There’s nothing quite like being personally and viciously attacked by the leader of a political party to ruin my really nice nap. This week, Peter Reynolds, presumably awaiting the Mail on Sunday expose that has now been written on him, decided that while waiting for that to come out, he’d take a crack at me.
The original article, originally entitled, “Sarah McCulloch”, has now been edited several times to remove some of the more hysterical content (though the spirit remains). Fortunately, I have a screencap of what it used to look like.
Wow. Wow. Did that just come from the keyboard of the leader of a political party? Like, an actual party, registered with the Electoral Commission? The leader of a political party, in the UK, in 2012, thought it would be a good idea to put little question marks after references to someone’s gender? On his blog? Where everyone in the world can see it? Has that actually just happened?
So, the content. Hmm. Obviously, it’s not very nice. Obviously, I dislike having such comments posted about me on the world wide web. And obviously, if Peter Reynolds genuinely had such contempt for my writing, he wouldn’t have bothered to tell the world that I’m not worth listening to, in extensively sexist, homophobic, and transphobic terms that he’s already had to tone down twice.
I think one might largely sum up our respective posts as:
Sarah McCulloch: “Peter Reynolds is a homophobe and a racist, and probably a liar, who has been deleted by several politicians from Facebook when made aware of his published views. Here are referenced screencaps of all the relevant comments, posts and emails to support what I am saying”
Peter Reynolds: “Sarah McCulloch is a genetically confused half-werewolf who has flung lots of abuse at me, the monstrous woman, and so I think everyone should just stop thinking about the points she’s made, because she’s just bitter and twisted, and absorb mine about the fact that I find her unattractive. Evidence? Who needs evidence?”
Regarding these aspersions on my gender and my gender presentation, I do not get up in the morning and think, “Gosh, I wonder what 54 year old men would like to see me wear today?”, and I do not intend to start. I have little to say other than that I stand in total solidarity with all trans people everywhere – I shall dress as I like, present as I please, and identify as I want. And that’s just fine.
I also take issue with Peter Reynolds’ comments that I am “mysandrist”, when the most cursory inspections of my blog would reveal that I am a known and publicly declared supporter of the men’s rights movement, and was even the Treasurer for a Men’s Society two years ago. Please also note that, unlike Peter Reynolds, I have documented on this website most things I have ever written, even prior to my entry to the internet. My earliest publication is from when I was 11 (in a book that you can actually get in print), and I’m only 22 now. One must ask how someone with a 30 year career in journalism that’s older than I am has just a handful of press clippings to show for it.
The most bizarre comment that Peter Reynolds made was that he is a “kind, gentle, and sincere man”:
I will say that its not like I haven’t been attacked on the internet before, but this is the first time it has come from the leader of an active political party. The mind boggles to try to comprehend why an aspiring national political figure would choose to make the most petty and vindictive comments about a 22 year old third year theology student in an amazingly public forum, when he’s already had to take his blog down for making such attacks, right when the Mail on Sunday is busy producing a full on “hatchet job” of everything he’s ever done and written. The mind boggles, truly. I’m not even sure what to italicise.
The one upside of this somewhat sordid situation is reading through the unexpectedly complimentary messages being sent to and about me. People I have never heard of or met have said they like my writing and they think I made my arguments well and without rancour. By contrast, most detractors have contented themselves with discussing whether they would like to have sex with me or not (although I must disappoint them by stating they have no chance). So I think I’d rather have my supporters than those of Peter Reynolds. Did I mention he’s the leader of a political party?
The point of my posts has been to demonstrate that trying to prove Peter Reynolds’ own assertions about his past in good faith still uncovers highly misleading statements, or worse, outright lies. For example, I called the Independent to verify Peter Reynolds statement that he was a “regular columnist” for them. They have two articles written by him, dating from 1997, about cycling. Peter Reynolds himself confirmed this and stated in his letter to the Mail on Sunday that there is a third, mistakenly attributed to Paul Reynolds. Ok. But that’s not a “regular column”, is it? George Monbiot has a regular column. Peter Hitchens has a regular column. Three articles about your bike is a regular column? And three blog posts from me about Peter Reynolds is “bickering, abuse, divisiveness and misandry”.
Please, my dear reader, make your own inquiries and make up your own mind. Because personally, I would die. Did I mention he’s the leader of a political party?