It all began with a Suzanne Moore piece in the New Statesman last week called 'Seeing Red: the power of female anger'. In the piece, Moore describes the unobtainable female body idea as "that of a Brazilian transexual", a comment which provoked the ire of a group of Twitter users that Burchill refers to as "the very vociferous transsexual lobby".
Following an angry exchange on Twitter, Moore appeared to close her account much to the dismay of her many followers and some supportive fellow members of the commentariat.
Burchill, a longtime friend of Moore, took her support one step further and wrote a piece for The Observer, published today, which has created a Twitterstorm in its own right. In the piece Burchill uses various terms to describe the trans community including "a bunch of dicks in chicks' clothing" and "a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs". The piece has provoked an angry response from readers, with one commenter calling it an "absolutely disgusting display of transphobia"
Columnist Deborah Orr weighed into the fray, tweeting "No matter what troubles I face in future, I'm going to tell myself: "This could be worse. Julie Burchill could be leaping to your defence."
So are Burchill's words a justified and timely response to cyber-bullying? Or a bigoted and offensive rant?