Oh dear. I suspected she was up to something…and this evening the result is up and out there. andrea (*aka the “eclectic chicken) has been cogitating over the Beaumont Soc since the news of their outing of a trans guy earlier this week…and now she’s live with her views on same.
Coruscating. And probably at least a little rude. But probably heartfelt. And the only thing i suspect that might yet be to come (and even less positive about the work of the Beaumonts) are her views on the wobblers (WOBS).
These, for those not in the know, are the Women of the Beaumont Soc: members of the fairer sex whose response to their partners’ coming out was to throw a fit of vapours and go all wobbly at the mere thought of a grown man “dressing up”!
Nowt to do with me, guv!
Well. Two observations. The first, which i know some will believe and others not, is that what goes on on THAT blog…the one run by andrea…really has nothing whatsoever to do with me. She is pretty scathing of feminism, dislikes a particular type of what she sees as “political correctness” – and is also forthright about anything she regards as idiocy. Which i suspect is what engaged her here. However, across a range of issues, she and i are not at one.
As in this. I think the last week has seen a great deal of froth in respect of the actions of the Beaumont Society. That froth has been hurtful in places, as well as marked by a sort of derailment that i wish it had not been.
To wit: “they once was great”. Or to put it another way, various bods coming along, pointing out all the good works the BS have done throughout the years, and therefore claiming they should be exonerated from present criticism because of this.
Er, no. I hope i do some good. I also expect that if i commit any single act of foolishness, i will be criticised for that foolishness – before the world then moves on and gets on with its life. Individual mistakes should be treated as just that: individual mistakes, from which, it is to be hoped, lessons can be learnt.
The importance of being sorry
So what are the things i take out from this? First, she has a point. Its not just the nature of the incident that has caused fuss: its the nature of the apology.
On Monday i am attending for the first time a meeting of the board of the internet watch foundation. I am doing so because I am a strong supporter of their activities and I hope that my own input may be of some use to them. That said, I wasn’t always so. About three years back, I wrote about a mistake they had made in blocking a link to an image of a Scorpions album cover which resulted in peeps briefly bneing unable to access Wikipedia.
They made a mistake. They turned on a dime, apologized profusely, explained what had happened and why and…won themselves many brownie points as a result. Compare and contrast the weaselly apologies that we have had of late over the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone. Then ask into which category the BS apology falls.
Apologising – the art thereof – is something that those in the public eye need to understand: to get right. In that much, i think andrea has a point.
Two other issues still concern me, and i suspect i will be back to them. A fair few individuals have spoken to me over the last week about the dire effects of WOBS. Andrea and i encountered these early days during my transition and…we were truly horrified. Misogynist, sexist, transphobic…and worse. And it would appear not just us who have suffered from them.
Last but by no means least, there is one detail which continues to bug me. That is the fact that the reporter in the outed trans man story managed to get back to talk to the same person who had handled the original call.
Huh? Co-incidence, much. Either the reporter struck very very lucky indeed. Or the BS ever so slightly directed the call. Or what?
Its a detail. It is possible that there is nothing whatsoever to it. Or maybe there is.
Again, if the BS had not pulled up the shutters on the rest of the community as soon as this all became too, too embarrassing, its a detail that we might have probed a bit further.
Whatever. Andrea’s piece is up. I get the sentiment – though don’t exactly go along with the fact of her doing it. But tis done. And so another twist to the ongoing saga is given.