Artillery Row

The dangerous excesses of breaking boundaries

There is a double standard on trans people and violence

When JK Rowling dared Scottish police to arrest her earlier this week she published a list of 10 prominent transwomen (i.e. men) all of whom had been described routinely in the media as “a woman”. It wasn’t just this lack of factual accuracy that angered Rowling. In detailing the misogyny each of these men had expressed, to differing degrees, her point was that the media was adding insult to injury by labelling them as women. 

Perhaps the media’s worst blind spot when it comes to trans issues is crime. Some of the men on Rowling’s list were offenders, such as Amy George, the transwoman butcher who kidnapped a girl and abused her. Despite George having campaigned against single sex spaces on social media and having been openly trans for some time, the press bent over backwards to emphasise Amy’s “dead name” of Andrew Miller. The implication was that he wasn’t really trans, or as First Minister Humza Yousuf said of double rapist transwoman Isla Bryson, “he’s not a genuine transwoman” and “is trying to play the system”. If you say so Humza.

Then there’s the curious difference between the way the media covers crime committed by transwomen versus that committed against them. When a trans person is a victim there is a concerted attempt by the trans lobby to spread the blame far and wide. Fingers are pointed at a so-called “culture war” as society as a whole is blamed — and in particular any one who opposes the trans lobby’s ever more unrealistic demands. The implication is that violent young thugs have been carefully poring over feminist arguments about, say, single-sex hospital wards. 

All this is in sharp contrast to what happens when a crime is committed by a trans person. Then, the idea that the offender may have been influenced by the angry and self-righteous tone of trans extremism, in which so many young trans people are immersed, is dismissed out of hand. A trans offender is presented as some sort of lone wolf, an isolated exception whose behaviour neither reflects on their community nor has in any way been affected by the relentless propaganda on the other side of the same alleged culture war.

Two recent murders in the UK are instructive examples. Within hours of the horrific killing of the young “transwoman” Brianna Ghey in 2023, trans activist Munroe Bergdorf opined:

This incessant and violent culture war that the trans community is being relentlessly subjected to, on both sides of the Atlantic, is having real life consequences … transphobia costs lives.

This despite the fact that at the time of his tweets investigating cops had stated explicitly there was no evidence the murder was a hate crime. When two fifteen year olds were then charged the LGBTQ+ magazine, Attitude was one among many outlets to feature hysterical quotes from trans activists. One claimed “the education system, the media and this government have blood on their hands”. 

Except the only people who had actual blood on their hands were two very sick teenagers who fantasised about sadistically killing someone for months. Although the judge at the trial did later refer to a handful of messages from one of the killers that expressed hostility to trans people, there was never evidence the murderers were aware of, never mind influenced by, any wider culture war. 

Compare that case with the story of the so-called “cat killer”, the murderer Scarlet Blake who in Oxford last year struck a 30 year old Spanish engineer Jorge Martin Carreno over the head, before strangling him and pushing him into the River Cherwell. Like the killers of Brianna Ghey, this trans identified male was deeply unwell and fantasised about death and murder. Unlike the killers of Brianna Ghey, though, the media made no reference to the possible impact on Blake of the increasingly unhinged culture of the trans movement.

One of the most persistent tropes of that culture is the assertion that somehow our liberal society is engaged in or secretly wants a “genocide of trans people”. When Scarlet Blake was arrested he seems to have been making reference to this when he said to the police, “(It) could be worse though. At least it’s not genocide.”

Today’s trans culture was shaped by the strange mish-mash of skew-whiff ideas that has come to be known as Queer Theory. This has long emphasised the notion that all sexual expression, no matter how extreme, should be seen as a positive thing. The tone was set by Gayle Rubin one of the founders of Queer Theory, who in between describing paedophiles as “the victims of a savage and undeserved witch hunt” consistently defended both violent pornography and extreme sadomasochism as liberating.

We can’t know for sure whether this kind of intellectual defence of violent sexual behaviour helped habituate Blake to his erotic obsession with torturing people which eventually moved on to fantasies about killing someone. It cannot have helped. 

