Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Why Lucy can never be forgotten

Lucy Meadows gassed herself. The coroner said she died of carbon monoxide poisoning...
This is a tragedy in itself, she was worth far more than that. She was a victim of the worst excesses of a press, particularly print journalism, obsessed with, how shall i put it? Deviance

Lucy wasn't deviant. She had a good, respectable job as a primary school teacher. A job where she was entrusted to educate children, to equip them with life skills, essentially to help them understand the rules of our society, to socialise them in a wider setting than their family home. It appears that she was respected by many of her pupils and their parents.

However, it is obvious that some did not share that respect once it became known that Lucy was a transsexual. Local press got hold of a letter that was written in summer 2012 letting parents know that Lucy would be presenting as female (which is, amongst others, an imposed condition of treatment for Gender Dysphoria)from September 2012. In December, The Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn wrote an article that effectively castigated Lucy for thinking she could teach children because she was transsexual.

Lucy killed herself earlier this year.

The Daily Mail's response was to remove Littlejohn's article from its website. Transgendered people held a silent vigil for Lucy outside the offices of the Daily Mail because there was a common belief that Littlejohn's polemic rant against "deviance" hastened Lucy's death.

The inquest into Lucy's death began today in Blackburn. The opening of the inquest was reported by The Lancashire Evening Post here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/inquest-held-today-for-transgender-lancashire-teacher-1-5715296#.UaThp_ox8WU

It is appaling that, in a post Leveson world, that journalists still feel it is acceptable to write like this.

HER NAME WAS LUCY MEADOWS.

By male gendering and birth naming her, it is the journalist's aim to encourage the reader to blame her suicide on her transsexualism.

Suicide does not deserve to be blamed on any supposed deviance, and relying on the reportage of facts, such as birth name & gender removes all dignity that Lucy had.

Continually muck-raking, outing Lucy as transsexual, perpetuates the idea that she was to blame for her own suicide. That may seem like a paradox because, ultimately, she took her own life. However, the mental turmoil and trauma she must have gone through to take the ultimate decision to end her promising life is not even considered by unethical, uncaring and unthinking deviance focused journalism.

To not even use a by-line or reporter's name also further dehumanises Lucy because, well, she wasn't even worth the effort.

This tabloid, parochial fascination with deviance in an effort to sell more newspapers, or to enhance the standing of a particular writer prolongs victim blaming. It has be called what it is.

HER NAME WAS LUCY, SHE WAS A WOMAN

Please stop blaming her for her choices, because, really, they weren't any choices at all

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3 thoughts on “Why Lucy can never be forgotten

  • Admin says:

    Slight edit by Admin to correct the link to the newspaper article. Thank you for submitting this piece – a clear example of victim blaming. We’ll try and track down the twitter @ for the newspaper and send this to them.

  • Maeve says:

    Wonderful and very powerful, thank you for sharing. I had not made the connection before that the dehumanising of trans people by the media is a form of victim-blaming, but it certainly is.

    • Admin says:

      Thank you Maeve. We are incredibly grateful to the person that submitted this piece. It illustrates how Lucy experienced victim blaming during her life and after her death. It is a vital and important post. Thank you for your comment.