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Yet again, the New York Times writes about trans male students at women's colleges like Wellesley. And yet again the article reeks of false attempts at even-handedness that really demonstrate the paper's absolute cluelessness about writing about trans people.

The headline alone has problems. God forbid the NYT just title the article something straightforward like "Controversy over Trans Male Students at Women's Colleges." Nope, instead they resort to Ye Olde Binarie Termes that sensationalize the lives of the trans male students as strange voyages across gender and, incidentally, reinforce the supposed male/female dichotomy by not even using the adjective "trans" to describe the students.

As I read the article, in which many present and past students, as well as faculty, decried the presence of trans male students on campus as a detriment to "sisterhood," I got the sense that the NYT sympathized with them. For example, a [cis male] professor, commenting on being asked to make his examples and pronouns more inclusive, is quoted as saying, "“All my life here, ... I’ve been compelled to use the female pronoun more generously to get away from the sexist ‘he.’ I think it’s important to evoke the idea that women are part of humanity." Like many antitrans people cited in the story, he perceives equality and respect as a zero-sum game in which he cannot respect trans male students by using inclusive language because that would somehow diminish the "humanity" of the cis female students. The article itself supports this incredulous, contemptuous point of view when it claims that trans students receive "disproportionate attention" on campus. Darn minorities -- how dare they agitate for equal rights? They should shut up and go away.

The NYT literally has no clue about how to write about trans people, and it even admits this. The article itself closes by saying, "...[I]t’s difficult to distinguish in the cacophony each of the words shouted atop one another. What is clear is that whatever word each person is hollering is immensely significant as a proclamation of existence, even if it’s hard to make out what anyone else is saying." Despite the acknowledgment that "a proclamation of existence" should be respected, the comparison of this controversy to an unintelligible "cacophony" reminds me of the scornful ways in which U.S. citizens refer to speakers of foreign languages. When one of the most respected and influential news publications in the country basically goes, "What you're saying is too complicated so LAH LAH LAH I CAN'T HEAR YOOOOOU!!!" we clearly have a problem, and it's not the "trans question." It's the "cis question," as in, "Why don't cis people think of trans people as fellow human beings worthy of dignity and respect?"

P.S. The controversy over trans male students at women's colleges becomes more problematic when one realizes that trans female students do not figure into this uproar at all. The people interviewed seem ardently convinced that there are no trans woman whatsoever on their campuses. I suspect, however, that they do exist, but they are probably keeping their heads down in fear of being hit by collateral damage from the arguments about the presence of trans male students. The rather disingenuous and transmisogynist erasure of trans female students makes me wonder if the cis resistance here comes largely from reactionary, unexamined transphobia.
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John Tumblred [Tumbld?] this yesterday about transmisogyny in Rocky Horror, which got me thinking. The original post focuses on the terminology as a source of transmisogyny, but the whole portrayal of Frank as a literally unhinged debasement of stereotypical painted femininity also reeks of transmisogyny. For example, there's a part in Sword of Damocles where Rocky receives admiration from all the partygoers, which pisses Frank off because Rocky is eluding his control. He chases after Rocky, warbling his name, tripping up in his high heels and kind of running into the wall in melodramatic distress. Even though I didn't identify this particular instant as transmisogynistic when I first saw it, I remember saying to myself, "He wouldn't do that -- he's a flamboyant control freak, not a sniveling mess. I'm taking this character seriously -- why isn't the movie?" Well, okay, the response was less coherent than that; it was more like, "Why is he bouncing off the walls? That doesn't fit." Now, a decade and a half [!] later, I can finally call out some of the rank bigotry at work here. Blarf.

Thinking about RHPS always gets me thinking about Mad Mazzy Mickle Goes Looking for Love, which, I reason, has its own problematic elements that I just haven't thought up yet. Hmmm, let's see: racism [two characters of color only], stereotypes about bisexuals [sexually voracious, attracted to everyone], disparagement of traditional femininity [characters not into car-related activities coded butch are looked down upon].

Peter: "It's a cesspool of noxious stereotypes."

Isabel: "But I love it! It changed my life. I came out to the soundtrack!"

Peter: "Me too. But it's still a cesspool."

