The foundation of journalism is accuracy, particularly when it comes to news reporting. We wouldn’t anticipate reading the headline “Brain surgeon convicted of rape” if a man pretended to be a brain surgeon in court when in reality he was a hospital porter. Other claims that are blatantly false should follow the same criterion.
In fact, a guy was found guilty of rape yesterday at the High Court in Glasgow—two rapes, to be exact. He used to go by the name Adam Graham and doesn’t currently have surgery, but he now goes by the name Isla Bryson and “identifies” as a woman.
Prosecutors referred to Bryson as “she” throughout the entire court hearing while discussing typical male pattern offenses. The court case was a jumble. It needed a courageous Conservative MSP named Russell Findlay to call attention to the glaringly evident that “she” preyed on weak women whom “she” met online. Adam Graham, a rapist, “said that he was no longer a man” after appearing in court on rape charges, the user tweeted.
Such a high-profile case provided newspapers and websites with a difficult choice at a time when it is common practice to refer to male defendants as “she” in court reporting. Using the personal pronoun and name that a person wants is a matter of “common courtesy,” according to the judges’ bench book, which is guidance rather than law. To enforce a pretense that a male offender is female is, in the opinion of many women and some attorneys, absurd and disrespectful to rape victims.
Therefore, what were editors and journalists to do? I’m afraid that the majority chose cognitive dissonance. The Guardian reported, “Glasgow court convicts trans woman of raping two women before her transition.” The victims were left to accurately refer to the rapist as “he” because the newspaper could not even bring itself to mention Bryson’s “dead name,” which is what he was known by when he raped the women.
The Times claimed that “Bryson” used the pronoun “she” while still using the name Adam Graham and committed the offenses prior to her transition. Several publications, notably the Telegraph, sidestepped the problem by incorporating nouns into all of their reports. A different approach was taken by The Sun, which used the headline “Transgender woman with Mike Tyson face tattoo GUILTY of raping two vulnerable moms with “her penis” to illustrate how ludicrous it is to refer to a rapist using female pronouns.
The judge’s words to the prisoner in this instance, “Ms. Bryson, you have been convicted of two incredibly serious accusations, this being counts of rape,” eloquently highlight the position that the courts have placed themselves in by giving in to the demands of gender ideology. Rape, which is an assault involving the use of a penis, cannot be prosecuted against a woman. In a sad irony, the court accepted Bryson’s assertion that he was a woman despite the prosecutor calling his testimony “totally incredible and unreliable.”
Anyone who has seen photos of Bryson showing up to court in skintight leggings does not for a second believes it. Accepting his claim at face value has grave repercussions since, despite having been found guilty of violence against women, it has been stated that he would be kept in a women’s prison while awaiting examination.
Journalists ought to be calling this garbage out rather than tolerating it. Why aren’t editors fighting against an obvious assault on press freedom if they feel that it is being forced upon them by the legal system? They must develop a backbone if trans activists are the ones they are terrified of. The practice of “misgendering” rapists are escalating the already existing problem of public mistrust of the media.