At some point, Suzanne Moore says in one of her first interviews since she left the newspaper, for which she wrote for almost 30 years, she and the Guardian simply stopped working.
For one thing, there is a very fundamental problem: “I feel cheated.
We live in a world in which it is becoming more and more difficult to say certain things, ”said the 62-year-old British woman to colleagues from the“ Telegraph ”, who had asked her to comment.
And then the process was so hurtful that she took action herself and on November 16, 2020, voluntarily gave up her position as an author at the renowned British daily newspaper.
Previously, over 300 colleagues had written an open letter to the Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, demanding that the supposedly systematically anti-trans-hostile articles in the paper be followed.
Suzanne Moore was not mentioned by name in the exclamation.
But the columnist was probably meant, as suggested by media such as the “Daily Mail”, but also “Buzzfeed”.
There, at the British edition of “Buzzfeed”, two former employees of the “Guardians” had their say months earlier who had complained about the allegedly openly trans-hostile atmosphere at the newspaper.
The Guardian is threatened with the exodus of young employees
They were very hurt by articles that discriminated against people of the opposite sex.
One of the trans women is literally quoted as saying: "I enter this building with people who deny my humanity."
Victoria, the woman's pseudonym, referred to several articles that had appeared in the Guardian since 2018.
There were also specific complaints that employees had insulted the trans women.
They even feared going to the bathroom.
In the newspaper there is an open dispute between trans-friendly and critical journalists, it said on "Buzzfeed".
Even more: there is an atmosphere in which the newspaper, which celebrates itself as the “most liberal newspaper in the world”, will lose especially young employees in the long run.
The internal dispute then became public on March 6th with the letter that apparently caught Moore, but also many employees, cold.
The tapered hair tower is her optical trademark: the British author Suzanne Moore
Source: Novara Media / Wikimedia License CC BY 3.0
Original photo and license
The letter that went to the editor-in-chief of the paper - and again to “Buzzfeed” - said literally: “As employees (...) we are deeply concerned about the resignation of a (...) trans colleague in Great Britain, the third in less than a year.
We feel it is important that the Guardian do more to become a safe and welcoming place to work for trans and non-binary people.
(...) We are also disappointed with the repeated decision of the Guardian to publish anti-trans views.
We are proud to work for a newspaper that advocates human rights and gives voice to people who are underrepresented in the media.
However, the pattern of publishing transphobic content has affected our work and cemented our reputation as a publication against trans rights and trans staff.
We strongly support transsexual equality and want the Guardian to live up to its values and do the same. "
The letter - signed by a total of 338 employees of the media group, many of them from countries such as Australia and the USA, from areas such as marketing, reader service, social media, but also from the editorial staff - closes with the demand for consequences and a deadline.
Gender is a Biological Fact - is it not?
The fact that the mood turned against Moore also and above all was apparently mainly due to this article, which already aroused fierce criticism when it was published, especially in social media: “Women have the right to organize themselves.
We will not be silent. "
In terms of content, Moore was about the Selina Todd case - a history professor who has long been attacked on social media.
In February 2020, Todd's appearance at the celebration of the "National Women's Liberation Conference" was protested, which she had helped to organize.
The reason given was that Todd had connections to a lobby group (Woman's Place UK), which was rated as transphobic.
Moore argued in her post on the topic that it was a concern if women were silenced.
Then she wrote that gender is biologically determined and not just a "feeling".
Literally it says, "Feminine is a biological classification that applies to all living species ... even if it is a frog."
Is the female gender a biological fact or a social construct - this is a controversial topic that has also been discussed several times by "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling.
The British had previously received a lot of criticism for her support of the scientist Maya Forstater, who lost her job after saying that people cannot change their biological gender.
In another dispute, Rowling had opposed the replacement of the term woman with "people who menstruate".
“If the gender is not real, the lived reality of women worldwide will be erased.
I know and love trans people, but deleting the concept of gender is depriving many of the ability to meaningfully discuss their lives.
It is not hate to tell the truth! ”She justified herself in June.
Boycott calls for her books followed, and numerous actors in the Potter films distanced themselves from the author.
The editor-in-chief allegedly does not react
Suzanne Moore apparently feels similarly misunderstood.
Even more, she was genuinely shocked, so Moore now in her statement, especially since she also found colleagues and friends of her own whose support she was sure on the list, which was circulating on the Internet a little later.
"338 people sign a letter in which you should be fired, and nobody really stands up for you, this is not a nice place to work ..", she is quoted in the "Telegraph".
And further: "I naively thought someone would defend me, because that always happened in other newspapers."
Not this time, however, according to the single mother of three daughters, who wrote in media as diverse as “Marxism Today” but also the tabloid “Daily Mail” before she became a permanent columnist for the “Guardian”.
She describes a climate of fear in which her (existing) supporters would not have wanted to express themselves for fear of losing their jobs.
She herself tried to meet with editor-in-chief Katherine Viner, but she didn't answer.
A reaction that made it clear to her that she was isolated - but possibly also how the new balance of power in the publishing house and in the modern media landscape are.
The "New Statesman" writes in its analysis of the situation that the case of Suzanne Moore - "one of the most talented journalists of her generation and a feminist pioneer" - also makes it clear how much "woke" attitudes, i.e. advocating the rights of ethnic groups and sexual minorities and against the privileges of the majority society, would have gained in importance in today's media business.
Moore is not a victim of the "cancel culture" (people are silenced by boycotts or bans), the author of the "Statesman" emphasized in his analysis.
Nevertheless, it is questionable: "If you (
Moore, d. Red
) has the feeling that you can not express your opinion in Britain's leading liberal daily, something has gone wrong."
In the case of the "Guardian", which has consistently dispensed with payment barriers on the Internet for years, this probably has not only an ideological component, but also a solid financial background, columnist Peter Wilby further speculates: The paper apparently hopes left and left-liberal readers in loyalty to the USA and make it into subscribers.
That is why the Guardian has become estranged from the British heartland and is approaching the culture of debate and identity politics of other countries, as a glance at the signature list shows, on which employees from the USA and Australia were very prominently represented.
"I feel like at my own funeral"
And Suzanne Moore?
She is active on Twitter and eagerly shares articles on her cause, including an article on the “UnHerd” portal with the headline: “What would you do if 338 colleagues bully you?” She also announced her resignation from the “Guardian” via Twitter: “I left 'The Guardian'.
I will miss some of the people there very much.
At the moment that's all I can say. "
She added, “It was entirely my decision to leave.
I will (…) tell you all about it one day (…).
I feel like at my own funeral or something. "Then she added defiantly:" Anyway, I will of course keep writing!
The efforts to silence me don't seem very well thought out. "
Her profile description now says: "She left because she understood the value of resistance."
Moore's withdrawal caused a lot of media coverage in Great Britain.
Numerous celebrities and authors regretted their move, including Irvine Welsh, ex-soccer player Gary Lineker, the rock band Primal Scream, but also the "Guardian" journalists Polly Toynbee and Ian Dunt.
The attacked professor Selina Todd also spoke up.
She thanked Moore for standing up for her and explained: “The Guardian has lost a courageous female voice.” And the Guardian?
He only published this statement: “We wish Suzanne all the best for her future career.
We're sorry that she left. "