Transgender teacher kills self after Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn denounces her

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257 Responses to “Transgender teacher kills self after Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn denounces her”

  1. vonbobo says:

    the children!!!

  2. AwesomeRobot says:

    Yeah, because children are surrounded by a world that they fully understand at all times. Shit, kids barely understand letters and numbers.

    It’s a shame Australia isn’t a penal colony anymore, because I’m not sure where else we should send people like this.

  3. The Cheeeeldren…. It’s always about the Cheeeeldren… More misery, lies and bigotry from the worst newspaper in Britain

  4. Drew Wellman says:

    I see the Daily Fail is maintaining its stellar level of journalistic integrity. 

  5. Mordicai says:

    Richard Littlejohn is a far greater threat to those children than Lucy Meadows ever could have been.

  6. Most newspapers only leave ink on your fingers.

  7. toasterslie says:

    And I’m sure it will be much easier to explain suicide to the children, isn’t that right, Daily Mail and Richard Littlejohn?

    And this is not remotely an isolated incident. “Why The Daily Mail is Evil”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dqNTTdYKY

    • eldritch says:

      I’m just as disgusted as you are by the Daily Mail, but logically speaking it’s a bit of a stretch to actually blame them for the suicide. Defamation? Clearly. But suicide is the regretable choice of the individual, even if the actions of others have an influence on that choice.

      I may not like the Daily Mail, but I’d like to insist upon keeping the record straight and only holding them to account for those things that they are, in fact, actually responsible for.

      • Glen Able says:

        >> only holding them to account for those things that they are, in fact, actually responsible for.

        The difficulty there is that they’re like a factory leaking radioactive sludge into the water supply.  The nearby town’s cancer rate quadruples, but it’s impossible to determine which illnesses are the factory’s fault.

      • welcomeabored says:

        ‘Demafation’?

      • EvilSpirit says:

         You are, quite apparently, *not* just as disgusted as I am by the Daily Mail.

        • eldritch says:

          If you’re admitting that your disgust is so great that you don’t care about being logical, fair, or reasonable in your condemnations, then I suppose you are correct :(

          • EvilSpirit says:

            Logic tells me that bullying is not merely “influencing” the victim to make “regrettable choices.” If you can’t talk about what they did in the language of actual harm, you can’t pretend you’re connected to reality.

          • EH says:

            Yeah, emotions are invalid and should never influence the commercial landscape. So unfair to do so.

          • marilove says:

            Yeah, because condescending frowny-faces are so totally not emotional and not childish at all.  Yep.  You’re above everyone else having perfectly normal, human reactions to a pretty disgusting story of discrimination and hate.

            And I don’t think you really know what logical, fair or reasonable mean, either. Because you’re not really being any of that, no matter what you might think.

      • Fábio Emilio Costa says:

        Alright. Think on all the pressure she suffered all the life, all the uncertains, guilt, and everything. Then a big SOB put her as a child abuser daughter (son) of Satan.

        We should be more cautious with our opinions and acts, or things like this will repeat ever and ever. And when, too late, people thing what they should do to avoid the lost of a life, people will never see that empathy is uimportant

      • bardfinn says:

        … suicide is only demarcated as “… the regrettable choice of the individual, even if…” when it comes time to determine civil legal liability, which is a legal fiction, a kind of caricature of reality based in a philosophy born of a time in which society consisted of a few hundred thousand people and the underclass was a few million and the teeming foreign hordes weren’t classed as people at all, to distance the privileged few from the social consequences of their policies and practices – it is, in short, the same mode of social thinking that Littlejohn is employing, and you’ll forgive me / us / the world moving forward, if we choose not to subscribe to that barrel of horseshit.

        Littlejohn is incapable of feeling shame, no matter what he may or may not state on the matter after this, so shaming him won’t have any affect on him. He won’t feel contrition, won’t take responsibility, and will twist this event to claim support for his Weltanschauung.

        Society can only move forward when it realises that here exists a poor practitioner of polemic, a man wielding tangible power, who used it to bully someone over their personal life and which bullying directly contributed to the illness that killed that someone.

        Humanity is more than a collection of individuals.

        • Thomas says:

          For this Littlejohn to be given not only a national media platform but an international one, even though it is the infamous Daily Mail, to select one lone individual trying her best to live a fulfilling life to the benefit of her school employer as well as the children whom she taught much more by her brave personal example than her mere daily lesson plans, for this Little Person to ride his high horse all over this private citizen’s life in such a prejudged and dismissive fashion IS THE EXACT REASON more transgender education must be offered to all people so tragically ignorant; not tragic for themselves, safely outside the spotlight they have lit and focussed on a previously obscure citizen, but tragic for that lifetime of struggle boot stomped into the dirt as well as for all of her family, friends, colleagues, and yes indeed, for the children she taught. Neanderthals must have had frequent sex with our ancestral predecessors because the trait of simple-minded knee-jerk reactions so repetitively prized and implemented by the Neanderthals surfaces whenever a Littlejohn exercises its basest fears and fight, no matter how outdated or misplaced.

      • euansmith says:

         I agree, but I doubt Littledick’s comments helped.

      • FoolishOwl says:

        The intended effect of writing and publishing such a column was to destroy the life of Lucy Meadows, and to punish the school for having supported her.

        This was an unforgivable moral crime on the part of Littlejohn and the Daily Mail.

        • EH says:

          And really, I’m sure the piece was greenlighted by at least one Editor at the DM.

          • Tynam says:

             Exactly.  Blaming Littlejohn is almost besides the point; there’s always a bigot available somewhere.  But the Mail made an editorial policy decision to publish this vile trash.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        I may not like the Daily Mail, but I’d like to insist upon keeping the record straight and only holding them to account for those things that they are, in fact, actually responsible for.

        So, hate speech in this case.

        • eldritch says:

          Sure, I’d classify it as such, and gladly see it treated appropriately.

          • marilove says:

            Do you know what hate speech is and why it’s called hate speech? Because it HARMS people.

            Hate speech contributes to  an oftentimes unlivable environment.

            You say that suicide is just a “regrettable choice”. 

            That “choice” doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

            People don’t commit suicide for no fucking reason.

            The Daily Mail is SURE AS SHIT responsible for the terrible and often times unbearable and therefore  unlivable  environment that it helps to create.

            It isn’t the only contributor but at least in this case, it’s pretty obvious it was a big one.  Perhaps event he catalyst.
            The fact that you want to shrug off their involvement is despicable and plainly ignores all the facts.

            I mean come ON.

            I like to call people like you “hyperskeptics” and you know what?

            You’re an asshole.

      • AviSolomon says:

        “Character assassination” is more appropriate.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          The attack was constructed around Meadows’ being transgendered and the supposition that there’s something fundamentally wrong with that, not the actual (or imagined) actions of Meadows:

          he isn’t entitled to project his personal problems on to impressionable young children

      • Humbabella says:

        Do you know the thin skull rule?  It’s a classic legal question: someone punches someone else and it turns out that person they punch has a genetic defect that gives them an unusually thin skull, so their skull cracks and they die.  Is the person guilty of assault or homicide?  The answer is homicide.

        The Mail is not be legally responsible, but they are morally responsible.  If you do something nasty to someone else and it has unforeseen negative consequences, you are still responsible.  Sure, the Daily Mail presumably didn’t want to cause Meadows’ death, but they still attacked her, and her death resulted.

