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The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has released a Media Style Guide for journalists reporting on issues related to sex, "gender identity", sexual orientation, and women's rights.
The guide is meant to provide an alternative to the language the Trans Journalists Association encourages the press to use and which was adopted by the Society for Professional Journalists which suggests language that promotes LGBTQ rights but discounts and erases women’s rights.
The 34-page WoLF Media Style Guide attempts to provide a more accurate and ethical way to report on issues that impact women and girls. The guidelines reflect and embrace a science-based understanding sex and gender and yet still adhere to the strictest principles of journalism ethics.
Journalists reporting on violence and discrimination against women and girls, sexual orientation and LGBT issues will find the guide accurate and helpful as it also contains definitions of commonly misused terms, resources for dispelling misinformation, and a list of expert sources.
Natasha Chart, Executive Director of WoLF, said in a statement, “The journalism profession is failing women, and the general public, by misrepresenting the facts on gender identity and prostitution. They've accepted ideological gags on their reporting, and allowed gender identity activists and sex industry publicists to serve as political minders, with editors refusing to back writers against unreasonable social media mobs. We hope more media outlets will stand up for their rights, and everyone else's, to speak the truth.”
One of the most common complaints about the mainstream media’s use of transgender names and pronouns is that these often quickly usurp women’s rights. This debate has all avenues of the public sphere, from Hollywood to collegiate athletics to legislation.
Recently actor Ellen Page, who had announced she was a lesbian several hours prior, made a new announcement and said she was now transgender, had changed her name to Elliot Page and preferred pronouns they and them. One of the most fascinating aspects of this news was not Page’s announcement but how quickly mainstream news sources accepted new pronouns and a new name—despite Page’s obvious biology that contradicts it.
Several female athletes in Connecticut have sued their local athletics conference to be able to compete as women against only other biological women as “transgender males” who are biological male but living as female have tried to compete against them, decreasing the females’ odds of winning.
California passed several new transgender laws that protect transgender people often at the risk of marginalizing women. Its newest transgender inmate protection law ensures transgender inmates are addressed with their preferred names and pronouns—even if they go against their natural biology—and they must be “housed at a facility matching their gender identity” with rare exceptions.
Whether or not the mainstream media chooses to utilize this new language guide that suggests ways to be more inclusive to women’s rights remains to be seen.