Err, why?

Barry Humphries should apologise for saying that people who undergo gender reassignment surgery are just “mutilated men” or be sacked from his BBC radio show, the corporation’s leading transgender actress has said.

He’s stated his opinion. Don’t like it? Fuck off then.

And no, it doesn’t matter the truth of it either way. This free speech thing, you’ve heard of it?

29 thoughts on “Err, why?”

  1. “It’s rather disappointing for me as I’ve always liked Barry Humphries, and I’ve seen Dame Edna on stage. “

    Well, learn the difference between a character – you know, acting, something you’re supposed to be skilled in – and a real person, then.

    I can’t stand Stephen King’s politics, but I love his books.

  2. Freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from your employer disliking your opinions. How long do you think an ITV newsreader who said that he didn’t think niggers should be on television would last in his job?

  3. Matthew L, he’s not simply ‘stating an opinion’, is he?

    He’s saying ‘This is black’ while the identity politics crowd and those eager to appease them are insisting ‘No, it’s white!’.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’m confused. I thought sex was between your legs and gender between the ears. In which case the sex is being changed to match the gender. So isn’t it sex reassignment surgery?

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “Freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from your employer disliking your opinions. How long do you think an ITV newsreader who said that he didn’t think niggers should be on television would last in his job?”

    Yes but there are two things wrong with this. One is that his employer in this case is the state. The BBC is not a private organisation and I expect that in the normal course of events, sacking people is difficult. Certainly it is hard to see why someone should be sacked for saying what virtually the entire population of Britain believes.

    Second, the correct parallel is not with saying the n word. It is with saying that Black men are sort of Black. They are. Generally speaking. People who mutilate their bodies do not magically become women. They simply mutilate their bodies. Saying so is hardly an offense.

    F**k knows what those Druids will be up to when they clue on they can bully people like this.

  6. Freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from your employer disliking your opinions.

    It should. Morally (and, as endlessly discussed, your morals may vary) your employer has (limited) rights on your speech in the context of your employment. Whether this should extend to, for example, posting about how cretinous some of your employer’s customers are in a private Faceache group, is a matter of debate.

    How long do you think an ITV newsreader who said that he didn’t think niggers should be on television would last in his job?

    It would be a remarkably stupid thing to say (and, as SMFS has pointed out, hardly the best analogy) but the fact that that would be a sacking offence is evidence of the very weak free speech protection we have in the UK.

  7. It should. Morally (and, as endlessly discussed, your morals may vary) your employer has (limited) rights on your speech in the context of your employment.

    I have found to my own cost that this is not actually the case. If your employer doesn’t like your personal opinions, they will remove you from your position. Sue at your own cost.

  8. Meanwhile, in the increasingly bizarre world of identity politics…

    That said, it’s far more preferable than to have to watch Jaden Smith try to act again.

  9. Free Speech doesn’t imply Free of Consequence…

    That being said.. I don’t think he’s being fair to people with actual serious gender dysforia ( which are but a fraction of the “transgender” label ).
    Life handed them a rather short stick, and we’re technically able to “fix” this matter for them nowadays. With that ‘”fixing” being a lengthy, often painful, and quite radical set of procedures taking *years*, quite often with the risk of complications during each progressive step, I hardly think it’s someone anyone would do for “fun”.
    And the body-mod junkies wouldn’t get past the psychological assessment stage, so you can rule those out for most practical purposes.
    (There’s the cowboys who’d do anything as long as you pay them and sign the non-endemnity, but those are edge cases.)

    It may be his Opinion, but from where he’s announcing it, in the Boss’ Time, it’s a slur, and highly inappropriate.

  10. Grikath, I don’t object to them being able to mutilate themselves (so long as they pay for it).

    I DO object to being told I must, on pain of (potentially) legal action, pretend they are the opposite sex when they are not, and never, ever will be.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Grikath – “we’re technically able to “fix” this matter for them nowadays.”

    No we are not. We can mutilate them. That doesn’t fix them.

    “I hardly think it’s someone anyone would do for “fun”.”

    Sure. Nor is anorexia. Or any number of the mental health problems. That is irrelevant.

    “And the body-mod junkies wouldn’t get past the psychological assessment stage, so you can rule those out for most practical purposes.”

    The psychological assessment stage is rubbish given the third or so who go on to kill themselves and a similar number who come to regret it.

    “It may be his Opinion, but from where he’s announcing it, in the Boss’ Time, it’s a slur, and highly inappropriate.”