Well, clearly, Isabel and Peter connect over their shared interest in this movie, though Peter examines it much more critically than she does. Wonder if I could work a Mazzy reference -- and thus conversation -- into their initial meeting, which does, after all, involve a car crash, and Mazzy's all about souped-up drag racers [har!], so there's the hook.


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...why the hell does it have Jeffrey Tambor playing Maura, the main character, instead of, you know, an actual trans woman? >:( Go AWAY, Jeffrey Tambor.
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For those of you not up on the latest hip party game for people in their 20s and 30s, let me introduce you to Cards Against Humanity. Essentially a group form of multiple choice Mad Libs, this game features a bunch of black cards, which contain sentences with key nouns left out, and a bunch of white cards, which contain nouns or noun phrases. Each player draws a hand of 10 white cards, and then everyone gets a chance to read a black card aloud. After a card is read, players choose from their hand the white card that they think best completes the sentence. These cards are distributed to the reader anonymously. The reader reads the selections aloud and selects the one they like best. The player whose white card is chosen wins the black card. All players draw another white card to keep their hand up to 10, and the role of reading black cards passes to the next player.

In concept, Cards Against Humanity is the sort of game I love. There's no competition and no real winning or losing. The game emphasizes creativity and amusement instead of points and strategy. It's the type of game that grows exponentially more hilarious with more and more players, and it sparks very interesting side conversations when people ask or joke about each other's choices.

In practice, however, I find Cards Against Humanity very problematic in terms of content and framing. The black cards, with their framing sentences, feature mostly topical references familiar to people in their 20s and 30s. Examples include: "What does Prince insist on being included in his dressing room?" and "What does Obama do to unwind?" Fine, no big deal.

It's the white noun cards, though, that drive me up the wall. If they contained only generically amusing phrases such as "murder most foul," "inappropriate yodeling" and "licking things to claim them as your own," I wouldn't object. But no, those cards are a distinct minority. The white cards focus heavily on topics apparently considered taboo or difficult to discuss by the white, straight, cis, male, bourgeois creator, including people of color ["brown people," "the hard-working Mexican"], people with disabilities ["amputees," "Stephen Hawking talking dirty," "a robust Mongoloid," "a spastic nerd," "the profoundly handicapped"], queer people ["the gays," "praying the gay away"], fat people ["feeding Rosie O'Donnell," "the morbidly obese," "home video of Oprah sobbing into a Lean Cuisine"], gender-nonconforming people ["passable transvestites"], genocide ["inappropriately timed Holocaust jokes," "helplessly giggling at the mention of Hutus and Tutsis"], Muslims ["Allah [praise be unto him!]," "72 virgins"], poor people ["poor people," "homeless people"], old people ["Grandma," "hospice care"], child abuse ["child abuse"], rape ["surprise sex"], paraphilias ["German dungeon porn"] and crap ["fiery poops"]. I could go on, but then I'd be quoting the entire suite of white cards.

Cards Against Humanity glancingly acknowledges the problematic structure of its game by billing its audience as "horrible people." "It's as despicable and awkward as you and your friends," crows the main page of the game's Web site. Of course, below this description are various cool publications and people praising the game, so clearly the game's creators see being "despicable and awkward" as a coveted, desirable status. They quote condemnations from the Chicago Tribune ["absurd"], The Economist ["unforgivable"] and NPR ["bad"] in contrast with praise from INC ["hilarious"] and Boing Boing ["funny"]. Thus they associate criticism with old-fashioned, conservative, humorless media outlets full of old people and appreciation with the young, hip, cool crowd. To be "despicable and awkward," then, is ultimately to be cool. 

What does Cards Against Humanity's concept of coolness -- that is, their idea of rebranded despicability qua awesomeness -- entail? Basically it means laughing at anyone who's not a straight, white, cis, bourgeois, hipster dude [like the creator]. Don't try to tell me that, because the game has white cards like "white privilege," it actually critiques those who are discomfited by the concept. No, it doesn't, not when the majority of cards make marginalized people who lack privilege into punchline after punchline after punchline.

