Suzanne Moore brands former editors at the Guardian 'morally cowardly'

Columnist Suzanne Moore brands her former editors at the Guardian ‘morally cowardly’ for not standing up for her in transphobia row

  • Ms Moore, 62, announced last month that she was leaving the publication
  • She left after she wrote an article that caused a ‘transphobia’ row at the paper
  • More than 300 Guardian staff penned a letter of complaint about Ms Moore
  • She said on Thursday that her editors’ failure to back her was ‘morally cowardly’
  • Last month Ms Moore said the Guardian’s editor offered to take her out for lunch
  • This was instead of a public statement denouncing the mass letter 

Columnist Suzanne Moore today again blasted her former bosses at the left-wing Guardian newspaper, saying they were ‘morally cowardly’ for not backing her following the transphobia row that prompted her resignation.

Ms Moore, 62, announced last month that she was leaving the publication after she was rounded on by 338 Guardian colleagues who penned a letter slamming a column she wrote about feminists being abused by extremist trans activists. 

Shortly afterwards she hit out at the paper’s editor Katharine Viner for failing to defend her and for trying to fob her off by offering to take her out to lunch. 

Ms Moore also claimed ‘a lot of people’ had wanted to stand up for her but did not do so over fears they would lose their jobs at the supposedly liberal paper, which presents itself as a bastion of tolerance. 

On Thursday, the 62-year-old doubled down on her criticism of her former bosses, saying that ‘editors just back their writers’ and their failure to do so was ‘morally cowardly’. 


Columnist Suzanne Moore (left) today blasted her former bosses at the left-wing Guardian newspaper, saying they were ‘morally cowardly’ for not backing her following the transphobia row that prompted her resignation. Pictured right: Guardian editor Katharine Viner

Speaking with former Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s How to Change the World podcast, Ms Moore said she only got in trouble with trans rights activists because she dared to say biological sex was real and not a construct. 

She told Mr Johnson: ‘I read that 338 people who worked for the Guardian, not all in England, had written a letter and this letter was sort of linked to me although I wasn’t named.

‘What I found really difficult was the people I knew who signed the letter.

‘I just kind of assumed that there would be a public statement in support of what I had written; not necessarily agreeing with me because I am a columnist so people don’t have to agree with me.

‘My position was, editors just back their writers. 

‘That has happened to me at every other newspaper I work for and the fact they didn’t I found really morally cowardly to be honest.’

Ms Moore was at the centre of a storm in March after publishing this column: ‘Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced’

Ms Moore previously revealed that she and her children had received death and rape threats and been forced to get police involved after the piece was published.

She continued: ‘What got me in trouble really is simply saying biological sex exists and it is not a construct.

‘Gender is a construct and it can be changed. It is important to me the word woman isn’t erased and it is being erased.’

‘Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced’: Guardian column which sparked a backlash 

Suzanne Moore’s column titled, ‘Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced’, was published in the Guardian on March 2 this year. 

In it, she addressed how an Oxford historian had been barred from speaking at a feminist history event.

Selina Todd, a professor in Modern History at St Hilda’s College, was provided with security following ‘transphobia’ row. 

Trans-rights campaigners were believed to have taken issue with her ties to the women’s rights group Woman’s Place UK – which some claim to be ‘transphobic’. 

The group, which denies being transphobic, has pushed for ministers to consult more widely about changing the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people to self-identify as a man or woman without approval from a doctor. 

Professor Todd, who has always denied having transphobic views, was due to give a two-minute speech at an event at Exeter College.

But the day before Professor Todd was due to speak, she was ‘no platformed’.

Ms Moore wrote: ‘I feel a huge sadness when I look at the fragmentation of the landscape, where endless fighting, cancellations and no-platformings have obscured our understanding of who the real enemies are.’

Her column concluded: ‘Women have the right to call out the violent men who rape.

‘We have the right to speak and organise without being told that speech is itself dangerous.

‘You can tell me to “die in a ditch, terf” all you like, as many have for years, but I self-identify as a woman who won’t go down quietly.’ 

The ‘transphobia’ storm began on March 20 when she wrote a column headlined ‘Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced.’

The piece prompted 338 Guardian employees to write to Ms Viner, complaining about the paper’s ‘pattern of publishing transphobic content’. 

In her column, Ms Moore wrote about how Oxford historian Selina Todd had been barred from speaking at a feminist history event.

Ms Todd, a professor in Modern History at St Hilda’s College, was provided with security following the row. 

Trans-rights campaigners were thought to have taken issue with her ties to the women’s rights group Woman’s Place UK – which some claim to be ‘transphobic’.

The group, which denies the claim, pushed for ministers to consult more widely about now-dropped proposals to change the Gender Recognition Act, which would have allowed people to self-identify as a man or woman without approval from a doctor. 