      • Brainspore says:

        …suicide is the regretable choice of the individual, even if the actions of others have an influence on that choice.

        The Daily Mail did as much as anyone to create a living environment that seemed worse than suicide. They need to own up to that, even if they aren’t legally culpable of murder.

        Also, it was just yesterday that a not-to-be-named commenter on another BB post was complaining that recent anti-bullying efforts were a “politically correct” form of “infringing on legitimate free speech.” This story is an example of why that line of reasoning is complete bullshit. First of all, no one was prevented from saying hateful things. Second, the Daily Mail’s willingness to publish such vitriol had devastating real-world consequences while contributing nothing valuable to the public discourse. Fuck them and their apologists.

      • iCowboy says:

        There’s a report in the New Statesman that the media was making Lucy’s life hell. Quoting:
        Fae said in an article for the New Statesman: “[Meadows] talks of her good luck in having a supportive head. But the stress of her situation is also visible. She complains bitterly of how she must leave her house by the back door, and arrive at school very early, or very late, in order to avoid the press pack.”She talks of the press offering other parents money for a picture of her; of how in the end they simply lifted an old picture from the Facebook pages of her brother and sister without permission. A Year 5 drawing removed from the school website was simply recovered through the magic of caching.”The full article is here: http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/03/press-regulation-freedom-speech-and-death-lucy-meadowsThe Daily Mail might not have killed Lucy, but it pushed her closer to the edge, perhaps beyond the point where should could think rationally and ask for help.I’m sure the editor’s office of the paper is thinking ‘Hey, it sold papers, so what’s not to like?’The Mail is holding out against press regulation in the UK. Now we know why.

        • ShifterCat says:

          Because kids can’t handle concepts like, “she didn’t feel right being a boy, so doctors helped her become a girl”, but they can handle mass media hounding their teacher to suicide.

          • Tualha says:

             Well, perhaps they’ll all learn that the Daily Fail is a shit rag with zero journalistic integrity. Now if only every other person in bleeding Britain would learn that.

      • Colin Curry says:

        So… if I go out and start clubbing someone, and they die because they didn’t fight back hard enough, it’s their fault? Got it.

        Words are powerful weapons, and like guns or knives they can do terrible damage in the wrong hands. Littlejohn for writing this drivel, and the Daily Mail for publishing it are completely, 100% responsible for this woman’s suicide.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Your lack of empathy is, as always, staggering.

        • eldritch says:

          What exactly do you have against me, in particular? Is there some reason you have repeatedly made these sorts of sweeping and insulting statements about me, personally?

          Do you in some way know me, or I you? Have I wronged you? What is this apparent vendetta? Why are you convinced that I think or behave or feel so very differently from you or anyone else? Are we enemies? If so, why?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            What exactly do you have against me, in particular?

            You’ve turned weaselish defenses of bullies and victim-blaming into a regular gig. And this is the second time that you’ve done it in regard to transgender people. You seem to be missing the pieces that make human beings bearable.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      Some people might try to claim that death is natural and children are able in their own way to cope with it, whereas gender transitioning is ‘unnatural’ and therefore impressionable children should be protected from its influence. Of course, both death, and sexuality, sex and gender are natural, but responses and attitudes to either are culturally determined and there are more and less successful cultures. Fear creates weak and failing cultures.

      Fear of the unknown is a contributory factor in labelling what is merely cultural as ‘unnatural’.

      The job of responsible journalism is to try to allay people’s fears, not to deliberately manipulate  and feed their fear.

  8. From my experience teaching, children assume you are what you dress as.  I remember a 3 year old boy with longish hair showing up one day in flowered leggings.  The whole class called him “she” that day, and the next day “he” again, without even batting an eye.  That’s if they can even remember which pronouns are which.

    • BookGuy says:

       I had a husband-and-wife team of professors in college who did studies into children’s understanding of gender, and they found very similar results.  One of the boys in one of the classrooms they worked in had long hair, and one day, another child took the wife aside and said, “There’s a little girl in our class who has a penis.”

    • euansmith says:

       Thank you, sir.

    • Martijn says:

      3? My son simply calls everybody “he”. And he’s definitely open to the possibility that a boy can become a girl or vice versa.

    • psilax says:

      Self to 6-y-o son: “What would you think if your teacher decided she wanted to become a man?”

      Son: “nothing.”

      Self: “Ah — thanks.  You just helped me win an argument.  Did you know that something similar happened in another school (a man decided to become a lady) and one man got really angry about it, and said the children wouldn’t understand?”

      Son: “Why would he be angry about that?”

      Self: “Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Apparently, that man thought that what the teacher was doing was dangerous and that children couldn’t understand it.”

      Son: “Well I understand it.  And I don’t think it’s dangerous.”

      Eff off, Littlejohn.

    • Girard says:

      Very small children don’t have a sense of objects or people being consistent or continuous over time – it’s a level of abstraction their brains typically can’t do until age 5-7ish. The idea of a cat growing into a dog or a boy growing into a woman isn’t remarkable to them.

      While it’s a useful developmental step for kids to learn and understand this kind of continuity (it helps you start to think of other people as complete and independent entities, leads to more complex empathy and theory of mind, etc.), contrary to what that asshole wrote, it certainly wouldn’t be “traumatic” for them to learn that, while people and things maintain a consistent identity over time, they also are capable of changing things like appearance or gender over time. Kids are pretty smart and flexible thinkers, if you actually respect them and give them some fucking credit. Littlejohn is a disgusting slug.

  9. Michael Rosefield says:

    Can we send a care package to Mr. Littlejohn? 

    How about a singing telegram (recorded on video) who berates him loudly with a megaphone, before throwing stink bombs and eggs at him?

    • EH says:

      That will just fuel his incipient PR crusade as being harassed and receiving death threats.

    • Tualha says:

       Atheist though I am, I hope there’s just enough of an afterlife so that when Richard Littlejohn dies (can’t come soon enough for me), he spends eternity walking into an office where Graham Chapman calls him a stupid git, etc.

      • eldritch says:

        Probably more realistic to hope that some offended party decides to stuff an Irukandji Jellyfish down his trousers instead. Certainly more painful.

  10. Michael Marano says:

    No wonder they call you “Little” John.

  11. Cocomaan says:

    The children have now been taught a new lesson that they definitely won’t be able to process: why bullying leads to someone hurting themselves until they die.

    Send him an email directly, folks: http://richardlittlejohn.net/contact.html

    •  Does anyone have a set of appropriately angry, but non-legally-actionable words I can send along? Anything I would have to say would likely get me jailed.

      • euansmith says:

         Dear, Mr Littlejohn,

        It would obviously be incorrect to state that you are, “no better than Hitler”; however, I would contend, that you appear to share many of his short comings as a human being…

        • Stephen O says:

          Thanks. I added a bit and sent it along:

          “It would obviously be incorrect to state that you are, “no better than Hitler”; however, I would contend, that you appear to share many of his short comings as a human being.
          For instance, your immediate hateful reaction to anyone different than you. Your need to make  inhuman monsters out of honest people who bring love and joy to the world. Your proselytization that you above everyone else can detect claimed social deviants and personally call them out.