If you're still not convinced, let me break it down to you with a single example: the white card that has the phrase "passable transvestites." There is so much wrong with this card that it's hard to know where to start. Well, to begin with, clearly someone thought this phrase worthy of inclusion into the deck of white cards, meaning that someone perceived it as shocking, racy, funny and potentially ridiculous. So what's shocking, racy and entertaining about "passable transvestites?" Yeah, a gender nonconforming person who goes out in public en femme so that they avoid being clocked always makes me laugh. The stats on trans and other gender nonconforming people being harassed, assaulted and killed provide comic relief every time I read them. The outdated language on this white card -- the vexed concept of "passable," coupled with the no-longer-used, clinical-sounding "transvestite" -- signals that the game's creators are hung up on old-fashioned binaries of gender presentation, the transgression of which they find hilarious and pathetic, instead of a matter of life and death.

I can make the same points about Cards Against Humanity's treatment of people with disabilities, the prejudice against whom can be summed up in a single white card: "Stephen Hawking talking dirty." Yup, yup, of course, people who are neuroatypical, emotionally atypical and physically atypical to the extent that society doesn't really know how to accommodate them -- they're comedy gold! I mean, really -- can you imagine a man with paralysis talking dirty? First of all, he'd be doing it with the help of his computer, which is inherently hilarious, you know, because he can't really talk. Second of all, it would imply that he, despite being unable to move parts of his body, has active sexual desires and interests, which is a shock, because no paralyzed person has ever had sexual interests and agency before -- ever! They're just...like... wheelchair-bound automatons. Yeah, "the profoundly handicapped" are a gas all right. Yet again, Cards Against Humanity's decision to employee the passe and offensive term "handicapped" shows that they're not interested in mocking prejudice, but in perpetuating it.

EDIT: As rosettanettle points out in a comment on my LJ crosspost, the creator of Cards Against Humanity expressed regret for the "passable transvestites" white card, which is now no longer included in decks. This does not, however, negate any of my points. If anything, it reinforces them, since the creator's expression of "regret," which came only because he was called on his transphobia, comes across as less a regret of treasuring bigoted tenets and more a regret at getting caught. I also suspect his theatrical Tumblr photoset of him lighting the card on fire of being a self-aggrandizing performance so that he may be showered with praise about what an enlightened ally he is. Why do straight, cis, white, middle-class dudes think they deserve extra special plaudits for meeting minimum standards of decency? "Despicable," indeed.
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The parents of Coy Mathis, a Coloradan first-grader [with magenta hair?! how awesome is that?], have filed a discrimination suit with the state's Civil Rights Division because the school district will no longer let her use the girls' bathroom.

Why? Because they are obsessed with Coy's penis.

A letter that the Mathis family received in December states:

"....I'm certain you can appreciate that, as Coy grows older and his [sic] male [sic] genitals develop along with the rest of his [sic] body, at least some parents and students are likely to become uncomfortable with his [sic] continued use of the girls' restroom."

So a girl can't use the girls' bathroom because some people might be bothered [heaven forfend!] by the fact that her body differs from that of the majority of girls'.

Oooh! Oooh! I can play this game. We need to make separate bathrooms for every category of person whose body might conceivably bother someone else.

Okay, so we'll have to separate bathrooms based on race, fat, disability, age, sickness and shoe size, at the very least.

Is that school district serious? Are they honestly arguing that putative future squeamish prejudice trumps a person's immediate need to perform a basic human function?

The "bathroom argument": it's bullshit!

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BJD Text Confessions anonymous bigot sez:

I hate MD Jinas like Kyoyaxl has. Fucking learn the difference between a girl and a boy.

For those of you who do not speak BJD code, the submitter is saying that they dislike the Jina headsculpt by Migidoll when styled by doll owners like DOA member Kyoyaxl.

Migidoll bills Jina as a "girl," but that doesn't mean much in the BJD world. Just because a company bills a head as "male" or "female" doesn't mean that doll fiends will abide by those distinctions. The majority of BJD heads demonstrate a distinctly androgynous aesthetic that doesn't swing in a stereotypically masculine or feminine direction. Ergo, there's a lot of putting "female" heads on "male" bodies [and significantly less putting "male" heads on "female" bodies, the way that I did with my Frank BJD].

