a new war they will have something else to talk about

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

No joke. It’s only a matter of time. Biden has a twitchy finger.

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
1 year ago

‘Ah the good old NYT’, ‘Ah the good old Guardian’…said no one with a half modicum of common sense ever

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 year ago

Ah, well. The NYT. One need only examine a headline and know it’s from the NYT to surmise the content. Nothing deviates from a small repertoire of narratives over at the NYT. The same goes for most of the legacy press.

Sean MacSweeney
Sean MacSweeney
1 year ago

The NYT is akin to the National Inquirer, it has long ceased to be a credible news source for many and I am just waiting to see when they post a story about a WWII plane on the moon

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago

A reason that so many powerful people endorse this is that it has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

Ginetta Tym
Ginetta Tym
1 year ago

Someone explain please what Marxism has to do with any of this.

Peter Fisher
Peter Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Ginetta Tym

Marxism is obsessed with the oppressed and the oppressors. Working class scum like me (the proletariat) are oppressed by the owners of production (bourgeoisie). While the working classes know this is true, they also know anywhere Marxism has been enacted, Dark Triad personality types end up running the show and making lives far, far worse for the proletatiat.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/fulfillment-any-age/202007/how-narcissist-could-try-manipulate-you
The workers let the Marxists down by refusing to fall for the bullshit. The Marxists had to look for other oppressed people to sell thier bullshit to. Non whites, Muslims ( we can talk about the irony of this group later), gay, transgender, etc. were the obvious choices.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Unsubscribe from the NYTimes; It’s just propaganda in tabloid format. It’s has morphed into not being the paper-of-record anymore. Subscribe/Support ‘The Herd’.

Last edited 1 year ago by Cathy Carron
jackarandarainbow
jackarandarainbow
1 year ago

Well, a sensible, level article covering an extremely emotive topic. I was recently discussing gender, or attempting to discuss, with a transgender person on the net. They described themselves with a long list of terms with which i was unfamiliar. I had no idea what they were talking about. So I said, “I’m sorry, but I never saw these terms before that you use to describe your orientation. Would you please kindly explain what they mean so I can learn about trans a bit more?” He flew into a rage, screaming at me that I was a trouble maker. I fled, having learned, I thought, all there is to know about, if not about transgender generally,at least about this particular transgender person. I tried speaking to a few others but they also seemed too angry to speak at all.Can anyone guess or perhaps you know, what is this anger about, please?