I was alerted to an article published to The Telegraph’s website via an email update that searches for articles about asexuality. This one was offensive. I’m not going to link it, because I do not wish to publicise it any more than necessary.

It suggests that Hitler was asexual, and this is one of the reasons that we have failed to understand him. It also says, directly, that asexuality is not normal. Under Clause 12 of the IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice:

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

My complaint is slightly oblique to this section of the Code of Practice. Nonetheless, this is a copy of the complaint form I sent to The Telegraph to complain about it.

To whom it may concern,

I wish to complain about the article “Martin Amis: how Hitler had sex”, written by Anita Singh. The narrative offered by Singh and the comments made by Amis and reported in this article, in my view, contravene Clause 12 of the IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice.

The specific nature of my complaint is as follows.

1. Singh states that “the author” — presumably referring to Amis — believes that Adolf Hitler is asexual. Singh quotes Amis: “No-one understands Hitler. No-one understands what he was up to. And I don’t want to be reductive here or simplistic or frivolous, but I’m convinced that one of the reasons why we don’t recognise Hitler is that he’s sexually a void… Sexuality is one of the ways we recognise each other: knowing whether someone is married or gay or whatever it might be.”

This implies that being asexual is a barrier to being accepted or understood by wider society. It is my view that this is not only ignorant on the part of Amis, but it also serves to propagate negative stereotypes of asexual people as being distant, impossible to engage with, and being abhorrent in nature.

2. The article reports Amis made the following remarks: “In Hitler studies there are three schools of thought about his sexuality. One is normality… asexuality is the other one, the third one is perversion.”

This unequivocally marks asexuality as being outside the confines of “normality” and clearly propagates the discrimination of asexuals and asexuality.

I hope you will consider my complaint for this and future publications and will offer an apology and clarification of the paper’s stance towards asexuality and asexual persons.

I would be willing to assist the Telegraph Media Group on this matter if desired.

Yours faithfully,
Stephen Broughton.