          Then there is the little fact that you have blood on your hands.”

  12. EvilSpirit says:

    Someone in this story ought, in all conscience, to have killed themselves. But that person was not Miss Meadows.

  13. eldritch says:

    The argument that young children aren’t often capable of nuanced understanding of gender and sexuality isn’t without some merit, but it’s irrelevant to the issue of employment suitability.

    Even if there actually was some sort of matter of employability concern, there are better ways to address something like that than to make a very public attack on a specifically named person in one of the UK’s largest newspapers. I had some rotten teachers when I was in school, but I wouldn’t wish this sort of public villification on any of them.

    By itself, “Teacher Unsuited For Job (Maybe)” is a pretty shitty headline, and were it not for the inclusion of one egotistical reporter’s personal outrage generated by societal gender friction, this so called story would never have been printed except by the most desperate or low quality “journalistic” enterprises.

    • EH says:

      My layman’s opinion is that the vast bulk of the “nuanced understanding” of gender and sexuality that children lack can be defined as “adult hangups,” and essentially unimportant.

      • eldritch says:

        Just because gender is a stupid system doesn’t mean it’s not hard to understand. War is utterly pointless and horrible, but it’s quite complex and not something easily discussed or managed.

        • Girard says:

          But kids encounter complex systems all the time – the world is full of them – and school is probably the best environment for kids to be learning how to deal with ambiguity, etc.

          Especially because – again – those complex things do exist in the world. Transgendered people are real, that teacher wasn’t the only one in the world, and there are kids with transgendered people in their lives. Can you imagine how awful a kid with a beloved transgendered relative would feel if they heard some adult say that “those people” weren’t “appropriate” for kid to know about?

          Kids are knowledge-constructing machines. They are pretty good at that, especially with good guidance by teachers and parents. In the preschool I taught at, we didn’t have any trans folks, but one of my students had two moms. It was a total non-issue. The kids recognized is as a permutation no stranger than, say, one kid having two sisters and another having one brother, or one kid having a mom, dad, and step-dad, and another kid living with his mom and grandpa. While kids aren’t a blank slate, a lot of cultural norms that feel “complicated” to untangle are simply non-issues from their perspective, as they are epistemically building their own sets of norms and knowledge.

          And if someone had ever said anything in earshot of that little girl to make her feel like her family was in some way less legitimate or inappropriate or “too complex,” I probably would have punched them in the fucking neck.I actually think having a trans person around would be a great, concrete way to broach issues of sex and gender with kids, that would otherwise be somewhat abstract. It would also be a useful rhetorical justification for educating kids about that, in the event that conservative parents objected – you wouldn’t be proselytizing to the kids about some abstract political sexual idea, you would simply be encouraging the school’s bog-standard policy of encouraging acceptance of every child in the classroom and their culture/family/background/whatever.

  14. Christopher says:

    I don’t know what’s more vile: Mr. Littlejohn’s rant or the fact that The Daily Mail has taken it down in a cheap and pathetic attempt to absolve itself from responsibility.

    It’s not as though Littlejohn published this on his own private blog. His column was reviewed by at least one editor, it was approved, it was published, and now The Daily Mail wants to pretend it never happened.

    Did Littlejohn’s ignorant and unnecessary belittling have anything to do with the suicide of Miss Meadows? I’m not certain, but I think it’s a question that deserves an investigation. And The Daily Mail should be held responsible for attempting to hide evidence.

  15. I don’t think they have declared it as suicide yet. It probably was given the immense amount of pressure she must have been under, but still.

  16. paul_leader says:

    Tragic. As if I really needed a reason to despise Littlejohn and the Mail any more than I already do.

    And he’s wrong about young kids not being able to cope with this, they are actually far more able to deal with this kind of thing than adults, the idea of gender as some fixed, two-state concept, is really only learned as kids get older. Most young kids don’t actually understand that gender/sex is normally “fixed”. This is incredibly basic child developmental psychology, with lots of experimental and observational evidence.

    It’s only oder kids and adults who actually make judgements about this sort of thing, or “worry” about it. Younger kids tend to just accept what they see at face value. They only know it’s “wrong” or something to worry about because adults tell them it is.

    • EH says:

      I see it as an extended screed on how jealous he is of the open-mindedness of youth, and an attempt to limit their worldview. Would that this could be considered a hate crime, or an exhortation for parents to wage war on their children’s brains on his behalf.

  17. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Another wonderful example of someone to terrified to just admit this is different and it scares me, so I will hold these children up as the shield for my limited concepts of the world spewing forth. 
    Because I’m doing it for the children you won’t dare call me a bigoted asshat.

    Except quite a few of us are on to your game, because if you actually thought your statements had merit you would have stood next to them.  Instead you take your words and small minded thinking and pretend they never happened.

    1 – Welcome to the Internet, it never forgets you bigoted ass.
    2 – … For the children is a tired trope.
    3 – It appears your the one projecting your personal problems onto the children.

    I learned a saying here on BB that suits you perfectly…
    Christ what an asshole.

  18. Daemonworks says:

    “Children as young as seven” will, for the most part say “you can do that?! cool!”

    It’s only adults who have real problems with this sort of thing.

    • Cocomaan says:

      Kids are inherently forgiving and understanding. We mold them into something else entirely.

    • This. Kids are totally unfazed by this stuff.

    • chopchopchop says:

      In my experience, adults struggle a lot more than kids with what I call “transgender onion syndrome” – they can’t take the person at face value (“She’s a woman”), so they have to look at the person as inherently, irrevocably “layered” or nested (“He’s a woman who’s really a man.”) 

      If you stop thinking in terms of what someone “really” is or “used to be” and just isolate your thoughts about their gender to what they currently are, it’s a lot easier. 

      It’s also a lot easier to immediately parse what it means to be a “transgender lesbian woman” or a “transgender straight male” because you grasp that it’s no different from “lesbian woman” or “straight male”.

      • Christopher says:

        I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to steal “transgender onion syndrome”, although I’d like to find a word other than “syndrome”.

        I’ve never had to explain transgendered people to myself. I’ve always simply accepted that it’s the way some people are. But I understand that it’s confusing to others. Onions are a useful metaphor for providing one way of looking at transgendered people. We all have layers, but their layers are somewhat different.

        Although, to quote Donkey from “Shrek”, “You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!”

        • chopchopchop says:

          Ha! Steal any metaphor you like, but I meant that “transgender onion syndrome” = when cisgendered people think transgender people are like onions. I don’t mean that transgender people actually have an onion syndrome.

          I actually think it’s more helpful to *not* think of people’s gender as layers. i.e., a transgender woman isn’t an outer shell of “woman” with a “man” layer underneath, she’s just a woman. 

          The way that cisgendered people see transgendered people as being onions reminds me of how people with one ethnicity view mixed-race people as being “half and half”. I’m mixed race and I don’t feel “half blue, half red”, I feel purple. I feel like a third thing entirely. Likewise, many trans* people don’t feel like they have layers.

          I think often dominant society unconsciously uses metaphors like onions to make sense of people who don’t fit in their cubbyholes. Usually the metaphors  that rise in popularity happen to provide a way of dissecting the person, so that they can be placed into existing cubbyholes – for example, a mixed-race person can be half inside the “White” cubbyhole and half inside “Black” cubbyhole, or a transgender woman’s outer shell can be placed in “Woman” but her inner core can be placed in “Man.”

