BBC’s ‘100 Women 2021’ Includes Transgender Individuals

Members of the Transgender community and their supporters hold a rally and march to City Hall before the mid-term elections to protest against what they say are continual attacks from the Trump administration, in Los Angeles, California on November 2, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should …
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The BBC has been accused of “taking sides” after including trans individuals in its 2021 list of 100 “inspiring and influential” women.

Britain’s state broadcaster has been accused of taking a side by including trans individuals in its list of 100 “inspiring and influential” women from 2021.

The BBC’s 100 Women project, in the broadcaster’s own words, “names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year”.

As such, the decision to include a number of trans individuals, who are biologically male, on the list, has been extremely controversial, and has seen by some as the BBC taking a “side” in an ongoing debate.

“By including transwomen on a list of women, the BBC is taking sides in a contested issue. Because not everyone accepts that people who are born male can become women.” writes former Telegraph political editor James Kirkup in The Spectator. “When finite resources are allocated, ‘transwomen are women’ means that some things that might otherwise have been allocated to natal women are given to people who were born male.”

“It is a simple statement of fact that because the BBC awarded some places on its 100 Women list to transwomen, those places — and the status and acclaim they bring — cannot be given to natal women.” Kirkup continues. “By including transwomen in that 100 Women list, the Corporation is siding with those who argue that ‘transwomen are women’ and against those who reject the unqualified inclusion of transwomen in the category of women.”

Other online have accused the BBC of including men on a list despite its stated purpose being to draw attention to noteworthy women.

The controversy comes after the broadcaster was forced to leave a diversity scheme produced by pro-trans NGO Stonewall over concerns regarding impartiality.

The NGO’s leadership has previously compared the belief that sex is immutable to antisemitism.

The state broadcaster also came under fire in October for publishing an article detailing the claims that some women were being pressured into sex with transwomen. An open letter signed by over 16,000 people complained that “the article itself routinely implies that transgender women are not women”.

The BBC defended the article, with one spokesman saying that it went through a “rigorous” editorial process, and that the broadcaster existed to ensure debate occurs and “that a wide range of voices are heard”.

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