After anti-trans groups, some who have notably said some very awful things themselves, complained to the BBC about comments made by former MMA fighter, Fallon Fox; the BBC apologised. Just like that! No protests, months of organising or appealing ECU decisions necessary! Weird!
Anti-trans activists complained to the BBC about the appearance of Fallon Fox on Radio 4’s Today programme. She appeared on the show to talk about the bans on transgender people, and in particular transgender women in sports. Fox has been the center of a lot of anti-trans hate for her own participation in women’s MMA.
Despite Fallon Fox’s last fight being almost 10 years ago (2014), she has been in receipt of endless anti-trans abuse. Many anti-trans people have held her up as an example of “everything wrong with transgenderism”, some even doing so while using misleading photos (see, I told you the Tekken photo would be funny). Showing the bloodied face of a cisgender woman MMA fighter that Fallon Fox did not fight alongside Fox to imply that Fox had caused her injuries.
This abuse and harassment faced by trans athletes has continued to increase as anti-trans activists have pivoted away from issues they are losing ground on; such as self-ID and towards areas where they have more support such as sports.
In June of 2020, Fallon Fox wrote on Twitter; “For the record, I knocked two. One woman’s skull was factured, the other not. And just so you know I enjoyed it. See, I love smacking up TEFS in the cage who talk transphobic nonsense. It’s bliss! Don’t be mad.” With a link to a blog post from 2014 titled; “Fallon Has A New Fight-With Wannabee ‘Advocate’ Tamikka Brents” – discussing comments described as dogwhistles made by Brents.
Which honestly, what a legend. Transphobes spend a lot of energy trying to make trans people feel ashamed of our various participations in society. Fallon Fox has been in receipt of this for 10 years straight, lied about, accused of all sorts of things, threatened with violence, held up as a reason to abuse all trans people with and probably so much worse.
I can’t blame her for one second for doing what we in Britain would call “taking the piss”, or as the American Fox would call it “talking smack”.
Those who could blame her include anti-trans groups such as Fair Play For Women who complained about Fallon Fox’s comments and appearance on the Today programme. Fair Play For Women have been organising against trans equality for years including opposing self-ID, access to spaces and our participation in women’s sports and prisons.
They have also posted comments to Twitter which claim that if a transgender woman were to be able to get pregnant; the fetus “will invade their body like a virus” and “any potential foetus would invade the host’s body and proliferate like 1,000 cancers [evil grin]”. Tweets which to me read very clearly as a twisted fantasy hoping for pregnant women to die if they don’t like the kind of woman they are.
The BBC wrote that “they were unaware of the comments” made by Fallon Fox in 2020 and apologised for having platformed her after the complaint by Fair Play For Women. This contrasts with how they dealt with transgender people’s complaints regarding an anti-trans article they posted to their BBC news section.
You can read more about that here but to summarise; an article suggesting trans women are pressuring lesbians into sex was written by Caroline Lowbridge for the BBC. This article included comment from Lily Cade who has been accused of several sexual assaults against women and who subsequently went on a violent tirade threatening various famous transgender women with violence. The BBC are still fighting for their right to host this article, with complaints now being referred to Ofcom after reaching the top of the BBC complaints procedure.
Fallon Fox has given an interview to Pink News where she vows never to talk to the BBC again. She also stresses that she didn’t actually break anyone’s skull despite the constant claims from anti-trans activists that she did. It was actually an orbital bone fracture – a common injury in MMA and also a bunch of other good stuff its definitely worth going over there to read.
This all happens within the wider context of numerous BBC employees having engaged actively with transphobia. Including Radio 3’s Edwina Wolstonecroft having compared trans health care to Nazi torture experiments on Twitter. An issue I don’t believe was ever dealt with or apologised for, despite the fact that around this time the BBC were also telling LGBT staff they couldn’t attend Pride events due to impartiality.
Its frankly embarrassing that our state broadcaster is being this bold-faced in suggesting their platforming and support of transphobia is part of their commitment to “impartiality”. Yet at the same time completely treating the two groups differently, gladly apologising to transphobes for Fox’s comments, but refusing to take down an article suggesting women like Fox are essentially rapists. Allowing platforms, comment and listening to complaints from groups who have said downright hateful things, while denying its staff the right to even attend a celebration of their own love.
The problem with transphobia at the BBC is a major one that must be dealt with. I don’t know how we achieve that while those at the top continue to pander to all the wrong people.