From “Media willfully misgender Chelsea Manning” by Katie McDonough
“Chelsea Manning, the whistle-blower sentenced to 35 years in military prison for leaking classified documents, released a statement on Thursday to announce that she identifies as female and intends to begin hormone therapy as part of her gender transition. Manning also requested that the public refer to her by her chosen name, Chelsea, and adopt feminine pronouns to describe her. But the media isn’t listening….Manning has made her identity clear. She has made her request clear. To ignore these facts while reporting them is not just bad journalism — it’s utterly bigoted.”
Questions for Consideration
Does the media have an obligation to respect Manning’s request that the public refer to Chelsea, her chosen name, and adopt feminine pronouns? Why or why not? Whose responsibility is it to educate the public about transgender identity and transgender rights? Was Manning’s sentence of 35 years in prison fair and just or what might justice look like in this case?
Want to learn more?
- Democracy Now: “Empowering, So Brave”: Trans Activists Praise Chelsea Manning, Raise Fears over Prison Conditions
- MSNBC: ‘I am Chelsea Manning, I am Female’
- The Atlantic: How Will Bradley Manning Be Treated in Prison as a Woman?
- Jezebel: How Not to React to the News That Bradley Manning Is Transgender
- Trans Treason: Why Chelsea Manning is no hero for trans soldiers
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