But WHAT “transphobic content”?

Oh now what.

What concerns?

Patrick Strudwick at Buzzfeed presents a typically opaque version of events:

Hundreds of staff and contractors at the Guardian have signed a strongly worded letter to the editor in protest of the newspaper’s “pattern of publishing transphobic content”.

Careful, and unhelpful. His use of quotation marks hints that he doesn’t want to defend or even spell out what this “transphobic content” actually is, but he does want to get the claim out there.

The letter has 338 signatures, Strudwick says proudly. Buzzfeed got to see a copy on the understanding that no names would be named – which is convenient. Some are household names though, Strudwick assures us.

The letter, which was organised over the last few days in response to a column by Suzanne Moore that has been widely criticised as anti-trans, said the staff were “deeply distressed” by the resignation of a transgender member of staff who said they’d received anti-trans comments from “influential editorial staff” and who criticised the publication of the Moore’s column at the editorial morning conference.

But how was the column “anti-trans”? Spell it out. Explain. Give examples. Let us see. But no, he doesn’t do that.

The column was “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” the trans employee said, following a series of pieces that pitted trans people against women and against women’s rights. One leader article — the publicly stated position of the newspaper — claimed that trans rights are in “collision” with women’s rights.

Tell us how they are not. Explain why that’s not true. Offer us reasons. Don’t just repeat the labels endlessly.

We get the full letter.

As employees across the Guardian, we are deeply distressed by the resignation of another trans colleague in the UK, the third in less than a year.

We feel it is critical that the Guardian do more to become a safe and welcoming workplace for trans and non-binary people.

We are also disappointed in the Guardian’s repeated decision to publish anti-trans views. We are proud to work at a newspaper which supports human rights and gives voice to people underrepresented in the media. But the pattern of publishing transphobic content has interfered with our work and cemented our reputation as a publication hostile to trans rights and trans employees.

We strongly support trans equality and want to see the Guardian live up to its values and do the same.

We look forward to working with Guardian leadership to address these pressing concerns, and request a response by 11 March.

Same problem, you see? Generalities, stale generalities, with no examples, no explanations, no specifics, no reasons. What, exactly, are these “anti-trans views” that they say the Guardian keeps publishing? What, exactly, is the “transphobic content”? How is the Guardian “hostile to trans rights and trans employees”? What do they mean by “trans equality”?

Labels and epithets do all the work for this brand of “activism.” Labels and epithets aren’t enough, because we need reasons before we agree to pretend that men who say they “feel like” women actually are women. We need reasons and the reasons in turn have to be good reasons. “Because we say so” won’t cut it.

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