You might think that Attitude magazine with its enthusiasm for all trans content and all things “queer”, as well as its tendency to rush into comment, might have explored these potential links between an unhealthy culture and Scarlet Blake’s actions. After all, if they cared about the safety of young trans people, wouldn’t they want to safeguard them from people like Blake? No such luck. Type the words Scarlet Blake into the search function on the Attitude website and the legend appears: “No Results Found”.

As for Pink News, it ran only one article on Blake. This focused on the fact he would be going to a male jail. At least half of the article was devoted to dismissing JK Rowling’s anger at the fact Blake was being described as she/her in mainstream outlets. The contrast with the coverage in these same magazines of a recent gay offender is marked. After Reynhard Sinaga was convicted of raping more than 48 men both reported his crimes in depth. And so they should. 

If the LGBTQ+ media failed to explore Blake’s murder, the mainstream media was little better. They focused almost exclusively on Blake’s fascination with a TV series. Four months before Blake murdered an innocent young man he posted a video online in which he skinned and dissected a neighbour’s cat. This video made clear Blake was inspired by the Netflix series Don’t Fxxx With Cats which told the story of Luke Magnotta, who in 2014 posted videos of himself killing kittens before moving on to murder, dismember and cannibalise a young gay man. In an eerie tribute Blake even used the same music track on his cat-killing video as Magnotta had. 

What few if any journalists pointed out was the trans connection. Magnotta was an occasional cross-dresser who by the time Blake decided to kill a cat had transitioned completely. In 2022 he was moved from a maximum-security jail in Quebec to a medium security facility to allow him greater access to “gender affirming healthcare” such as cross-sex hormones. In 2017 Magnotta had been allowed to marry a fellow murderer Anthony Jolin. Blake would hardly have been left with the impression that being a trans murderer would lead to horrific consequences. In the months running up to Blake’s murder Magnotta was quoted in the press saying of his prison experience:

I’m outside the majority of the time; I play a lot of video games….we have movie nights. We all have our own TVs. I have painting class and I exercise a lot. I practice language studies. People need to be proud of their accomplishments. Know your value and share it with everyone.

Share your pathological achievements with everyone? What could possibly go wrong? 

It goes without saying that the dark, violence-obsessed version of trans culture to which Blake was exposed can’t be blamed for his own actions. Yet it would be hard to deny that his desire to kill and maim became entangled with his trans identity. In his trial he claimed he first fantasised about murder when his parents refused to affirm his adopted gender identity. A headline in The Oxford Mail even went so far as to suggest Blake’s descent into evil was a result of this lack of acceptance. 

Whatever the truth, Blake was ill-served by a trans culture that tells young people constantly that they are the most oppressed minority in the world and face imminent execution by a hate-filled society, neither of which is remotely true.

Proof the trans lobby has failed to read the room when it comes to violent trans offenders came when trans activist Jane Fae, the head of the highly influential Trans Media Watch, was interviewed on BBC Radio 2. Instead of Scarlet Blake being sent to a male prison, Fae told Jeremy Vine murderers should go to the same prison, irrespective of sex. Stop me if you see a problem with this brilliant idea.

It celebrates the overriding importance of sexual liberty, no matter how extreme

This wasn’t a random example of idiocy. In 2018 Fae described most murders as “boring, pedestrian, even accidental stuff”. In his pre-trans identity of John Ozimek, Fae was also a forthright campaigner against tighter regulation of extreme pornography. In 2009 he even criticised the prosecution of an author who published a horrifically violent sexual fantasy online in which he described (in Ozimek’s own words) “the mutilation and murder of each member of the Girls Aloud pop group, whose body parts are then sold on e-Bay.” 

This sort of purblind complacence towards the risks of violent pornography and sexual offences is one the entire trans lobby now appears to have adopted. It celebrates the overriding importance of sexual liberty, no matter how extreme, and sends a message to mentally ill young trans people like Scarlet Blake that society is always in the wrong and they are always right. 

Scarlet Blake may be solely responsible for the dreadful murder of Jorge Martin Carreno but it was the LGBTQ+ lobby’s warped outlook that helped nourish the pathology in his troubled psyche.

Enjoying The Critic online? It's even better in print

Try five issues of Britain’s newest magazine for £10

Critic magazine cover