The French journalist taking on the transgender movement: An interview with Dora Moutot

The transgender movement’s cultural Blitzkrieg swept the elite institutions of the West in less than a decade, but their hold on the public imagination has always been far more tenuous. It is one thing to get academics and activists to believe that the phrase “her penis” makes perfect sense; it is quite another to condition ordinary people into believing that. Consequently, the transgender movement has attempted to enforce their agenda by government totalitarianism on one side, and street-level violence on the other.

This is not hyperbole. Vassilis Tsiartas, widely considered to be one of the greatest Greek soccer stars of all time, was convicted in 2022 of “transphobic” social media posts and given a 10-month suspended prison sentence and 5,000 euro fine for “violence or hatred for reasons of gender identity.” Norwegian filmmaker and actress Tonje Gjevjon was criminally investigated for stating that men cannot be lesbians; her compatriot, the feminist Christina Ellingsen, was investigated for saying that men cannot become women.

As a result, we have seen a strange, diverse group of dissidents spring up in opposition to the transgender movement—feminists, social conservatives, professional athletes, famous authors, parents, and ordinary people who found themselves facing demands to do things they could not do or say things they could not say. One of those dissidents is French journalist Dora Moutot. In 2022, she was invited to debate “France’s first transgender mayor,” Marie Cau, on TV. During the debate, she was heckled and insulted, but stuck to the facts: Cau was a male with feminine tastes, not a woman.

The backlash was immediate. The French minister for “gender equality, diversity, and equal opportunities” claimed on Twitter that Moutot’s “words are very violent” and invited Cau to meet with her. Moutot received the treatment that trans activists mete out to any woman who dares to question their delusions—threats of violence and even death. Two LGBT organizations also lodged legal complaints against her on the basis of her public statements. Taking dissidents to court has proven an effective way of cowing them into silence.

This tactic proved ineffective when it came to Moutot. Instead, her experience has created an even more committed opponent of gender ideology. Earlier this year, a book she co-authored with Marguerite Stern was published, titled Transmania: Investigation into the Abuses of Transgender Ideology (Hélène de Lauzun reviewed it for TEC here). Trans activists have targeted her with particular vitriol—one suspects that men attempting to present as women and failing experience a special rage for beautiful young women who will not stop pointing out glaringly obvious truths.

Moutot agreed to a wide-ranging interview with TEC.

What was your youth like, and what would you say were some of your defining influences?

I was born in Maryland, United States, to a father born in Algeria and a mother born in Israel. I hold dual French and American citizenship. Growing up, I lived in various countries including the USA, France, Germany, and the UK, so my upbringing was quite international. As a teenager, I was deeply immersed in various musical and fashion subcultures such as punk, emo, techno, goth, and more. I’ve always been drawn to the fringes which likely influenced my interests.

What was your path into journalism and media?

I initially pursued fashion design but found myself more captivated by the research, history, and sociology behind fashion rather than the tangible creation itself. This led me to further my studies in Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins in the UK. During my studies, I launched a blog titled La Gazette du Mauvais Goût (The Newspaper of Bad Taste), which garnered significant attention online, particularly in France within the realms of fashion and graphic design. I started to work for Vice magazine because they liked my blog.

But I would say that my career journey began in trend forecasting in London. Eventually, I made the decision to return to France and embarked on an apprenticeship at Le Monde. Subsequently, I transitioned into television presenting for French TV channel France 2, as well as contributing to various fashion and women’s magazines. Later, I assumed the role of editor-in-chief at a prominent French online lifestyle platform called Konbini.

However, my trajectory shifted when I decided to author my debut book, À Fleur de Pet, (this translates to “On the Edge of A Fart, though please bear in mind that it sounds less poetic in English than it does in French!) which delved into my personal experience with an intestinal disease known as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). I chose to become a spokesperson for the disease in the media, aiming to raise awareness as it was relatively unknown in France. I also did a documentary for French TV (Arte) called “comment j’ai hacké mes intestins” (how to hack your gut) about microbiome treatments. This marked my departure from the fashion world, as my focus shifted inward towards understanding my biology rather than external matters such as clothing and style.

Simultaneously, I launched an Instagram account titled “T’as Joui,” (“Did you Climax?”) dedicated to heterosexual female sexuality. At its peak, I amassed 500,000 followers and became influential within the realm of sex-positive feminism. I also wrote a book called Male baisées about the struggles of female sexuality. I became a non-fiction author, an expert patient and a feminist sex influencer.

When did the transgender issue first come across your radar? What was your initial reaction to it?

The transgender issue became prominent in my awareness when discussing female sexuality online, which naturally involves discussions about female anatomy and biology. In 2020, transgender activists began insisting that I incorporate the sexuality of transgender women into my Instagram content to promote inclusivity. They argued that it was inappropriate to assert that all women possess a clitoris because transgender women do not, and suggested I use the term “female penis.” I staunchly rejected this notion.

However, within the feminist community, there was a pervasive adoption of transgender terminology, including the use of “menstruating people” instead of “women.” As a result, my refusal to conform to such newfangled jargon became increasingly conspicuous. I posted once expressing that being a woman is a biological reality, not a subjective feeling of a man. This stance prompted harassment from transgender activists, leading to the loss of all my brand partnerships as they accused me of being “transphobic.” Brands succumbed to pressure from transgender activists, and I was deeply shocked by the repercussions. That’s when I began to delve more deeply into researching the subject, and the more I delved, the more fascinated I became. It’s a topic that’s incredibly multifaceted, spanning social, political, legal, sexual, and medical realms. I also see it as one of the most important feminist fights of the century.

When did you decide to articulate your opposition to gender ideology in public?

I began to articulate my opposition on social media, primarily on my account dedicated to female sexuality, but more extensively on my personal Instagram account @doramoutot, where I shared my ‘discoveries’ weekly. I began to build up an audience on this topic. At the time, French media were not covering it. I reported in French about the Maya Forstater trial, about detransitioners in the UK, about Jordan Peterson’s ideas on transgenderism, and more.

I met Marguerite Stern, a feminist activist, and we began collaborating, writing opinion pieces in the media on the subject. We decided to create an NGO called Together, we wrote a manifesto and committed to taking action against transgender ideology to protect women and children in France. We wrote Transmania and published it in April 2024.

Were you prepared for the backlash you received?

Yes, I was prepared. I’ve been harassed for the last four years. I frequently receive death threats, and I lost all my partnership contracts. I knew that one part of the political spectrum and the press would react this way. I expected that we would be censored in bookstores and that people would lie about the book and file complaints. But it has also been a gigantic success. So many people are buying the book, it’s already a best-seller and I’m very happy about it.

Is it dangerous to be a ‘TERF’ in France, as it frequently is in the UK?

Yes, it’s dangerous. A few weeks ago, we gave a conference at Assas University in Paris, and we had 15 police buses to protect us. Hundreds of people were chanting “A terf, a bullet, social justice!” in front of us. It was impossible to enter the university. The police had to help us find another entrance. I also had to move out of my home because I received death threats along with my address.


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