Lucy’s Law

Following Lucy Meadows’ death last week, a lot of people are angry. Spontaneously so, despite the lie from the Daily Mail that this is all some sort of orchestrated campaign put up by Alasdair Campbell and his friends.

So what CAN people do to make a difference?

Sign the petition(s)

After a slow start yesterday, a number of petitions have been gaining momentum online, calling for the removal of Littlejohn. One, at least, appears to be snowballing to the tune of 100 signatures every couple of minutes.

As of right now, there are two large-ish petitions out there in need of support. These are: (with nearly 11,000 signatures)
Sumofus (with around 30,000 signatures)

Even allowing for overlap, that’s significant. Though I wonder how many signatures will be needed before any of the tabloids actually report their existence.

Put pressure on advertisers

A new Facebook group has started up, suggesting that ordinary consumer folk put pressure on companies that currently advertise in the Mail to stop doing so until they lay off on the homophobia and transphobia. We-ell, to be honest, I’d be happier if it was them laying off on all bigotry, full stop. But we have to start somewhere.

Its also on twitter as #dontbuytransphobia.

Go for it. Because right now, the calculation in the Mail boardroom is that despite all the fuss, the additional publicity that the furore is causing them is good for business. But if we can remove a couple of major advertisers, then.. .their laughter may be just a little less fulsome.

As an example of what might be done, here’s one interesting response already from M&S.

Lucy’s Law

No idea yet where to go with this one. Ideas would be nice. And maybe it needs to be about much more than the trans and LGBT communities.

At present, while individuals have all manner of protection (from libel, from harassment, and the like), no similar protection exists for groups. Keep attacking a particular woman on twitter, and chances are you may be blocked or even have your collar felt nby the long arm of the law.

Post the most vile misogynistic claptrap and.. . Twitter will do nothing: and there is little the law can do either.

So maybe it is time to look again at hate laws: to make them not just an add-on, should someone assault you or commit another crime; but make it a crime to print vicious hateful material about groups; to provide protection to individuals whose only reason for being in the news headlines is because they happen to be gay or trans or a woman or disabled and doing something that ordinary white middle-aged men do without comment every day of their lives.



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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15 Responses to Lucy’s Law

  1. pollik says:

    Completely off the wall, but…what are your chances of getting a line in to the Daily Mail and getting something published?

    • janefae says:

      zilch! (Though i DID ring their newsdesk this afternoon to inquire if they were interested in a story about the Littlejohn petition gaining signatures at around 100 a minute right now). Fraid not. More important stories breaking, doncha know!

      (Though they were polite).


  2. Reblogged this on flyingontherainbow and commented:
    My friend, journalist and blogger Jane Fae sets out constructive action that those who are angered, moved or both by the death of Lucy Meadows can take. I would urge you, whatever it is you do, to at least do one of these three things.

  3. QRG says:

    I think making more laws against speech is really a very negative response to a tragic death.

    this kind of sentiment is based on the notion that the person expressing it is one of the ‘good’ guys who will never get in trouble with the law for simply stating their views. not all of us can be so confident.

    imagine if a member of your family got prosecuted for writing or speaking? and making a law in the name of someone who is dead and can’t tell you what they think of that law is also not on in my view.

    • janefae says:

      Except, wedon’t actually have “free speech” right now. We have one set of rules for those with privilege: another set for those without. And over all a whole series of rules about what any of us can say about anyone already. So maybe this is not about “stopping free speech”, but about renegotiating the ways in which we limit speech.

      As for appropriating Lucy to this: that’s a fair point and one i will tread carefully with. Since i have been talking to her Head Mistress and have put through a communication to her family asking for their views on what they want in respect of remembering her, i will take those very much into account.


      • QRG says:

        I didnt use the term ‘free speech’ I just said ‘speech’. and I do not have enough freedom of speech currently, according to the law, to respond to you now.

      • janefae says:

        well, then. There we must agree to disagree. Yes: i was wrong to translate your words to “free speech”, though in my own mind,it makeslittle difference. I don’t believe that our speech is in any way free – and nor should it be 100% free: which therfore means that the bottom line debate must be what degree of freedom we will permit to speakers in any given circumstance and the nature of restrictions we place upon them.

        It might even be that you and i could agree that as the arena within which we debate, while then disagreeing fiercely as to where we draw lines.

        But it sounds like we do have a fundamental disagreement of principle here, and i won’t diss you for it: just take the view that you are wrong, just as i am sure you take the view that i am wrong.


  4. The Daily Mail clearly needs to be brought into the modern world, but what of the Accrington Observer which I believe, first ran Lucy’s story.

  5. QRG says:

    Like I said, I dont have freedom I am well aware of that. You have more than me. But because I am not trans or gay or black or disabled I have no rights to the moral high ground. I guess Im a woman, of sorts. But I handed in my woman/victim card when I dumped feminism.
    I am stuck with being considered ‘privileged’ and ironically this contributes to my lack of freedom in very real terms at the moment.

    I think the law you propose would be oppressive and would hurt far more people than it would help.

  6. bronxbronte says:

    Together with positive awareness and education, specific anti-hate law can form part of a package of measures that will make Transphobia just as taboo as Jim Davidson style smokey working mens club jokes about blacks are now.

    If we have crossed the philosophical rubicon over whether or not to have anti hate laws in the first place, then cherry picking which minorities or vulnerable groups to protect is simply tacit discrimination; It’s safe and cuddly to want to look after colored folk and working mums etc.. we alllll doooo….. but courageous Law that upholds civil rights of those in our society most marginalised misunderstood and at risk from violence exploitation coercion bullying and hate.. takes political will, and governance with guts. A legal framework that explicily references the right of trans folk to live in society free of hate will enable more trans and fledgling trans folk to explore and express themselves. More trans visibility can only contribute to making a more peaceful and enriched Britain. What a wonderful legacy to leave her pupils.

  7. Maeve says:

    TransBareAll are crowdfunding a project to produce support materials to help prevent suicide amongst the trans population.

    I’ve covered some of the key stats from the Trans Mental Health study over at PinkNews:
    84% of trans people consider suicide, and 35% make at least one attempt on their own lives.

  8. Carol Uren says:

    Sumofus is now nearing their target of 90,000 having now collected 70,726 signatures and is also nearing theirs with 13,021 signatures

  9. Henry Hall says:

    Free speech is important and there is a real danger of overreaching with unintended effects if any new laws restraining the press were introduced. It would be very easy to do more harm than good in a wider context.

    But if Lucy Meadows had held a Gender Recognition Certificate she would have been protected; and she would have been able to obtain redress and compensation from the Daily Mail using a claim based on Section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

    The solution to the problem then is shockingly simple – change the law on Gender Recognition so that people in the situation of Lucy Meadows can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate BEFORE coming out at work, instead of years later. Years really is substantially the time it takes under present law.

    Essentially this means that Gender Recognition should be based on non-medical criteria and processes. Such an approach has already been demonstrated to be workable and successful in Argentina.

    The fact that the UK is at loggerheads with Argentina politically should not prevent us from adopting the best features of their Gender Recognition laws.

  10. Pingback: Lucy Meadows… | Sarah Savage

  11. Pingback: Being out in schools -a tribute to Lucy Meadows | Explorational Situations

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