I’ve just read on Pink News that Paddy Power are actually taking their (in their words) “mild-mannered”, “harmless fun” from their transphobic advert for real to Cheltenham Ladies Day!
According to the article they will be ‘planting’ trans women in the crowd and encouraging race goers to play the sick ‘game’ from their advertising campaign for real.
At Lib Dem conference last Autumn LGBT+ Lib Dems NI Coordinator Stephen Glenn spoke about a number of reasons that the accreditation system for conference was unfair. One of the reasons stated was that some of the transgender members had refused to go through additional police checks for the fear of being accidentally outed to employers and others as a result of the process.
Yes Paddy Power, most transgendered people, especially women, often live in fear of somebody finding out they are trans and taking offense, being offensive or worse. Yet you are going to take that real fear and play games with it. Indeed many of them have experienced adverse effects. Many as a result of the constant specualtion, often behind their backs but often all to obvious, become reclusive scared to go out, even to the corner shop for supplies. It is no game for them.
Cheltenham may be a national hunt meeting but it it isn’t right to hunt transgender women for sport. We have a ban against such things, it is call the Equality Act 2010. Section 26 says:
(1)A person (A) harasses another (B) if—
(a)A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, and
(b)the conduct has the purpose or effect of—
(i)violating B’s dignity, or
(ii)creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for B.
What if a transgender woman attending Cheltenham, who is not one of your plantees, gets hassle and grief all through Ladies Day, is that offensive, is that a game? What if a CIS woman gets “outed” incorrectly as a man, or as you advert says “a stallion”, is that going to be mild-mannered and harmless fun?
I don’t think so. Nor should Paddy Power.
Paddy Power have said “[They] don’t believe it [the ad] is offensive in any way” and indeed that “[They]’re quite proud of the ad.” I’ve seen a comment that says it all.
“What right does a CIS person have to tell a trans person what they might find offensive. Or that what a Trans person has found offensive can’t possible be so, isn’t that lack of listening just as offensive?”
Paddy Power the founder of the chain has told the Daily Mail:
‘I’m really surprised that it has had some negative responses but overall it has had a mixed reaction.
‘It won’t be pulled because we then run the risk of taking ourselves too seriously or pandering to political correctness.
‘We are surprised with some of the reaction because members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community helped us put the ad together and were featured in it.
‘It is not meant to cause offence.
‘This was checked by Clearcast (which vets adverts) so it wasn’t as if it was a guerrilla style attempt to offend – it is meant to get people talking.’
I’m sorry Paddy if being respectful and obeying the law is pandering to political correctness. Actually no I have no reason to be sorry about that, but Paddy you do.
I have a cunning plan for Ladies Day. Let’s have some harmless fun