          But the most ethical and true metaphors often involve accepting that you may need some new cubbyholes entirely. Or you may need to let people into their preferred cubbyhole with less regulations than you originally planned.

          Does that make any sense?

          • Mr. Son says:

            “I actually think it’s more helpful to *not* think of people’s gender as layers. i.e., a transgender woman isn’t an outer shell of “woman” with a “man” layer underneath, she’s just a woman.” ”

            The thing that gets me here, is when I stop to think of layers and transgender people (I am one, for the record! FtM), it’s exactly the other way ’round. A Transgender woman is a woman with a “man” (“male-type” body) over an inner woman. Which makes it easy for me to mental shift on learning someone’s started their transition. Because they’re not changing, they’re just taking the mask off. …Names take longer. I’m terrible with names.

          • chopchopchop says:

            Huh, good point. I was thinking more in terms of post-transition than pre-transition. Pre-transition, the onion thing could work – if you get the layers in the right order. (i.e., I suspect a lot of cis people think a transgender woman is a man-on-the-inside regardless of what her outer layer looks like, instead of recognizing her as a woman-on-the-inside.)

          • Christopher says:

            Perfect sense–thank you for explaining that. The idea that people are a blend rather than merely “layered” makes it even easier to explain.

          • kringlebertfistyebuns says:

            I too have “felt purple.”  However, it was due to ingestion of too much cough medicine, so probably not directly comparable.

          • Girard says:

            The layer talk gets us into problematic areas with respect to what constitutes the “true” “inner” layer.

            I find the typical rhetorical division between sex and gender is the most useful for talking about this stuff. Like you say, a transgender woman’s gender is simply “woman” – not an onion or whatever. Her sex, depending on the body she was born with and whether or not she has had surgery, may be male or female, but this totally distinct from her gender identity.

            (If I’m getting this wrong, trans folks and others who are more knowledgable than me, please correct me! I think I have it right, but I could easily be mistaken, and this is a topic where my ignorance could easily end up hurting someone.)

    • Mister Eppy says:

      “It’s only adults who have imagined problems with this sort of thing”

      FTFY

    • Marja Erwin says:

      Children as young as nine can learn to hate lesbians and gays. Children as young as twelve can learn to hate trans and intersex folks. I don’t know about British society, but American society does teach many of them to hate, to identify people who are a bit different, and to beat them bloody.

      • Gilbert Wham says:

        Oh, aye, we can do that to our poor bloody kids too. However, we’re lucky in that we don’t have something as politically powerful or loathesome as the American religious right here to go kicking over anthills. Not that we don’t have hate-filled bigots, be they fuelled by divine or mundane stupidity, because who doesn’t? But god is more frail and infirm on our damp wee rock, which helps. We do have the Mail, and it’s less-rabid, but no less mean, petty and spiteful cousin, the Express though :(

  19. otterhead says:

    As others have said above, Littlejohn’s understanding of how kids think is exactly, entirely, opposite of the truth.

    Kids’ concept of gender is very fluid and they’re able to adapt quite easily to changes like this. When it’s presented matter-of-factly, most kids just accept it and move on, like any of the other concepts they absorb every moment of the day.

    I remember a neighbor of mine named Chris; she was a teenaged girl with long hair who babysat my sister and I many times. One day, she cut her hair short into a boyish bob, and in the eyes of my sister and myself, she was a boy, now. Her name was Chris, right? Simple as that!

    • Paul Renault says:

      Agreed.  FTL to the Littlejohn’s screed: Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.

      Littlejohn broadcasts quite loudly that he has little experience outside his sheltered life.  Sadly, all too often, this is the case with reporters – being an idiot seems to be a requirement for advancement in popular ‘news’ media.  Just do a Google search for “Louise Boat”.

      The Weirdest People in the Word

      The linked-to research paper addresses the problem of drawing conclusions about human behaviour when research uses WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) societies.

      Lots of kids grown up in what are (to us, generally) very strange cultures, with no/little ill effects. At least, with fewer problems than feeding kids sugary drinks all day.

    • I remember as a kid being a little confused by gender rules. (I am a cisgender lesbian, BTW, and I meant rUles, not rOles.) I grew up in Iowa, where we are fond of saying that it gets as hot as Texas and as cold as Alaska. I played with a group of boys and girls. It was completely unfathomable to me that the boys could take their shirts off when they got hot while playing in summer, but I and the other girls could not. So until I started to grow breasts, I just did.  My mom explained DOZENS of times why it was acceptable for boys but not girls but I couldn’t see it. REALLY couldn’t SEE it. As long as we had our PANTS on, the girls and boys looked the SAME, so why the different rules? Added to the fact that the boys and girls played the same games together and why would it matter? I’m still not sure why…

      • llazy8 says:

        36 and still there. 

      • Girard says:

        I remember as a kid (5 or 6) first seeing censored breasts on TV (I think it was America’s Funniest Home Videos – a motorboat motor snagged on and ripped off a person’s bathing suit top), and being really confused that they threw a black bar over the woman’s chest. I asked my mom what was up, and her basic “She’s a woman, she has breasts,” answer didn’t really seem to hold water. It felt inconsistent, illogical, and arbitrary.

        24 years later, I still don’t really get it. (I mean, I “get” that I live in a country founded by puritans and run by right-wingers, but I’ll never “get” why a woman’s chest is obscene and a man’s isn’t…)

  20. Nash Rambler says:

    This is both saddening, and enraging.  Will the Daily Mail and/or Littlejohn face any sort of repercussions from this?

  21. It’s a shame Ms. Meadows took her own life instead of pointing out that this “opinion” is from a man who no doubt was cruelly tortured as a child in school for having a name like Dick Littlejohn. 

  22. dmabury says:

    Here’s the petition urging the Daily Mail to fire his ass. Not likely given the paper’s general reputation, but it couldn’t hurt. http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-daily-mail-fire-richard-littlejohn-for-victimizing-lucy-meadows-leading-to-her-possible-suicide

  23. effinnelle says:

     I’ve read many upsetting stories on here over the years and never felt the need to comment before, but I had to say something about this so I registered. I’ve now realised that ll the things I want to say are too full of hatred for Littlejohn and the vermin like him to express in public. I just hope I never meet him, because although I know it is wrong and would do no good, I will not be able to stop myself from doing something very bad to him

    • euansmith says:

      This is the internet. It is part confessional, part latrine. Feel free to express yourself.

    • EH says:

      You can’t go to war against a philosophy, all any of us can do is to make it politically distasteful to act in public the way he has.

  24. Adora Tsang says:

    This is my problem with raising children to believe in Santa. Why do people think it is good to make up a false environment for children? The most important thing is to raise children to be functioning happy adults, even if there will be hardship and inconvenience for parents.
    This is extremely cruel. I feel so sad for Lucy, her family and her students! Think about how the children feel, living in a world where people from the newspaper can bully someone to her death! How is that for protecting children?

    • EvilSpirit says:

      Children don’t need to be raised “to believe” in Santa. They start off believing in pretty much *everything* they even hear about.