    Inappropriate according to whom Kemosabe? It is likely to be the opinion of about 90% of Britain’s population.

  12. -SMFS
    90% .. that sure? You mean the Guardianistas and UKiPpers share common ground on that ( or for that matter any..) issue?

    Bold words..

    -JuliaM
    That’s your prerogative.. There’s a limit what legislation can accomplish, and this is one of those areas where It’ll Never Work. Because people will regardless.

    That said.. the case at hand is about someone in a professional capacity broadcasting personal opinion which while most certainly offensive to some, and also most certainly (partially) reflecting the opinion of others, most certainly is Bad Form.
    Magnifying glass, and all that, but that’s part of the job, and he should have been aware of it.

  13. With reference to a previous thread on this subject, I was watching the Three Kings procession through Alcoy on TV, last night. There a middle aged geezer on a camel having tots held up for him to kiss. And a bunch of obviously disgustingly white people blackfaced as Moors in fezes climbing 20ft ladders to first floor balconies, not a hardhat or safety harness in sight, delivering presents to children. :I’ve little doubt, UKside, it’d be a race between the paedophile obsessives, the PC crowd & the Safety Elves to see who could get it banned first.
    I’m starting to think the further I can get from the Anglocentric world the happier I am.

  14. “The psychological assessment stage is rubbish given the third or so who go on to kill themselves and a similar number who come to regret it.”

    The pre-op suicide rate is 41%, the post-op suicide rate is 4.6%. A reduction in the rate by around 90% strikes me as a remarkably effective therapy. If you further research the productivity and work post-op it also shows a vast improvement.

    I would suggest that, even if you are a sceptic on the mental state of those concerned, ethically from the reduced death rate and pragmatically for efficacy, the present regime is preferable to the alternative.

    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0016885

  15. Josephine, if you can’t even read/understand the summary of the report you link to, why should I take what you say seriously? The 4.6% rate does not apply to post-ops, but to the general population. And, for what it is worth, it is not the rate of ‘committing suicide’, but of ‘self-reported attempting’, which is one level above anecdotal.

    If you like, I can send you links to copious research – the proper stuff. Science ‘n all – which shows the suicide rate for post-ops is substantially higher than for pre-ops.

  16. Bloke not in Cymru

    And we also have a cricketer in Australia fined for asking a reporter out on a date, with his employer referring to it as a case of workplace harassment, even my wife rolled her eyes at that one.

  17. Freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from your employer disliking your opinions.
    It should.

    Actually, no, it shouldn’t. Their gaff, their rules. They should be under no obligation to employ people if they dislike their views. Private property rights trump free speech rights.

  18. Rebecca Root admits that the comment was humorous, but beats him up anyway. Are TG folk yet another group we can’t discuss now? Still, I shall certainly listen to BH’s show – it sounds like a breath of fresh air!

  19. Longrider–The BBC is not private property.

    And yes–a private employer should be able to sack you for your opinion. And that would include noising abroad that you should have been born the opposite sex.

    Since that would not be allowed in todays leftist tyranny I see no reason why they should be allowed to sack someone for expressing other opinions that the employer does not like.

    If it can’t be freedom, it certainly isn’t going to be tyranny with leftist double standards.

  20. “Barry Humphries should apologise for saying that people who undergo gender reassignment surgery are just “mutilated men” or be sacked from his BBC radio show, the corporation’s leading transgender actress has said.”

    To be honest, they do have a point.

    Some of them are mutilated women instead.

  21. The BBC quite suprisingly ran an interesting article last year about the partners of people who had come out as gay/transgender etc and their view.
    As one said its hard to see someone being praised for their bravery in finally coming out when that is the same person has lied and misled you for years and ultimately betrayed you in a very public and embarrasing way.

  22. “As one said its hard to see someone being praised for their bravery in finally coming out when that is the same person has lied and misled you for years and ultimately betrayed you in a very public and embarrasing way.”

    It would be a bit like ‘coming out’ as Jewish in 1930s Germany, or as a rich white right-wing capitalist in an American SJW-controlled university. You can sort of understand why someone would lie about what they were when they know they’re going to face this sort of bigoted hostility. I suspect it’s their treatment by society that drives many of them them to suicide, and as you’ve all demonstrated, that clearly doesn’t stop post-op.

    However, I’m not quite sure what it is you want here. Do you want them to tell the truth and claim to be mentally a different gender to their bodies, or to lie about it? Because you seem to be condemning both.

    I’m guessing this is some sort of Catholic thing?

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