Professor Todd, who has always denied having transphobic views, was due to give a two-minute speech at an event at Exeter College.

But the day before Professor Todd was due to speak, she was ‘no platformed’.

Ms Moore wrote: ‘I feel a huge sadness when I look at the fragmentation of the landscape, where endless fighting, cancellations and no-platformings have obscured our understanding of who the real enemies are.’

Her column concluded: ‘Women have the right to call out the violent men who rape.

‘We have the right to speak and organise without being told that speech is itself dangerous.

‘You can tell me to “die in a ditch, terf” all you like, as many have for years, but I self-identify as a woman who won’t go down quietly.’

After she left the Guardian last month, Ms Moore told the Telegraph: ‘I naively thought I would be defended, because that’s what’s always happened at other newspapers. 

‘I thought a public statement would be issued making clear this letter-writing business was not on. 

‘What happened was, the editor offered to take me out to lunch. I said I didn’t want a lunch. I’m not five, I don’t need to be patted on the head and given a veggie-burger.’ 

Ms Moore said she felt ‘bullied and betrayed’ by her colleagues, who reacted to her column standing up for women ‘as if it was Mein Kampf.’

The columnist also said that outspoken feminist writer Germaine Greer, who herself has been the subject of ‘transphobia’ claims, is an ‘alpha male’ who doesn’t like women. 

The columnist also spoke about her ‘spat’ with Ms Greer, which began after she incorrectly stated in an article in 1995 that the feminist writer had undergone a hysterectomy at the age of 25. 

She told Mr Johnson: ‘Germaine is an incredible figure despite this spat, and remains so to me, but the thing about Germaine is she is a kind of alpha male.

‘She doesn’t actually like women very much. A lot of the big feminists don’t necessarily like women. It’s an odd thing…

Ms Moore was met with support online and from some colleagues after announcing her resignation

‘It was all ridiculous because I never said the thing she accused me of saying but I had met her several times. I had done a TV show with her.

‘I don’t think I had been reverential enough. She was also very… god I have to be careful what I say…

‘At that point she was upset that she wasn’t able to have children and I did have children and that was a source of pain for her.’

Ms Greer, who wrote the bestselling feminist book The Female Eunuch in 1970, was criticised by trans activists in 2015 when she claimed that ‘transphobia’ does not exist. 

Speaking at Cambridge University’s debating society, she said: ‘Women are 51% of the world’s population and [I’ve been told] I’ve got to worry about transphobia.’

‘I didn’t know there was such a thing [as transphobia]. Arachnaphobia, yes. Transphobia, no.’

The debate began after Ms Moore discussed Oxford historian Selina Todd, (pictured) who was barred from speaking at a feminist history event

In her book, The Whole Woman, Greer also described trans women as men ‘who believe that they are women and have themselves castrated’.  

Announcing her resignation from The Guardian last month, Ms Moore tweeted: ‘I have left The Guardian. I will very much miss SOME of the people there. For now that’s all I can say.’ 

She added: ‘It was entirely my choice to go. I will tell you all about it one day. For now thank you for these lovely messages. I feel like I am at my own funeral or something.

‘Anyway, I will keep writing of course! The efforts to shut me up seem not to have been very well thought through.’

Speaking shortly afterwards, Ms Moore denounced the lack of freedom of speech at The Guardian – which prides itself as a bastion of liberalism and free thinking. 

‘I don’t fit in there and never have,’ she said. 

 ‘All the major writers on the paper wrote letters or messaged me. I got a message from someone saying: “I wish I could have spoken up for you but I was afraid of losing my job.”

On Thursday, the 62-year-old (pictured in 2016) doubled down on her criticism of her former bosses, saying that ‘editors just back their writers’ and their failure to do so was ‘morally cowardly’

‘There are a lot of people with mortgages and with children who want to speak up but can’t – women especially.

‘This isn’t just about newspapers. I can walk along my street and a woman will stop me and say: “I’m a teaching assistant and I said something the other day and I think I might lose my job.”

‘It’s because of the incredible lobbying and institutional capture Stonewall [which campaigns for LGBT rights] has had on our education and public sector. 

‘It’s become quite a witch-hunt.’

Ms Moore revealed in a column published in the Mail on Sunday last month that her Guardian columns were edited to remove references to the ‘trans-debate’.

In a column which first appeared on Unherd.com, she wrote: ‘If I ever slip a line in about female experience belonging to people with female bodies, it is edited out. It is disappeared. 

‘My editors say things like, “It didn’t really add to the argument”, or, “It’s a “”distraction””. Distraction has always been a triggering word for me. In a good way.’ 