      • eldritch says:

        To be fair, exposure to the culture at large is as aspect of child rearing. If your family lived in a log cabin the Siberian tundra and had no exposure to cultural norms, then you’d not be raising them to believe in Santa.

  25. I don’t mean this to sound conern-trolly, but let’s not lay this *all* at Littlejohn’s feet quite yet. Isolate the article, and it’s one of the awfullest things I’ve ever read. But suicide is complicated; don’t simplify someone’s decision to end their own life by assigning one person as the cause. Heck, that probably gives Littlejohn too much credit.

    I wouldn’t have thought to say that before we at MIT saw the reaction to Swartz’s suicide by people closest to him. Without absolving MIT, they first wanted people to remember Aaron was a complicated person, like we all are. Thinking MIT’s actions or Littlejohn’s were sufficient to lead to a person’s suicide is building them up as more influential than they are. Yes, probably necessary for suicide, but not sufficient. Hold off on total fury at least until *some* other detail comes out Meadow’s life. These are people, not symbols.

    • Christopher says:

      I think it’s a fair point that Littlejohn’s screed may or may not have contributed to Meadows’ suicide, and almost certainly wasn’t solely responsible for it, but, while I can’t speak for others, my own rage here isn’t over the suicide itself so much as the Daily Mail’s willingness to publish such a vile statement, giving it a widespread audience, and then its even more shameful attempt to make the article go away.

      I don’t want to turn Miss Meadows into a symbol to be used for political purposes. What I do want to see, though, is for the Daily Mail to acknowledge that what they choose to print may have consequences, and that they should be willing to accept that fact.

      The editors of the Daily Mail were willing to publish Littlejohn’s words. They should be equally willing to come out and say, “We think he’s right, and here’s why…” and engage in some meaningful dialogue. Instead they’re not even bothering to offer a mea culpa.

      I don’t think it would be too much to ask Littlejohn to do the same. When Tracy Jordan, at a performance, made very strong remarks about how he’d respond if one of his children were gay, he was called out on it and, to his credit, responded by apologizing and meeting with LGBT teens. He was willing to listen to how his words made them feel. He’d only been speaking of a hypothetical individual, but apparently realized that even that could have have serious consequences.

      Is Littlejohn going to show the same sort of willingness to reach out? Are the editors of the Daily Mail? Their response suggests they won’t.

      • Word. *Everything* was bad about that article. It’s like inviting your crazy uncle over for Thanksgiving and handing him a microphone when he gets there.

        • Christopher says:

          Except that the crazy uncle can have some entertainment value, especially when the family recognizes he’s just crazy and doesn’t take him seriously.

          The problem with people like Littlejohn is that he’s being invited into approximately five million homes on a regular basis, and a lot of people don’t realize he’s crazy.

      • iCowboy says:

        You just need to Google* ‘Jan Moir’ ‘Stephen Gately’ to see that not only does the paper have form, but it won’t fire the columnist in question. That article is still up.

        *other search engines are available.

    • EH says:

      The phrase “proximate cause” (vs. ‘ultimate cause’) may be helpful here.

    • Humbabella says:

      You can’t ever nail down exactly what caused someone to commit suicide.  There is no way to link Littlejohn’s writing to it definitively.  But despite the fact that I totally agree with you, I think we can’t put too much blame on Littlejohn for this.
      No one ever kills themselves because of something that someone said to them that day.  An alarming number of transgender people do kill themselves because of a combination of the pain of being transgender and because of the way people treat them.  Of course in any individual case it could be a number of other things – an organic mental illness, unrelated hurts or abuse, a side effect of a drug, we just don’t know.

      So what do we do with that information?  If Ms. Meadows killed herself because a lifetime of misunderstanding and abuse related to her gender identity and her body became too much to bear, do we say that Littlejohn’s article, being only the straw that broke the camel’s back, is not to blame?  What if she committed suicide five years from now and Littlejohn’s article was only one of the middle straws?

      If 100 people each added 1/100th of a fatal dose of poison to my next meal, every single one of them would bear the full responsibility for killing me.  We don’t have to spread the accountability thin.  In this case there will be no homicide charges (and there shouldn’t be), but it’s not necessary to draw a direct link in order to blame Littlejohn for her death, and I don’t think it devalues the complexity of Ms. Meadows as a person to do so.

    • What else are you suggesting could have contributed to Aaron Schwartz’ suicide? Who but MIT and the justice system COULD be to blame? 

      They ARE symbols now, both of them. And I do agree you are right; MIT’s and Littlejohn’s actions likely were NOT sufficient, but absolutely were necessary–that is, without those actions, these good people would still be here. That is responsibility, by definition.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      However, it does. This story touches a raw spot: my lovely, and now sad, emotionally scarred and deeply hurt and confused teenage daughter just lost her first real love because of one straw to many on the burden her girlfriend carried on her back. One last snide comment, one last violent flare-up with some nasty, homophobic little shit and his friends who decided it was ‘punch a dyke night’ and came down to their little bit of this little town – the ‘pink triangle’ as it’s known – and hit her square in the face, loudly proclaiming as to why. So it broke that last little bit in her and she took her own life that very night. As do many, many others when the sneering, hateful ignorance and pathetic pack-animal posturing does to so many queer/trans/just plain fucking different what it does. Time after time. Bit after bit. Over and over till it obscures everything good and death seems like a smaller mountain to climb.

      I was lucky, inasmuch as the hurt of seeing that expression of loss, confusion and pain on my baby’s face is better than her girlfriend’s mum finding her child hanging from a fucking tree. It happens. Ms Meadows’ reasons for suicide were, no doubt, her own, complex and painful ones. But hers, and the other tragedy I just related share one thing in common: evil, spiteful, hate-filled pieces of shit, who just won’t leave people the fuck alone.

      So, yes, you sound concern-trollish. Littlejohn, and the power to reach a wider audience through his column in Dacre’s filthy, fascist little rag didn’t do it all on their ownsome. But they fucking well helped. As did every nasty, stupid small-minded fool who caused Ms Meadows, and my daughter’s girlfriend, and all the others out there the distress and hurt their unreasoning hate brings. All equally culpable. Bloody hands on every one. To wish his demise for this would be despicable also. The desire to piss on the fuckers grave is a harder one to dismiss though.

      (sorry to kick off, but like I said. This is something that not only pisses me off for its intrinsic wrongness, but because it reminds me of fresh and deep wounds)

      • I’m with you, no ifs, ands, or buts. I think what I’m trying to say is that to prevent these awful things, let’s make sure to start — but not end — by dealing with the malice of people like Littlejohn.

  26. Id love to see every single office of the Daily Mail burned to the ground and their editors jailed for being total dicks. 

  27. bigdave323 says:

    I believe this is a sad, sad, tragedy. Having said that, I also believe it may have been avoidable. Aren’t people transitioning from one gender to another supposed to go through intense psychological examination and adjustment just to make sure they can handle the inevitable pressure this decision will cause? It certainly seems that did not happen here, and the victim was let down by the medical/psychiatric community.

    Also, would it not have made more sense to undergo the change, then transfer to a school district where the teacher was not previously known so nobody would be looking to “out” them? Seems pretty basic to me, but I am not in this situation and obviously have no first hand experience as to whether that would have caused additional/different pressures.

