'Antioch Review' Editor, Author Respond to Criticism

May 9, 2016

The editor of The Antioch Review, responding to widespread criticism of an essay the literary journal published, has published a statement of "regret" about the pain that was caused by the piece. The essay is sharply critical of the transgender movement and uses language that many have decried as ignorant and bigoted. While some have called for the removal of the article, Antioch College has declined to do so, citing principles of free expression.

In a statement published on the Review's website, Bob Fogarty has now responded to the controversy. "The views and values espoused in the article represent those of the author, Daniel Harris, and are not those held by the editor, the Antioch Review or Antioch College," Fogarty wrote. "However, as the editor, I recognize and acknowledge the criticisms and outrage for the views represented in Harris’s essay. Perhaps more importantly, I sincerely regret any pain and hurt that the publishing of this piece has caused to members of our own community, transgender people, the LGBTQ community and their families and supporters."

The statement said the journal plans to publish responses to the essay in a future issue.

Via email, Fogarty said he did not regret publishing the piece. Citing the reactions to last week's Inside Higher Ed article, he said, "I gather there are two camps: one which vehemently objected and hated it and another who appreciated and applauded it."

Via email, Daniel Harris, the author of the essay (who could not be reached for the earlier article), said he stands behind his essay. "I regret that so few of my critics seem to have read the piece to the end. Almost all of the quotations used from my essay come from the first two pages," he said. "There is absolutely nothing about the revelations I make later in the piece, which makes me think that people simply didn't get that far and are responding without being fully informed. I regret that the discussion has been so uncivil, devolving into what seems to be a flame war. It is difficult to answer specific criticisms when they rarely amount to much more that I am transphobic and that my essay was an example of hate speech. I am neither hateful nor transphobic. I am tolerant of all people, save Republicans."

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