Suzanne Moore: The latest high-profile name caught up in transgender rights row and the growing ‘cancel culture’

Guardian journalist Suzanne Moore is the latest high-profile name to be caught up in a row over transgender rights.

In June, Harry Potter author JK Rowling hit headlines after she mocked an online article using the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.

She was hit by what she described as ‘relentless attacks’ after she wrote: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’

Her tweet immediately provoked a barrage of criticism from her LGBTQ followers – who hit out over what they viewed as an attack on transgender women.  

JK Rowling became embroiled in another transphobia row in September after she directed fans to a website selling ‘offensive’ badges and stickers saying ‘transwomen are men’

The author, 55, appeared to take aim at her critics in September, tweeting a photograph of herself wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan: ‘This witch doesn’t burn’

Rowling’s remarks sparked backlash from a range of stars including actors Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne.

The acclaimed novelist then penned a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing she was sexually assaulted in her 20s and saying she still feels the scars of ‘domestic violence’ in her first marriage. 

A feminist blogger behind a controversial billboard defining ‘woman’ as ‘adult human female’ was earlier this year blasted by viewers when she insisted trans women do not fit the criteria on This Morning. 

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, 44, made headlines in 2018 with a poster, which bore the definition of a woman – ‘adult human female.’

It was erected in Liverpool to coincide with the Labour Party conference but was removed when Dr Adrian Harrop, 31, who is not transgender, complained to billboard company Primesight that it would serve to make transgender women feel unsafe.

Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, 44, made headlines in 2018 with a poster, which bore the definition of a woman – ‘adult human female.’

Kellie-Jay faced widespread criticism when she appeared on This Morning to defend the billboard, and her views, in a debate with transgender activist India Willoughby, who transitioned three years ago.

Speaking to India, Kellie-Jay insisted she did not considered trans women to be women and argued they should ‘live as men instead’.

She said: ‘I really don’t think you can change sex in any meaningful way. Every cell in the human body has the DNA code as to what sex you are. India obviously looks like a woman but I don’t see India as a woman.’

Kellie-Jay argued that transgender women being legally recognised as women impeaches the rights and freedom of people born female.

She said: ‘We seem to be losing the word woman… I just thought the essence of this debate, and what we’re losing, is the word ‘woman’ to mean adult human female.

‘When you decide that men can come into women’s space… It’s no longer women’s space.’

Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, Selina Todd, came under fire earlier this year when she joined other speakers at the ‘Defend Me or Expel Me’ event in London, organised by Labour Women’s Declaration supporters.

She was one of nine headliners who spoke out against Labour’s trans rights pledges.

The event followed persistent backlash from the cancellation of Professor Todd’s talk at a feminist festival held at Exeter College.

She was uninvited from the event, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of Ruskin College’s inaugural Women’s Liberation Conference, after trans-inclusive feminists pointed out her ties with Woman’s Place.

In a statement addressing the cancellation in March, Professor Todd said: ‘I am shocked to have been no-platformed by this event, organised by Oxford International Women’s Festival and hosted at Exeter College.

‘I was asked to participate in October 2019, and I explained to the organisers that some trans activists may object to my being there.

‘I was then told that trans activists had already expressed hostility towards the event because they claimed second-wave feminism is inherently trans-exclusionary.’

Among those who spoke out against her exclusion was campaigner Julie Bindel, who told the organisers: ‘You should hang your heads in shame for giving into this mob.

Professor Todd denies holding discriminatory views against trans people. 

It comes amid an increasing rise in so-called ‘cancel culture’.

Actor Laurence Fox was embroiled in bitter spats with a number of people earlier this year who called him a ‘racist’ over comments made on Twitter.

Actor Laurence Fox was embroiled in bitter spats with a number of people earlier this year who called him a ‘racist’ over comments made on Twitter

Earlier this month he revealed that he was dropped by his acting agent in a phone call but insisted he has not done anything that ‘could be deemed racist’. 

The star of ITV drama Lewis, who became a target for left-wing Twitter users after an appearance on Question Time, also said there had been ‘quite a concerted drive to make me be quiet’.

He told radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer: ‘You can’t just shut everybody up, there’s an emotional and an intellectual fragility to people who won’t tolerate dissenting voices.’

Fox added that cancel culture, where people face calls for their careers to be ended over perceived missteps, is ‘very dangerous’.

Society needs to ‘talk and debate’, he said, claiming that ‘cancel culture creates an even more myopic monoculture and who wants that’.

He said the ‘woke religion lacks a lot of rationality’, adding: ‘Their approach is to try and destroy lives.’

‘I think this very leftist agenda has been marching through our institutions for decades. It is a very divisive tactic and people don’t want to be divided, they want to be united.’ 

Source: Read Full Article