    But, to kill yourself over one bigot’s comments tells me this individual was NOT prepared properly for their transition. This is an indictment of the system, not the person.

    • waetherman says:

      I don’t think you can say that she committed suicide over one bigot’s comments – likely it was the result of a number of factors, as most suicides are. And one can’t necessarily say that the “system” let her down either – as with any medical procedure there are complications and unknowns, side effects and failure rates. That’s not to say you’re wrong, but just that it’s probably far more complicated than “she committed suicide because of one person’s comments and therefore she should have been counseled better.”

    • Jonathan Roberts says:

      This was one bigot who wrote an article in a newspaper that is widely read in print in the UK and online in other parts of the world. I’d feel pretty bad if an insulting article telling me that I am harming the children I teach was read by millions of people.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        Thank you, I was going to say the exact same. This isn’t just one guy’s comments, it’s a very public attack and “shaming” in a massive news outlet. And it’s quite possible that this guy’s comments could have fueled even more “comments” and/or direct abuse by strangers and acquaintances in the victim’s life.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       Why the fuck should she have had to do any of that? As opposed to, you know, just being treated with some respect and basic human dignity?

    • FoolishOwl says:

      The school, St. Mary Magdalen’s, was doing an exemplary job of supporting Lucy Meadows’s decision.

      The form of Littlejohn’s attack was an attack on Meadows for working as a teacher, and was also an attack on the school for supporting her. People are often more upset by attacks on those they care about than about attacks upon themselves.

      I don’t know about the specifics of therapy for those transitioning, but therapy in general is often concerned with helping a person build and maintain a social network for emotional support.

      Meadows doubtless depended upon the personal support of her colleagues at the school, and depended upon her job at the school for her income. Littlejohn’s attack on Meadows’s friends and protectors for their support for her would have been profoundly upsetting.

    • Humbabella says:

      The “intense psychological examination” that transgender people have to go through is basically a series of hoops they have to jump through to convince pervy psychiatrists to allow their transition.  It’s pretty safe to bet that any trans person you meet has been let down by the medical/psychiatric community, but that is because they are treated like test subjects instead of human beings.

      As for transferring, shouldn’t that be up to the human being who is transitioning?  They haven’t done anything wrong, and don’t need to be moved.  I’m sure that some trans people *would* want to move, but there are going to be a lot of competing interests there.  Teachers often have strong ties to the communities they are in.

      I doubt this was the first time that Ms. Meadows was bullied or made to feel bad about herself for who she was, and her decision to kill herself was more likely an accumulation of hurts rather than one event.  It was probably the first time, however, that it was insinuated she was basically a pedophile in front of millions of people – many of whom likely went on to bully and threaten her further.  Not very many of us are prepared for that.

    • CH says:

      As others already pointed out, this was not “one bigot’s comment”, this was about being pulled out into the public and shamed by a newspaper. Another example would be the nurse who killed herself due to the Australian prank call to the hospital about Dutchess Catherine.

      And why would one have to transfer? Wouldn’t it be better to live and work where you have your support system? I would actually assume it would be better if everybody knew, then it hopefully was a non issue, where as if people found out later it could turn into a huge deal (unfortunately).

    • Transfer to another district because you should be ashamed and hide the fact that you are transgender? Blame the victim much? 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Aren’t people transitioning from one gender to another supposed to go through intense psychological examination and adjustment just to make sure they can handle the inevitable pressure this decision will cause?

      Victim blaming – who could have predicted that?

    • Snig says:

      The stresses of being a “celebrity” are often mocked, because celebrities are often rich and successful, and because the person often seeks getting famous.  Similar to royalty.  But think of how many rock stars/celebrities/royals meet untimely ends, have social problems and become unhinged from an excess of attention.  So put that pressure on someone who is going through a vulnerable psychological time and major surgery, and who doesn’t have a private fortune to pay for guards and assistants to fetch basic neccessities, and who has to go out and work for a living.  And say she’s a private person who never asked to be famous.  It was not inevitable that she be made famous, it was a deliberate cruelty.  His attacking her gender identity and her desire to help and teach children only made it crueler. 

    • MurasakiMadness says:

      Last I read, part of the “evaluation” before gender-reassignment surgery is for the trans person to live as their oriented gender for a long period of time…and the focus is not on handling discrimination, but whether they truly feel more comfortable expressing the gender and can practice incorporating everything that makes a gender…a gender…into their daily lives.

      Some trans people find that surgery is unnecessary or undesirable. They feel perfectly comfortable being genderqueer, a woman with a penis, a man with a vagina, etc. Others want and can afford surgery, and they’ve had time to practice their gender before altering their physical body.

      Saying that someone needs an evaluation to be trans is like saying I need an evaluation to be cisgendered. Or bisexual.  

      If I’m being publicly bullied about being gay or a woman, and feeling terrible about it, that doesn’t mean that I can’t handle being gay or a woman. 

      It means other assholes can’t handle it.

    • MurasakiMadness says:

      Also, expecting someone to move away from their home and social support system is yet another way of validating and encouraging social abuse.

  28. SedanChair says:

    The Mail is Satan, Part One Billion

  29. peregrinus says:

    Richard Littlewhatsit must be taking a couple of prescription drugs – Aynrandix and Theresamayox.

    He doesn’t deserve to be a journalist.

    • iCowboy says:

      He’s not a journalist. He’s a newspaper columnist.

      Journalists uncover corruption and injustices, they go into war zones and dig up unpalatable facts about companies and governments. Many of them risk their lives. Some have lost their lives. Newspaper columnists sit on their bigotted arses stringing prejudices together to justify six and seven figure pay-packets.

      Please don’t confuse the two.

    • Ayn Rand was an atheist who supported LGBTQ (and abortion–she was really the antithesis of what Tea Baggers want) rights. I’m not fond of most of her politics, but these ideas are do not come from studying Rand.

  30. Jonathan Roberts says:

    Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.

    Translation: Children as young as seven haven’t had time to acquire the prejudices that I hold so dear.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      Seriously, my mother was able to explain to me in a very rudimentary way at that same age (or earlier) back in the ’70s what being “gay” meant when explaining the relationship one her oldest friends was in. I didn’t lose sleep over it or worry about it much. I’m not sure how this is much different.

      • Jonathan Roberts says:

        My three year old son turns into a girl every time he puts on his sister’s hat.

        • Felton / Moderator says:

          I remember my sister dressing me in one of her dresses when I was 3 or 4.  My hair was long at the time, so a lot of people assumed I was a girl anyway. I wish I had a picture.  It was a very cute dress.

        • Gilbert Wham says:

           And that’s why kids are awesome, yes indeedy. Tell him from me, he’s clearly an awesome wee boy :)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Children as young as seven haven’t had time to acquire the prejudices that I hold so dear.

      Rodgers and Hammerstein covered that in South Pacific in 1949.

      You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
      Before you are six or seven or eight,
      To hate all the people your relatives hate.
      You’ve got to be carefully taught.

  31. eaonuthoneuthtoheu says:

    She wasn’t born male. She was born female. She was (incorrectly) assigned male at birth.

  32. tré says:

    Children as young as seven are definitely equipped to compute the suicide of their teacher and bullying on a national (and to some degree international) scale, right?

    A trans* teacher at that age would have changed my life, very much so for the better. I would have felt almost “normal.”

