I’m not sure the Daily Mail got the point yesterday in its response to coroner Michael Singleton’s criticism about its “sensationalist and salacious” coverage — and “character assassination” — of Lucy Meadows and her gender transition.
To recap: Lucy Meadows, a trans woman, was a school teacher in Britain who endured all sorts of harassment from the media when she announced she was transitioning, including a controversial article by Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn. She eventually committed suicide. It’s important to note that Lucy’s suicide note did not mention media harassment as the reason she ended her life, listing other factors. But the coroner still pointed a finger at the media and at the Daily Mail in particular. Says the International Business Times, quoted in italics here: Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn wrote an article entitled “He’s not only in the wrong body… he’s in the wrong job” in which he accused Meadows of not caring for “the sensibilities of the children” and putting “his own selfish needs ahead of the wellbeing of the children”.
Yesterday, according to the International Business Times, a spokesperson for the Daily Mail responded with this: “Richard Littlejohn’s column emphatically defended the rights of people to have sex change operations but echoed some parents’ concerns about whether it was right for children to have to confront such complex gender problems at such a vulnerable young age.”
Hmm . . . What exactly is the Daily Mail saying with that statement? First, it appears to be passing the buck, i.e. attributing the column’s opinions to “echoing” the concerns of parents rather than the writer. Second, and far more important, it seems to be suggesting that gender transitioning is so alarming, so freaky, so complex, that it might traumatize young children who see a former “male” teacher come back to school as a “female” teacher.
Hmm . . . It look to me like the old “we did it for the kids” line of defence, and there is just so much wrong with all that.
I bet the children wouldn’t have been traumatized at all, that they would have thought Lucy was “neat” and “cool” and “brave” and would have tons of questions for her. They would have welcomed her with open arms. They would have learned lessons of tolerance that would have stayed with them for their whole lives.
Instead, look at what the media circus has taught them.
So sad. When will the media in Britain ever learn?
I’ll leave the final word in this post to Mr. Singleton:
Lucy Meadows was not somebody who had thrust herself into the public limelight. She was not a celebrity. She had done nothing wrong. Her only crime was to be different. Not by choice but by some trick of nature. And yet the press saw fit to treat her in the way that they did. . . . To you the press, I say shame, shame on all of you.”