I am upset and saddened at the ignorance that Jenni Murray has shown with her Sunday Times article on trans women, not being "real women".
The upset and sadness comes from having a belief that her Radio 4 Woman's Hour programme was exactly that, an hour about women. Trans women are women. And her flagship programme was for every woman, and on several occasions had the views and voices from trans women. So, for her to suggest trans women are simply not "real women" stinks of hypocrisy and prejudice.
Exactly what is a "real woman"? According to Jenni having a "sex change" and wearing "make-up" everyday simply isn't enough - so by her own standards this rules out every cis-woman unless they are a trans-man who has had gender reassignment surgery, and I am sure they would not be happy with being described as a "real woman".
Her understanding of trans issues is simply ignorant, and for someone is such a position of responsibility and privilege (it's not just men that can be privileged) she should take greater care.
I'm Not A Racist, But...
If you have to open and article with "Let me make something absolutely clear at the outset. I am not transphobic or anti-trans. Not a Terf in other words" - is exactly like the saying "I'm not a racist, but...".
It does not give you the excuse or protection to be transphobic. Those very words tell everyone who reads it you have prejudiced views. At the point you think those words, you should shut up and keep your mouth closed.
My Gender Is Not My Sexuality
"I firmly believe that transsexuals, transvestites, gays, lesbians and those of us who hold to the sex and sexual preference assumed at birth should be treated with respect and protected from the bullying and violence so many of us have suffered."
In the article Jenni confuses gender with sexuality. This basic understand is paramount to any debate about trans issues. As is the understanding that trans people (and non-binary) happen to be both male assigned and birth and female assigned at birth. Simply talking about trans women masks 50% of the debate that should be going on.
Jenni's article is about gender, not sexuality - but the ignorance in which it incorrectly conflates gender and sexuality simply confuses the everyday reader.
A Misogynist And A Misandrist
What happens with many people like Jenni, trying to put a point across is they have one or two examples, and they apply those rules to everyone. Be that a priest or a news reader who transitioned, Jenni simply doesn't like these people have opinions that differ from her own, but she does need to respect it. She also needs to understand that trans women are not all the same. Just like "real women", we are all different.
In her ability to ridicule these trans women about their "male privilege" and conditioning she is forgetting to understand that during their time of this "male privilege" and conditioning they were also going though mental hell and gender confusion.
I would not wish being trans on anyone, and the very fact they came out the other side alive and successful is more luck than "male privilege" and certainly not conditioning. Many trans women fail, many are unemployed, vastly higher rates of mental illness, and countless separated from families and friends - this is not "male privilege".
Jenni is both a misandrist for hating these women to have the audacity to experience their so called "male privilege" and misogynist a for running them down for being successful women.
What Is A "Real Woman"?
So what is a "real woman"? Who cares? I am certainly not a "real woman" if it means I am anything like Jenni Murray and her ignorant and hateful imagination.
However, I am a woman.
Some days I don't wear make-up, one day I might even have gender reassignment surgery, but until then I'll play with my tits and put the washing on.
So my question is, not am I a "real woman", but is Jenni Murray?