17 November 2020 14:37
Rock band Primal Scream confusingly defended ex-Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore, who thinks trans inclusivity erases women. (Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns) Rock band Primal Scream have insisted they are "100 per cent" for trans rights, while defending former Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore. Suzanne Moore, who prompted many to speak out about repeated anti-trans coverage in The Guardian following her column which claimed that trans rights threaten women, has quit her job. On Monday (16 November), Moore announced on Twitter: "I have left The Guardian. I will very much miss SOME of the people there.
For now thats all I can say." But despite Moore admitting that it was "entirely her choice to go", her resignation caused a pile-on by anti-trans activists who insisted that she had been "bullied" out of her job. Many seemed to think her resignation was related to an open letter, published a full eight months ago, by 338 staff and contractors across multiple departments at The Guardian condemning the paper's "pattern of publishing transphobic content". Bizarrely, rock band Primal Scream got involved, writing on Twitter: "The demonisation of Suzanne Moore by 300 fellow Guardian journalists causing her to leave her job is disturbing. "Identity politics is the curse of the modern left. Gifting the right with each 'woke' witch hunt. Difference of opinion is crucial for adult 'political' discourse." Would it be OK for 300 colleagues to speak out against content that they deemed racist or homophobic? Do they come under the 'identity politics' banner too or is it only trans issues they need to shut up about? — Lighthouse Joe (@LighthouseJoe1) November 17, 2020 The band's tweet sparked swift backlash, with one Twitter user pointing out: "You're basically against accountability for actions, which isn't how we roll in 2020." Flagging valid concerns about transphobic content and drawing attention to the distress of transgender colleagues (without even naming Suzanne) is 'demonisation' of her now? My word. — James (@JamesFl) November 17, 2020 Another Twitter user wrote: "I can't see Primal Scream turning out to be transphobic but words like 'woke' and 'witch hunt' send shivers down my spine due to constant use by the right when framing fascist attitudes as simple differences of opinion. It's the new 'political correctness gone mad'." The band then confusingly claimed to be "100 per cent" for trans rights. It responded: "Please note that we put 'woke' in quotes. We are 100 per cent for trans rights. 100 per cent. "Newspaper columns SHOULD be an open forum for various 'opinions', NOT just ones that correspond with a particular groups beliefs." That's like saying you're 100% against racism, but we should still allow "rational discourse" on whether they're racially equal. — Lynxylophone (@fluffylynxtaur) November 17, 2020 In one of her final columns for The Guardian, Moore attacked the decision by stillbirth charity Sands UK to use trans-inclusive language and support birthing parents. On 10 October, the charity shared details of its support channels on Twitter, writing: "Often the focus of support and comfort is on the birthing parent, which can leave partners or non-birthing parents feeling isolated and alone. Sands is here for you." Two full weeks passed before a large group of anti-trans activists dog-piled the post, flooding it with furious comments demanding that the charity use the word "mother" instead of "birthing parent". Sands UK later retracted its inclusive tweet. Moore expressed her outrage in her column, claiming that "mothers were rightly appalled" by the trans-inclusive language.