Casualty Report

The first reports of casualties are starting to come in from the front. This morning a friend of mine was staying in a London hotel. At breakfast some of the staff started pointing her out, and one then came over and loudly asked if she had been in the Paddy Power ad. Other diners took note, and two business people at an adjacent table loudly demanded that they be moved so that they didn’t have to sit near her.

The good news is that the hotel management was furious. My friend had her bill cancelled and was offered 7 free night stays. The staff involved got a serious talking to. I gather the manager used the words “police” and “hate crime” to emphasize just how serious the matter was.

Sadly the hotel isn’t able to do anything about the other guests. I’d love to know who those two business people were, and why they thought that their behavior was in any way appropriate.

In this particular case the lady concerned was trans, but she’s also at that time of life when all of us who don’t have Joan Collins type fortunes start to lose our good looks. It is entirely possible that cis women will get the same sort of treatment.

Trans journalist Jane Fae covered the story this morning. She also mentioned another story in which a trans woman was cut up and rammed on the M25. The perp sped off quickly, but before he did he wound down the window and yelled, “Are you a fucking man or a woman?”

The good news is that the other side is also suffering casualties. Specifically, ClearCast, the regulatory body that initially approved the Paddy Power ad., has now reversed their decision. This means that the ad. can no longer be shown on UK television. So it sounds like my cricket watching has been saved. I did actually mail a letter to Sky early this morning so I’ll wait and see what response I get, but if they are at all professional they’ll manage to word it appropriately.

Of course the war isn’t over. Paddy Power are bleating pathetically on their blog about how they have been unfairly treated. Apparently they think that as long as an ad has more “likes” than “dislikes” on YouTube then it cannot be offensive. I expect outraged articles from the Malice and Sun complaining about how politically correct killjoys are ruining everyone’s right to abuse others. I also expect Paddy Power to post something on YouTube that makes their original ad. look positively trans-friendly by comparison. Still, this is a very significant victory.

There’s just one more thing I would like to add. Today on Gay Times Patrick Strudwick had a wonderful article about why LGB people should support trans folks. I’d like to quote one paragraph from it:

A 2009 study into transphobia across the European Union found that trans people are three times more likely to suffer from abuse than gay people. You might assume this report would depict Britain favourably, that we would come out well for trans folk, that our liberal nation would be a better place to live than, say, Hungary. But no. Trans people are more likely to be physically assaulted in Britain than any other EU country.

Gee, I wonder why that might be? Do you think it might have something to do with Britain having the most vicious tabloid media in Europe?

Update: I understand that the new Paddy Power ad. has indeed been banned before it could air. Apparently it involved threats to shoot people (though not trans people in this case).

Also we’ve got word that the new Sunday Sun will feature an article on “trans regret” which will imply that many trans women come to deeply regret losing their penises.

16 thoughts on “Casualty Report

    1. I’m afraid we can lay the blame for that squarely on the Beaumont Society. Had they not given the ad a thumbs up it would probably never have got approved in the first place.

  1. Wow. Those two businesspeople sound positively poisonous. I’m glad the hotel vindicated your friend, though the behaviour in question is mind-bogglingly awful.
    (and I’ve not seen it, but that ad sounds like a nasty piece of work)

    1. As I said in my complaint to the ASA, the primary purpose of the ad appears to have been to deter insufficiently pretty women from attending Ladies Day for fear that they might been accused of being “really men”.

  2. Hold on, so asking someone if they’ve been in an advert makes it ‘an attack’?

    What a load of cobblers. So if ask a girl on the street if she was in that latest McD ad, it’s offensive?!

    Clutching at straws here I’m afraid.

    I don’t believe Paddy Power meant any harm here. Like the poster says above, they got the opinion of the UKs biggest transgender support group AND Clearcast. Think about it…

    1. Nope, singling a woman out for ridicule by associating her with an ad so as to suggest that she is “really” a man is an attack. So is asking to be re-seated because you don’t want to sit next to such a person.

      But you knew that, didn’t you, troll.

      I notice also that you have given an assumed name and a nonsense email address. Coward.

  3. “Trans people are more likely to be physically assaulted in Britain than any other EU country.” – That is just about the most shocking thing I’ve ever read.

  4. So the Sunday Sun has an interview with the one person in the U.K. who’s had a slight tinge of regret, eh.


    1. And we even have a good idea of who it will be, because the media trot out the same person every time they run this story. Christine Burns has a good post on the subject here.

      And while I am on the subject, people who charge through the process and then come to regret what they have done are very different from those people who enter the process and decided that full, surgical transition is not for them. The existence of such people is not evidence that the process is flawed, it is evidence that it is working properly.

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