    Also, not to nitpick or accuse, but phrases like “born male” can be offensive. I know a lot of folks (myself included) prefer phrases like “assigned male at birth” or “male assigned at birth” (AMAB or MAAB).

  33. I just worry that, due to the coverage it receives, after Aaron Schwartz suicide will more and more become a tactic of activism.

    I mean, would the whole internet have lit up about Schwartz if he hadn’t offed himself? Would anyone know about this case?

    Just something to thing about..

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       Uhhh…

    • toyg says:

      Because Schwartz was so active about UK transgender rights…? I bet  Meadows didn’t even know anything about Schwartz. Please don’t put up straw men.

    • Humbabella says:

      Suicide is used as a tactic of activism.  Have you ever heard of hunger strikes or self-immolation?

      But rather than not giving these things coverage, let’s get on with ridding the world of injustices so extreme that it makes sense to people to kill themselves to get their message across.

    • And Leo LaPorte asked Cory Doctorow something similar on Triangulation; if Aaron’s suicide might be something that helps bring change in intellectual property law. Cory mistakenly thought Leo was asking if he (Cory) thought Aaron did it for this reason. Cory replied very quickly that if that was why he (Aaron) did it, he (Cory) disagreed with his (Aaron’s) reasoning in this case. Leo quickly clarified that he was asking about the effect, not about Aaron’s motives.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I just worry that, due to the coverage it receives, after Aaron Schwartz suicide will more and more become a tactic of activism.

      That’s decontextualized to the point of homeopathy.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      I suppose, if you had absolutely nothing else to think about, you could think about that for a bit. Personally, I wouldn’t bother like. YMMV

  34. When my son was 11 our family physician announced that he was transgendered and would be beginning the process of transitioning to a new life as a woman. Because my son was young enough to find that confusing, but old enough to make some decisions for himself, I told him if he was uncomfortable, we could find a new doctor. He thought for a moment and said, “He’ll still be the same person, he’ll just wear more makeup *pause for effect* than you!” (I don’t wear any most days) And we stayed with our doctor. Kids can handle so much more than we give them credit for, and when we raise them right they are loving and empathetic young people.

  35. Press Watch says:

    Smearing transwomen as child abusers is quite common.  It’s a vicious tactic of the Right; I encounter it from time to time at my job.  It does make me feel very cornered; no one should have to constantly deny that she is an anti-child monster.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       The same is done to gays by hate groups. In the U.S. this insanity is legal, even though it absolutely should not be.

  36. cbbb says:

    I recently had the opportunity to explain transgenderism to my 7 year old daughter. Something along the lines of the outside didn’t match the inside. She was somewhere between it seems to make sense to fix that problem and who cares. She has all types of people and families in her classroom. Same sex parents, interracial families, adopted children, a kid with dwarfism, etc.

    All of this is completely normal to her and just part of the mix of humanity. It is adults who screw these thing up. For my kids this environment makes them open minded, more empathetic, more worldly, adaptable and less afraid.

  37. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    And another hack “journalist” saves the world from an innocent person.  Good job.  Go back to writing articles about celebrity diets.

  38. peregrinus says:

    Is Richard Littlejohn man enough to apologise?

  39. toyg says:

    The problem is that we, as modern societies, are in a period of transition. On one side, we perceive mainstream culture (as shaped by hollywood and other elites) as having accepted the most diverse lifestyles; on the other, the truth is that there is still an awfully large segment of the population that fully embraces bigotry, and many of them are in a position of power, like Littlejohn. A poor soul on one side is encouraged to make some brave choices about himself, and then finds himself shot down in public. This is sad.

  40. Puck SR says:

    Not trying to troll here, but I have to complain about the write-up by Rob.
    ” publicly denounced her in terms usually reserved for child abusers” seems like a fair bit of hyperbole. Considering the fact that over-the-top journalism and exaggeration are at the heart of this entire incident, perhaps it isn’t fair to respond with same.

    He denounced her, but he denounced her in almost identical terms to if she had been a porn star.  In fact, I can almost picture the articles I have seen written about porn stars-turned-teachers, and almost all of those opposed to them being employed as teachers were nearly identical to this one.  Go back 10-15 years, and you might have read a similar article about a gay teacher.

    There could have been much more vitriol in his article.  It could have been worse.  This doesn’t mean that the author’s tone is excused, but it reads almost exactly like an op-ed column. It isn’t particularly condemning of the individual. It is unfair and makes several unfounded assumptions. However, the author is clearly not responsible for shouldering the full blame for the suicide. If he had written a screed against the evils of being transgendered, or how transgendered people should be cleansed of society, I might understand blaming him fully for the suicide.  Writing an article where he objects to someone being a teacher at a particular grade level does not seem like the type of article that would normally solicit such an extreme response.  However, I know hindsight is 20/20, and we blame people according to the results outside of their sphere of influence.  It doesn’t make any sense, but I don’t imagine that anyone will care.  If she hadn’t killed herself, people would have been mildly irked by the article.  Just remember that when you are condemning the man who wrote it.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      If he had written a screed against the evils of being transgendered

      That’s exactly what he did. He said it was a “problem” and something not suitable for exposure to children.

      Not trying to troll

      Go back 10-15 years, and you might have read a similar article about a gay teacher.

      Yes, exactly. Helloooooooo?

    • Gigi says:

      “Not trying to troll…”

      FAIL!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      If she hadn’t killed herself, people would have been mildly irked by the article. Just remember that when you are condemning the man who wrote it.

      So you’re saying that consequences matter? I agree whole-heartedly. Where I think that you’ve dropped the ball is in failing to understand that we don’t live on the fucking archetypal plane.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      If she hadn’t killed herself, people would have been mildly irked by the article. Just remember that when you are condemning the man who wrote it.

      No, I’d still be fucking furious and disgusted by the article. But, you know, without her being dead, which is sickening and deeply sad on top of the ‘fucking furious’ bit.

  41. This reminds me of the Louis C.K. bit where he says pwns people who are against gay marriage because they are too chickenshit to explain to their kids

  42. Angling Saxon says:

    Cue the famous Stewart Lee bit on the [deleted] Littlejohn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmsV1TuESrc

  43. And here’s their coverage of the death: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297116/Primary-school-teacher-32-announced-pupils-changing-sex-dead-home.html
    No mention of their role.
    And no comments: “Sorry we are unable to accept comments for legal reasons.”

  44. Snig says:

    A friend told me once that her son was asking questions about one of his playmates in daycare.  “I don’t understand about Carl and Laura and Laura.”  Laura and Laura were the mothers of Carl, they had adopted him from South America.  “How come they’re both very white and he has dark skin?” 

    • Gigi says:

      Great story!  A friend of mine was trying to explain my relationship to my same-sex partner (husband – we live in Canada and we married 7 years ago, together for more than 23 years).  She said, “You know that uncle Clive and uncle Tomas are a married  just like me and your daddy right?  They’re a couple.”  Her daughter seemed to be ignoring her so she tried again, a bit differently but the same message.  Finally her daughter looked up at her, clearly perturbed.  “Ya, I know,” she said.
      “They’re a couple.  Jamie from school has two dads and Laura has two moms.  They’re all couples.  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  Boring!”  :)

  45. lasermike026 says:

    The great tragedy is that the wrong person committed suicide.  A sensitive and unique person is gone and bully and vicious animal remains.

