Tell The Guardian/Observer to Uphold Journalistic Ethical Standards – Stop Pretending We Don’t Know the Difference Between Sex and Gender

The Issue

According to the Society of Professional Journalists, ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair, and thorough. Accordingly, journalists are obligated to: seek truth and report it; minimize harm; act independently; and be accountable and transparent.

The Guardian (Observer in the UK) claims to have “no hidden influences, no agenda, no commercial interests, just open, honest fearless journalism.” Yet they consistently conflate the words sex and gender in their reporting, in violation of each of these standards.

In this article, The Guardian/Observer refers to a male human being as “she,” without even questioning his self-identification as female. And yet here, The Guardian/Observer notes that an average of 239,000 girls under five in India die each year “because of their gender.” But everyone, including The Guardian/Observer, knows that these girls are dying through neglect or murder because of their sex— a biological, immutable, fact – and not because of a self-identification or “gender identity.”

Here, The Guardian/Observer publishes an opinion piece regarding the #MeToo movement, in which the author urges women to “get ugly.” Everyone, everywhere, knows what the word women means in this context. The Guardian/Observer categorizes this piece in its section on sexual harassment. Whatever anyone thinks of the #MeToo movement, we all know what the word sexual means in this context, and it has nothing to do with an inner feeling or “identity.” These women are being sexually harassed because they are women – adult human females.

Sex and gender are not the same thing. We all know it. Tell the Guardian/Observer to conform to journalistic standards and report the truth.

What You Can Do

Email The Guardian US and Observer UK and tell them to conform to journalistic standards. Copy other media outlets, all of whom are complicit in the same lack of journalistic integrity. (Script and contact info below).

Email Script

Dear editors of The Guardian and The Observer,

According to the Society of Professional Journalists, ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair, and thorough. Accordingly, journalists are obligated to: seek truth and report it; minimize harm; act independently; and be accountable and transparent.

Yet your reporters consistently conflate the words sex and gender in their reporting, in violation of each of these standards.

In this article, you refer to a male human being as “she,” without even questioning his self-identification as female. And yet here, The Guardian/Observer notes that an average of 239,000 girls under five in India die each year “because of their gender.” But everyone, including The Guardian/Observer, knows that these girls are dying through neglect or murder because of their sex — girls are treated differently than boys based on their sex — a biological, immutable, fact — not on an inner feeling or “gender identity.”

Here, you published an opinion piece regarding the #MeToo movement, in which the author urges women to “get ugly.” Everyone, everywhere, knows what the word women means in this context. You categorize this piece in your section on sexual harassment. Whatever anyone thinks of the #MeToo movement, we all know what the word sexual means in this context, and it has nothing to do with an inner feeling or “gender identity.” These women are being sexually harassed because they are women – adult human females. Sex and gender are not the same thing – see here and here. Stop lying to your readers.

You have an obligation to uphold journalistic ethical standards. Men are not women and girls are not boys. You know this. Your pretending that you don’t is journalistically irresponsible and unethical. There is a general assumption of courage associated with journalism. Please have courage to stand up against “politically correct” falsehoods. I urge you to report the truth. I am copying members of other media outlets, all of whom are complicit in the same lack of journalistic integrity.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME] or [A CONCERNED CITIZEN]

Targets 

Copy and paste into an email message:

guardian.readers@theguardian.com, USinfo@theguardian.com

Copy and paste into the cc field: 

dbaquet@nytimes.com, readers@washpost.com, mcgrory@globe.com, acooper@sfchronicle.com, gandersen@SFexaminer.com, outreach@democracynow.org, cosmo.mail@hearst.co.uk, evening@cbsnews.com, NBCNewsMediaRelations@nbcuni.com, Rachel@msnbc.com, betsy.reed@theintercept.com, submissions@truthdig.com, info@truthout.org, counterpunch@counterpunch.org, letters@harpers.org, scoop@motherjones.com, mail@newleftreview.org, comments@newstatesman.co.uk, support@salon.com, slateoffice@slate.com, newsdesk@independent.co.uk

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