BBC Presenter: Transgender Women Are Not 'Real Women'

March 5, 14:34 EST

     Dame Jenni Murray has said that men who undergo sex change operations cannot be "real women", arguing many model themselves on a male view of what a woman should be.

The BBC Radio 4 presenter said that men who had grown up with all the privileges that entails did not have the shared experience of growing up female.

Murray's controversial remarks have provoked criticism from transgender activists on social media, describing her comments as "divisive".

      The Woman's Hour presenter revealed that the first time she felt anger "when a man claimed to have become a woman" was in 2000, when the Rev Peter Stone underwent transition surgery and became Carol.

Murray said her impression of her meeting with Stone, just six years on from the ordination of the first women priests, was that Stone's "primary concerns" were what to wear to meet parishioners and whether or not to wear make-up.

"I remember asking Carol what she owed those women... His calling, as a man, had never been questioned. I had nothing but a blank look and more concerns about clothing," she said.

Murray said she was also incensed recently when she met India Willoughby, another trans woman who appeared on ITV's Loose Women.

Murray described her annoyance at Willoughby's belief that she was a ''real woman'' while ignoring the fact that she had lived most of her life "enjoying the privileged position in our society generally accorded to a man".

She also took criticised Willoughby's agreement with the Dorchester hotel’s controversial dress code for its female staff - which asked that they always wear make-up, have a manicure and wear stockings over shaved legs - questioning whether the presenter was aware of the long-running debate on the topic among women.

"There wasn’t a hint of understanding that she was simply playing into the stereotype - a man’s idea of what a woman should be," said Murray.

It is not the first time the issue has stoked controversy - the feminist and writer Germaine Greer has previously been banned from speaking on panels following her suggestion that a post-operative transgender woman “can’t be a woman”.

Read The Story In Full From The Telegraph By Rozina Sabur.