    • Cowicide says:

      I was going to post basically the same thing.  Such a shame Richard Littlejohn is still here on this planet, it would be a much better place without him.

  46. TheOven says:

    “But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter? Children as young as seven aren’t equipped to compute this kind of information.” ~Richard Littlejohn

    Great, now they get to deal with death. Couldn’t leave well enough alone eh dick?

  47. RustyTrawler says:

    So suppose I were to call Littlejohn a “bigoted asshole”. Clearly that’s true. And let’s suppose I went on to say he routinely “fornicates with goats.” I have no direct evidence of this, but it’s certainly possible and besides, it conforms with my overall impression of the man. Free press and all, right?

    And suppose he were to kill himself tomorrow. Would I then be morally culpable for his thin-skulled death?

    A small part of me really wants to learn the answer to that question. Allegedly.

  48. jimstoic says:

    Great way to teach the child whose identity and body don’t match that there is no place in this world for people like that.

  49. LJW says:

    What a dick. The “kids” haven’t learned to be prejudiced yet against people who are different. Thanks for giving them that lesson. And like so many have said, I’m sure the whole suicide discussion was much better.

    Thanks for being a terrible “journalist” and useless human. End of lesson kids.  

  50. MurasakiMadness says:

    Aside from the appropriate acceptance, diversity and “Christ What An Asshole”-based soul-shredding that guy deserves…actually yeah, children as young as seven can compute that kind of gender-change information, because kids as young as seven tend to think that people can change genders by wearing different clothing and hairstyles.

    It’s obviously the adults that can’t handle it, and that columnist – er, gossipy asshat, played to it. 
    Muckracking of the most vile sort.  

  51. aleksandra daina says:

    for the sake of creating awareness, i’d suggest a correction: none of us is “born male,” but rather assigned male at birth. language is important for making the changes we want happen.

    • Jean Baptiste says:

      I’d like to create some awareness as well: your statement that ” none of us is ‘born male’ ” is demonstrably untrue.  Yes, I know what you were getting at (your quotation marks give a hint) but since language IS important, as you said, I felt I should clarify things.  Gender roles and expectations may start getting assigned almost immediately at birth (and years afterward, some people may choose to resent that turn of events.)  But humans are most definitely born male or female (except in some extreme cases, such as androgyny, of course.)

      To claim that none of us is “born male” is genetic (possibly even evolutionary) Revisionism.

  52. Stephan says:

    250 Comments and no mention of Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill?

  53. seppukku says:

    Well, I’m a bit late to the party, but I wanted to indicate that his public reaction will certainly be interesting, considering how he reacted over that other media induced suicide

  54. welcomeabored says:

    Ease up, eldritch.  I was open to the idea you were inventing a word.  It’s BB after all.

  55. tré says:

    It’s called “bashing back,” and it’s beyond warranted. “Nonviolence” and “turning the other cheek” are just names for violent passivity. If you will defend to the death someone’s right to be a bigot who contributes to the bullying that causes someone’s death, that’s your problem.

  56. Where do you see the witch hunt?

  57. Christopher says:

    I’ve said something to this effect already, but I’ll repeat it: I don’t know whether Littlejohn bears any responsibility for Meadows’ suicide, although, even if he does, it’s only partial responsibility. Clearly she was under great pressure, but if she was aware of Littlejohn’s criticisms they certainly didn’t help matters.

    But what’s really appalling to me is that the Daily Mail has tried to make Littlejohn’s screed disappear. They’ve removed it from their site, apparently in an attempt to pretend it never happened.

    If I’m thinking of the same Voltaire line you’re thinking of let me paraphrase it by saying, yes, I’ll defend–to the death, even–Littlejohn’s right to say whatever he likes. But let’s go beyond Voltaire and recognize that words have consequences. Just because Littlejohn should be free to spout a lot of ignorant nonsense doesn’t mean that he should exercise that freedom, and if he does that freedom doesn’t absolve him from criticism. Freedom to speak, like all freedoms, must be used judiciously.

    So let me repeat a call I made earlier: if the editors of the Daily Mail and Littlejohn believe they were well within their rights to defame a specific individual, and the fact that the defamation was published indicates that’s exactly what they believed, let them defend their position. Let them explain why comparing her to a child molester was justified. Let them explain why they sincerely believe Meadows was a threat to the children she was teaching.

    I don’t think what I’m asking for constitutes a “witch hunt”. I’m asking them, politely and respectfully, to stand by the words they’re now trying to delete. I think it’s a perfectly reasonable request.

  58. Humbabella says:

    Okay, I’ll quote Voltaire for you: “What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.”

  59. Brainspore says:

    I know! Lets show our anger at a witch hunt by creating a witch hunt!

    That’s a pretty awful metaphor. Saying “hey asshole, stop murdering people and destroying countless lives over your irrational fear of witchcraft!” is not “creating a witch hunt.”

  60. Gilbert Wham says:

     You mean ‘misquote Voltaire’. Also, hunting down the Daily Mail, and the causes of the Daily Mail seems perfectly reasonable to me.

  61. Marja Erwin says:

    We’re not saying he’s a witch, and we’re not against witches. We’re saying that he incited harassment that contributed to this womon’s death.

  62. Tynam says:

    Wow.  Obvious troll is obvious.

  63. Roose_Bolton says:

    Goodbye!

  64. Christopher says:

    Listen, kid, I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.

  65. Humbabella says:

    Wow, you said something stupid and hurtful on the internet and we actually believe that you are a stupid asshole!  Joke’s on us, right?

    (My apologies if you are actually a stupid asshole – I didn’t mean to compare you to an internet troll)

  66. Christopher says:

    How about we look to scientific facts and reasoning? I understand that would be a new concept for you.

  67. Christopher says:

    Is that you, Richard?

  68. toyg says:

    Common sense is so common, it’s basically worthless.

  69. Roose_Bolton says:

    How is an internet troll not a stupid asshole? The terms aren’t mutually exclusive. Or am I missing your point?

  70. Christopher says:

    I’m fuzzy on the exact definition of “internet troll”, but I think there are some who are actually very intelligent who say stupid things either because (a) they’re trying to make a serious point with a “modest proposal”, or (b) they’re trying to get attention because they’ve got the emotional maturity of a toddler.

    In the latter case they’re still assholes, but not necessarily stupid.

  71. Humbabella says:

    Sorry, I like to point out to people who intentionally say cruel things in order to get a rise out of people that they are actually exactly as cruel and/or stupid as they appear to be to others.

  72. Roose_Bolton says:

    My contention is that being an asshole on purpose is inherently “stupid”.

  73. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Trying to do it at BB is pretty stupid.

  74. Thomas says:

    Have YOU ever met Stalin, Hitler, George W. Bush, Dick [sic] Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld? Do you, therefore, give them the benefit of the doubt because you, after all the previously unknown center of the universe, has not yet had the chance to chat with them and look into their “souls?” Aside from that, have you any experience with the immense tide of prejudice and dismissiveness that transgender people MUST deal with to survive each day because of the ravenous droves of Daily Mail Littlejohn mimics who decry that which they have no capacity to understand?

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