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Why Piers Morgan is a Naughty Word

By Rachel Grushan in Opinion & Politics

Let’s all pray for Piers Morgan’s publicist. Piers Morgan has made a name for himself as being that nasty British guy on TV who causes arguments and controversy wherever he goes. The Trans community is not very happy with Piers right now, nor is anyone who respects human rights and just plain politeness. On his talk show, Morgan interviewed Janet Mock, the transgender author of “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More.” Morgan superimposed a caption underneath Mock’s name that stated she “was a boy until age 18.” Mock rightly took offense to this, as well as Piers Morgan’s later tweet about his interview with her, which stated: “How would you feel if you found out the woman you are dating was formerly a man? @JanetMock shares her experience now. #RedefiningRealness.” During a follow-up interview with Mock, Morgan dug himself a watery grave, constantly insulting her by saying, “You were born a boy,” and referring back to an article written about her in Marie Claire Magazine in 2009, in which she allegedly referred to herself as being born a boy. Mock argued that she did not refer to herself in this way, and that she addressed this in the first pages of her book. Because they had met to discuss her book, she felt he should have known that this was not a proper way to refer to her. When a Trans woman, or anyone for that matter, takes offense at something you said to them, YOU APOLOGIZE AND NEVER SAY THAT AGAIN. You don’t continue to say it, egging them on and insisting that they explain the nature of their offense. You especially do not and cannot tell them what is and isn’t offensive. Not only did Piers claim to be “abused” and “vilified” over Twitter by an unhappy Mock and her supporters, but he also made the entire thing about himself. He, as a “journalist” and TV personality, should keep his interviews as little about himself as possible. Instead, he whines about being bullied after being insensitive to Mock and her preferred pronouns and completely misses the bigger picture; that when someone calls you out for something you said, you fix the issue quickly and quietly instead of exploiting someone's anger with you in order to get more views and stir up controversy. The issue with Piers is not only his inability to admit fault, but also his entire approach and argument defending why calling someone a “former man” isn’t offensive. First of all, guess what…YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS OFFENSIVE. The victim decides that. Second, Piers’ adamant insistence that calling someone a “former man” isn’t offensive just shows his ignorance of gender identification. Gender is fluid; what is assigned to someone at birth may be their physical sex, but that does not mean that it is also their gender.  Piers refuses to recognize this despite Mock’s patient explantation, all the while insisting that he “wants to learn”. Piers asks in a second interview with Mock, “I want to know why it is so offensive to say you grew up as a boy… why is it offensive?” afterwhich Mock attempts to explain the complexity of gender only to be shot down repeatedly as Piers continued to insist that the fact that he was vilified was more of an outrage than his offensive comments. The long story is that as an influential advocate and spokesperson for the Trans community, the treatment of Janet Mock just goes to show not only how close-minded the media in general is of Trans people, but how important it is to rethink our notions of gender, or as Mock calls it, “redefining realness.” And for the short story? Piers Morgan is a little…

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