Ten thoughts on: Jenni Murray: “Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a ‘real woman'”

Jenni Murray, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s woman’s hour has recently shared her viewpoint that Transgender women are not ‘real women’ in her piece in Sunday Times Magazine entitled: Be trans, be proud — but don’t call yourself a ‘real woman‘”

1. I do not seek to silence you

There are those that feel that respectable press and institutions should not give a platform to right wing individuals such as Germaine Greer and Jenni Murray to peddle their views. In fact right now, there is currently a petition to prevent Ms Greer from talking in Brighton at the Dome on International Woman’s Day 2017.

For the record, I find her views offensive, small minded, flawed and privileged. I also have enormous respect for the organizers of the petition as activists and as people that have increased the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is clear that there is a large group of women that hold similar views as Ms Greer and Ms Murray. Silencing them will only make those that hold similar viewpoints feel more disenfranchised. The reality is that echo chambers are what lead to Brexit and Trump. The path to progress is through debate, not through oppression.

I am not saying that the opinion of these people is valid; In so far as if a survey revealed that more people thought 5 was a bigger number than 15, then it doesn’t suddenly make what they’re saying correct. Opinion does not equal fact. Nor am I saying that I am happy for my identity to be decided in the court of public opinion, but preventing people from sharing their views, however offensive doesn’t stop their views going away and in the long term does not help our community.

If our movement is valid and just, it can withstand people holding opposing views. However, we must resist “The bias towards fairness”.

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GRS Diary: Day 106 – Return from Thailand – Three Stupid mistakes and Second ‘Three mile high’ dilation.

My last evening was lovely – a number of us went out to the Red Chair restaurant, which is a few dozen metres from the hotel and is known for doing good local street food.

I spent the rest of the evening with different groups talking, but ended up staying up till 3am talking with Dani, a woman that I’d become close to over the last week.

Unfortunately, I needed to get up at 5am to dilate, finish packing and do my makeup. I felt like death as I got into the Supornmobile and was chauffeured to the airport.

The first mistake

Check-in was lovely. The letter that Dr Suporn gives requests a wheelchair and spells out the situation downstairs.

This seemed to trigger maternal nature in the check-in staff who were lovely. She asked me to sit for a moment while the wheelchair came and as I approached the chair, I looked to my empty hand for my horseshoe shaped cushion and my mind was transported to the back seat of the car, now speeding away from the airport, where I’d left it. Over the last few days, I’d been dabbling with not using it, but the idea of a 13 hour flight without it was daunting.

Read on to the second mistake…