FOX News is rife with transphobia, and it will probably not be much better tomorrow when we start to really find out just how transphobic they are towards Chelsea Manning. After all, if how they have handled the signing of a law granting trans* students access to the appropriate restroom facilities and activities is any indication, the resulting fall out over Manning is going to be horrific.
Not unexpectedly, FOX’s Greg Jarrett continuously referred to Manning as ‘he’. Admittedly so did just about every single news outlet including CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield and Chris Jansing at MSNBC. Jansing at least tried to refer to Manning as a woman.
Still, FOX has continued to fear monger over the 12 August signing of the law by California Governor Jerry Brown. They base their attacks on the normal transphobic assertions about how the law will allow male students to pretend to be transgender in order to look at naked girls in the bathroom.
They have also claimed that children are too young to understand gender identity issues. Most trans* people tend to understand by the age of about six that their gender is not in line with their sex.
Of course, FOX could have brought in people to discuss the issue who are experts in the field and who can explain what being trans* is like. Instead, they brought on the likes of Michele Malkin:
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, warned that FOX’s coverage was contributing to transphobic violence and harassment aimed at trans* people of all ages. She stated that “They don’t seem to want to understand trans people. And I don’t know what Fox News thinks transgender people do in restrooms, but their obsession with it is a bit creepy. Fox News’ coverage of AB1266 is another example of their long record of using outdated fears of trans people to manipulate fair minded viewers. Their insistence on representing us this way contributes to the violence and harassment trans young people already face in restrooms.”
Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center criticized FOX and added that:
Transgender youth and others who don’t fit into narrow gender stereotypes too-often experience bigotry and bullying at school. Now our youth are being subjected to dangerously uninformed commentary from media outlets like Fox “News” who are belittling vulnerable students who just want be themselves and succeed at school. Unfortunately we know that suicide rates among our youth, and violence against our community, skyrockets when anti-gay and anti-transgender sentiments dominate the media. Right now, we need all fair-minded Americans to speak up in support of transgender youth so that they can see there are people out there who love and support them. Creating a culture where it is both unpopular and rare for transgender youth to be bullied, beaten or belittled will free all people to live their lives fully and authentically.
Transphobia hurts people. Gender is incredibly complex and there are some indications that transsexuality and transgenderism have roots in biological factors that go right to brain structures and even into people’s DNA. There are moves to have it reclassified as a form of intersexuality, though that has been difficult to get through some people’s thinking.