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Tipsheet

Is This the Most Horrifying Example of Wokeness? BBC Edits Quotes From Assault Victim to Avoid Misgendering Alleged Rapist

AP Photo/Robin Rayne

Former President Donald Trump had warned us that "everything woke turns to sh*t," and sure enough, perhaps the most horrifying example yet of wokeness and inclusion has come from the BBC. The outlet took it upon themselves to alter an alleged victim's quotes, so that she would not be misgendering her alleged rapist, who is trans. 

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The BBC story in question was from October 26, 2021 by Caroline Lowbridge, about "The lesbians who feel pressured to have sex and relationships with trans women." There's a warning for strong language, and boy is it graphic to hear what lesbian women have endured. 

John Sexton over at our sister site of Hot Air, wrote about the learned of change on Wednesday. He had also written about the BBC piece when it came out in October. "The reason for the altered quote didn’t even occur to me at the time, but in retrospect it’s obvious that they aren’t just replacing the attacker’s name," Sexton wrote in his piece on Wednesday. 

The quote in question as it is published is as follows:

"[They] threatened to out me as a terf and risk my job if I refused to sleep with [them]," she wrote. "I was too young to argue and had been brainwashed by queer theory so [they were] a 'woman' even if every fibre of my being was screaming throughout so I agreed to go home with [them]. [They] used physical force when I changed my mind upon seeing [their] penis and raped me."

The victim had referred to her alleged rapist as "he" and wrote "his," but her quote was altered to avoid misgendering. Lowbridge also described the alleged rapist as "a trans woman." 

The London Times reported of learning about the amended quotes on Tuesday:

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The BBC changed the testimony of a rape victim after a debate over the pronouns of her transgender attacker, The Times has learnt.

The woman referred to her alleged rapist as “him” but insiders said that her words were changed to avoid “misgendering” the abuser in an article on the corporation’s website.

The BBC article replaced every reference to “he” or “him” with “they” or “them”. A source said the quote was the subject of heated debate prior to publication. Some journalists argued that the quote should remain intact, while others said it should reflect the trans woman’s preferred she/her pronouns.

As DailyMail.com also noted:

It was claimed by some staff the decision was made following the input of members of its 14-strong central diversity team, which has had influence over the BBC's style guide, which dictates that stories adopt an individual's preferred pronouns, the Times reports.

...

The article was also subject to a number of complaints, with an open letter signed by more than 20,000 people - including some BBC employees - claiming the story was 'deeply flawed' and 'incredibly dangerous' for the trans community.

A BBC spokesperson said: 'It's routine to have editorial discussions about different stories. Our only intention when deciding on language is to make things as clear as possible for audiences.' 

...

It comes as the BBC has said it was wrong for a Radio 4 programme to describe JK Rowling's opinions on gender identity as 'very unpopular.'

The broadcaster received a complaint about an episode of Front Row on Radio 4 which was aired on March 24.

During a discussion about cancel culture, presenter Tom Sutcliffe said the Harry Potter author 'clearly has a very unpopular opinion regarding gender identity.'

The Beeb's Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) has now found the comment was 'potentially misleading.'

They ruled there was 'no conclusive evidence' that those with a different view to Rowling 'represented a majority.'

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Throughout her piece, Lowbrideg had also spoken about Angela C. Wild, the co-founder of Get The L Out, who compiled a report of lesbian women. "She said that of the 80 women who did respond, the majority reported being pressured or coerced to accept a trans woman as a sexual partner," Lowbridge mentioned. 

After mentioning the alleged victim above, Lowbridge goes on to write:

While welcomed by some in the LGBT community, Angela's report was described as transphobic by others.

"[People said] we are worse than rapists because we [supposedly] try to frame every trans woman as a rapist," said Angela.

"This is not the point. The point is that if it happens we need to speak about it. If it happens to one woman it's wrong. As it turns out it happens to more than one woman."

Wild is also quoted in the London Times, saying the BBC was wrong. "It’s really unethical and disrespectful to the victim. It’s a form of gaslighting for a woman who has already been through sexual violence," she said. 

It's worth reminding that the point of Lowbridge's piece was to highlight the abuse lesbians have faced, from harassment to rape, for not wanting to have sex with biological men. "Several people got in touch with me to say there was a 'huge problem for lesbians, who were being pressured to 'accept the idea that a penis can be a female sex organ,'" she wrote early on. 

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"I knew this would be a hugely divisive subject, but I wanted to find out how widespread the issue was," she went on to write in a piece that made the issue that much more "hugely divisive" by further victimizing an already maligned group. 

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