Jane Garvey

“Person says something in someone else’s interview!” It’s a bit third-division that, the kind of thing a website does that does not have proper journalists (like this one). Here is the once mighty Times, allegedly a newspaper, doing a report about an interview on Radio 4. The actual interview is here. The trans stuff starts about ten minutes in.

The Times headline is pure clickbait. “Jane Garvey exits Woman’s Hour with plea on trans debate.” What plea?

I have interviewed more trans women than trans men on WH so that tells you something. Other people maybe need to think a little bit about that. I have also been called anti-trans and anti-women, I’ve been called too feminist, I’ve been called not feminist enough. It is genuinely a very very difficult area, we are never going to please everybody listening when we talk about it I also have to say from a purely practical perspective is this the issue that vexes our audience more than any other. Do they think of it as the most controversial or the most important thing we could be talking about? No, I honestly don’t think they do.

Make of that what you will. Especially given that the BBC requires a phobe to stick their nose in whenever trans folk are interviewed, for alleged “balance”, it seems she finds phobes boring, and the controversy they raise dull. The current head of Ofcom finds that “balance” “extremely inappropriate“. Though Paul Dacre might want only phobes.

The interviews Jane Garvey is most proud of are of ordinary people, “sharing in their real lives and challenges”. She feels she connects with listeners, and is blessed by the “adulation” she receives for what she calls “showing off”. She thinks Woman’s Hour should do more features on women’s caring responsibilities, for without the carers “Britain would just buckle”.

I don’t know what she thinks interviewing more trans women tells you. It could tell you that trans women are women and WH interviews more women than men. It could tell you that she thinks WH should pay more attention to trans men, because she thinks they are women. It could just be that there are more trans women than trans men so suggestions of women being made infertile are overblown. But here’s a suggestion that Jane Garvey thinks it is because trans women have male privilege.

The Times’ propaganda is clear. Trans was not the most important thing in the interview, and Jane Garvey wanted less concentration on trans issues, and perhaps particularly less anti-trans propaganda. The Times built this up into a story, because for them “trans person runs a red light” is a story.

Jane Garvey has said much the same before: the Daily Mail had a headline in December 2018, “Listeners complain that we do too much on the trans debate, says Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey”. In July 2018 she interviewed the mother of a trans man: starts at 27.20. She said that she has no choice who she interviews, but she is not hostile.

Jane Garvey is not an obsessive phobe. I don’t think there’s much indication that she is an ally, but I don’t think she will become a full time anti-trans campaigner. That’s a mercy, I suppose.

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