Two days ago Private Chelsea Manning made a statement that she wished to no longer be called Bradley Manning, and that she wished to go by female pronouns rather than male.
In the last two days I have seem more soul sucking coverage which uses the wrong pronouns, the wrong name, and continual excuses for why it is “easier” to continue to use these incorrect names and pronouns, rather than to do the right thing and respect Chelsea’s wishes.
Guess what? It isn’t easy to make a public statement regarding a change in one’s gender PUBLIC gender status (because we were aware that Manning identified as trans previous to this public statement), and the only way that we can make it easier is not by chiming in about how hard it is to write news about a public figure when their name and pronoun changes.
People KNOW who Private Manning is. That name coupled with the rank has been plastered over news agencies, blogs, twitter, facebook and the world for months now.
So no, New York Times, you do not get a free pass because you’re concerned that your “readership” won’t know who Chelsea Manning is.
The same goes for you NPR.
If you’re going to write about how awful it is for people to not pick up these preferences and accept them, then maybe you shouldn’t have made the headline “BRADLEY MANNING” changes HIS gender.
I am tired of hearing my cisgendered sistren and brethren and otheren make excuses for their transphobia.
I am tired of fellow feminists and fellow journalists refusing to make changes when they are ASKED because they think their “readership” needs to be cosseted.
Get over your comfort, this isn’t about you. It is about Chelsea Manning, and her desire for the linguistc choices surrounding her to reflect her gender identity.
Get OFF my lawn, whiners. AP Style says you should respect her wishes.
Erin Madigan White, an Associated Press spokeswoman, said the company would follow its own stylebook, which advises journalists to “use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.”
On Thursday night, The A.P. said it would use gender-neutral references for Private Manning and “pertinent background on the transgender issue.” – New York Times
I understand the anger to a degree but The New York Times and even sites like Jezebel have to make things clear for readers. Some people do not understand what a transgender person is so that has to be laid out point by point.
You are alienating allies with flaming about the headline “How to React to the News that Bradley Manning is Transgender.” http://jezebel.com/how-not-to-react-to-the-news-that-bradley-manning-is-tr-1182604480
Bradley is the name the public knows this person as but sites like Jezebel are making Chelsea’s voice hear by using her chosen name. Secondly, if you look at the article the picture has the word “she” in the middle of it. While yes, it had previously come to light that Bradley identified as transgender this was not widely publicized in the mainstream media. The letter read on the Today Show this week was the first public declaration that this is in fact Chelsea not Bradley.
In an additional article published by Jezebel the headline reads “A Tough Road Ahead for Chelsea Manning”http://jezebel.com/tag/bradley-manning
Until the trans movement is widely understood by the America public clarifications have to be made in articles to educate people. Specifying that Chelsea was previously known as Bradley is a reality plain and simple. It is not an indication of bigotry. Call out bigotry where it truly exists in hateful speech and stop attacking communities and publications that are making an attempt to make trans issues known and understood.
Please comment politely with a regular pseudonym or real name.