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Suzanne Moore vs. transgender people

Suzanne Moore is a British journalist, sex segregationist, and anti-transgender activist.


Suzanne Lynn Moore was born on July 17, 1958 in Ipswich, Suffolk. She graduated Northgate Grammar School for Girls. She attended Middlesex University London (the Middlesex Poly) starting in 1982. She left the PhD program for work as a cultural critic at Marxism Today and the New Statesman. She has written for The Independent, The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian, and The Telegraph. She won the 2019 Orwell Prize for journalism. Two anthologies of her work have been published: Looking for Trouble (1991) and Head over Heels (1996).

She has three children.

Anti-trans activism

Moore had become notorious for provocative gender critical anti-transgender statements on social media.

In 2013, a piece Moore had written for the 2012 anthology Red was reposted in New Statesman. It included this passage:

The cliché is that female anger is always turned inwards rather than outwards into despair. We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape – that of a Brazilian transsexual. 

After many objected to this, passage, Moore doubled down with her response:

Gender, we thought, was just a performance, a social construct, though no one ever explained why we are compelled to repeat the same performance over and over. I had a baby, which was somehow more than “performative”. Others I knew had sex changes. Or transitioning, as it is now called. Mostly this seemed to be an obsession with secondary sexual characteristics: peeing sitting down if they had been a man, wearing horrible lumberjack shirts and refusing to wash up if they had been a woman. The radical fluidity of gender vaporised. Some trans people appeared to reinforce every gender stereotype going.

Julie Burchill wrote a defense of Moore titled “Transsexuals should cut it out” that called trans women “bed-wetters in bad wigs” and “dicks in chicks’ clothing.” That piece was withdrawn by the editor, who apologized.

Moore continued to make anti-trans comments on social media, occasionally leaving various platforms before returning.

In 2020, after historian Selina Todd spoke at a Woman’s Place UK event, Todd was disinvited from a National Women’s Liberation Conference celebration at Exeter College. In response, Moore published a Guardian column outlining her sex segregationist views:

The radical insight of feminism is that gender is a social construct – that girls and women are not fated to be feminine, that boys and men don’t have to be masculine. But we have gone through the looking-glass and are being told that sex is a construct. […]

The materiality of having a female body may mean rape or it may mean childbirth – but we still seek liberation from gender. In some transgender ideology, we are told the opposite: gender is material and therefore can be possessed by whoever claims it, and it is sex as a category that is a social construction. Thus, sex-based rights, protected in law, can be done away with. […]

Male violence is an issue for women, which is why we want single-sex spaces. Vulnerable women in refuges and prisons must be allowed to live in safe environments – the common enemy here is the patriarchy, remember? How did we arrive at a situation where there are shocking and rising numbers of teenage girls presenting at specialist clinics with gender dysphoria, while some who have transitioned are now regretful and infertile?

More than 200 politicians, journalists, and activists signed a letter denouncing the piece:

“We reject the argument put forward in a column by by Suzanne Moore in which she implies that advocating for trans rights poses a threat to cisgender women. The British Social Attitudes Survey (2017) found that a majority of the British public were supportive of transgender people, with women more likely to be in favour of trans rights than men. Moore’s column does not represent the views of the public, nor is it representative of the views of most women.”

When she left the Guardian later that year, Moore revealed in UnHerd that Guardian editors had removed other anti-trans statements from her work prior to publication.

Looking back, I see that by the late Eighties and early Nineties, I had already picked up on something that perturbed me. A denial of female biology, of our ability to name and define our experience. Some of this came from certain strands of postmodern theory where objective reality gives way only to multiple subjectivities. A kind of gender tourism became possible. Everyone could be everything. A new kind of feminism came into being, one in which flesh and blood women and our desires became somehow a bit dull. Feminism without women. Grow a child inside you and push it out of your body and tell me this is a construct. (NB: no one has to have children.) […]

No, what I most didn’t and don’t like is the erasing of female bodies and female voices and female experience and our ability to name it.

What I care about fundamentally is the right of women to meet in single sex spaces and assert themselves as a class, a sex class — one that is oppressed by a patriarchal system. By men, even sometimes the good ones. As for the bad ones, they are the ones who rape and kill trans folk, too.

Feminism has to be able to talk about bodies. Many of the advances women have made in my lifetime — reproductive rights, more choice over how we give birth, discussions of menstruation and menopause — depend on biology, the biology we were now told was irrelevant.


Moore, Suzanne (January 8, 2013). Seeing red: the power of female anger. New Statesman [archive]

Sweeney, Mark (January 14, 2013). The Observer withdraws Julie Burchill column as editor publishes apology.

Moore, Suzanne (January 9, 2013). I don’t care if you were born a woman or became one. The Guardian

Moore, Suzanne (March 2, 2020). Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silencedThe Guardian

Editors (March 4, 2020). Letters: Differing perspectives on transgender rights. The Guardian

Kim, Michelle Hyun (March 6, 2020). 200+ feminists sign letter denouncing anti-trans Guardian essay. them

Driscoll, Margarette (November 25, 2020). Suzanne Moore: ‘I was betrayed and bullied for saying that women should not be silenced’The Telegraph

Moore, Suzanne (November 25, 2020). Why I had to leave The GuardianUnHerd.

Massie, Alex (16 November 2020). Suzanne Moore’s departure is a sad day for the GuardianThe Spectator

Rolland, Gonzague (February 12, 2021). Suzanne Moore, the disliked ex-witch of the “Guardian.” CTRLZ


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