Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The morning after - I WIN!

So last night I predicted that at least one tabloid newspaper would breach Trans Media Watch's code of conduct while reporting on the case of the transgender woman who has been charged with murdering another trans woman.

And the award goes to... The Daily Mirror! Here's the story in full - words and phrases in red are ones from TMW's list of "derogatory, inappropriate or offensive terminology" that should be avoided, those in green are style points that TMW also asks journalists to avoid. The latter include "inappropriate use of inverted commas", "gratuitous focus on the appearance of a trans person" and "misgendering - If the subject of your piece considers herself to be female, treat her as female".

TRANSVESTITE MURDER ACCUSED IS A MAN
Sex op 'Nina' on remand

The "woman" accused of pushing a cross-dresser under a rush-hour Tube train is really a MAN, a court heard yesterday.

Nina Kanagasingham, 34 - a pre-op transexual - appeared at the Old Bailey with stubble on his chin as he was remanded in custody to a men's prison.

Judge Timothy Pontius said: "This defendant is in the process of undergoing a sex change. Has it been completed?" He was told it had not, but the defendant wished to be known by his female name of Nina.

Kanagasingham , o f Cricklewood, northwest London, is charged with murderinglawyer David Burgess, 63 - also known as Sonia Jardiniere, He died after falling on to the Piccadilly line at Kings Cross station last Monday.

The case was adjourned until February 3.


To be fair to the Mirror, they appear to have simply lifted a story from the Press Association and stuck their own headline and intro on it - even the Guardian (the sodding GUARDIAN!) uses the "stubble" line, and this on the same day that they publish an apology for referring to the new World Scrabble Champion as a "he" throughout their report.

Now I appreciate that th TMW code has no legal standing and that no national newspaper has even signed up to it. But it's rather sad that even supposedly left-wing, liberal papers like the Mirror and the Guardian default to the usual lazy, generic terms to describe transgender people, even though many such people find it extremely offensive.

1 comment:

fifthwalldown said...

It's quite annoying and a mark of, if you'll excuse me putting on my angry feminist hat on, the dominance of the patriarchy and the continued assertion of women as second class citizens when Thomas Beatie, a FTM transsexual can be happily reported as a pregnant, unquestionable man while anybody going the other way will never be seen as women.

Pff, I say! PFF!