There's also a lot of dressing "male" dolls in "women's" clothes [and significantly less dressing "female" dolls in "men's" clothes].

Incidentally, there are also a notable minority of breast removals ["girl to boy mods"] on "female dolls," as well as penis additions ["hermaphrodite mods"] on "female dolls" too.

All of this is to say that sex and gender presentation can be very fluid in the BJD world. And some BJD fiends, like our anonymous gender-policing bigot, are going to resist that fluidity kicking and screaming. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to continue genderfucking while innocently asking, "And which differences, pray tell, are you speaking of?" :p


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On Saturday, June Thomas wrote a Slate blog post speculating about why South African runner Caster Semenya did not win gold in the women's 800 meters. Could she have purposely not run her best? Who gives a flying fork?

Naturally, because the media is hung up on these things, any mention of Semenya must include reference to her humiliating debacle in 2009, when the International Association of Athletics Federations self-appointed gender police subjected her to intrusive testing and a temporary ban from competition because she was too awesome for them to handle. There's been all sorts of speculation about the results of the tests -- OMG what does Caster Semenya have in her pants the world HAS to know?!?!?!!??! -- but Semenya refuses to dignify this bull hooey with a direct response.

Thomas encourages Semenya to discuss the results of the IAAF's tests. While acknowledging that Semenya's physical and psychological abuse at the hands of the IAAF was "humiliating" and that the people who gossip are "nosey" [sic], Thomas seems to think that Semenya has only 2 options. First, she can hide forever. Second, she can tell the world in excruciating detail all about her hormonal levels, her reproductive organs, her external genitalia, et hoc genus omne.

I vote for option 3 -- ignoring people like Thomas and the self-appointed gender police. Gender variant people like Semenya do not owe the gender homogenous masses anything. Gender variant people do not have publically available bodies that anyone can check out and see what's inside; they aren't library books! People are way too hung up on policing gender, and Semenya's public response to the IAAF's abuse would grant power and legitimacy to their invasive crapola. Jesus Christ, it's not that hard. Anyone who identifies as a woman should be allowed to compete as a woman against other women, and she should not have to drop trou every time she does something impressive.

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Hey kids! Are you ready for your daily dose of outrage?

You are? Well let's get crackin'!

I just read Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio. More precisely, I tried to read it, but ended up throwing it against the wall in disgust about 50 pages in.

Ostensibly, the book is a feminist reclamation of the word "cunt," which apparently amounts to a long discussion of how wonderful uteruses, Fallopian tubes, ovaries, eggs, menstruation and all associated hydraulics are. I don't object to the concept -- we need more appreciation of these long-devalued body parts -- but I object strenuously to the execution.

Muscio insists that all women have cunts. Yes, she actually writes that. I promptly yelled at the book, "NO THEY DON'T!!!!!!!" but this did not alter her erroneous assumption. Apparently all the women I know who don't have cunts aren't women??!?!?!?!?!?!? Keep your essentialist claptrap to yourself, Muscio.

In one of the book's early chapters, Muscio talks about her childhood in which she was shamed and characterized as unclean for menstruating. She then recounts her reacquaintance with her reproductive system, her determination of her own reproductive schedule and her switch from "feminine hygiene products" to sea sponges and rags. There is also a huge tangent about the ocean and the moon and how this somehow relates to fertility [hint: it doesn't]. Yay hooray, she liberated her reproductive system, and she feels good about it.

The problem arises when Muscio prescribes her reproductive liberation program for all women. First of all, as I mentioned before, not all women have the same biology. Second, even if they do have the aforementioned long-devalued body parts, they don't all menstruate. Third, if they do menstruate, they don't necessarily do it on a regular schedule the way that Muscio apparently does. ["Fun" experiment: try figuring out your menstrual "schedule" if you have PCOS!] Fourth, the ocean and the moon have nothing whatsoever to do with menstruation. Fifth, some of us have slightly more complex relationships to our bodies than "Ick, I'm disgusting; the patriarchy has oppressed me!" then transforming into "My womanhood is wonderful!" However, Muscio presents her experience as the sole option, thereby foreclosing on the full and varied range of experiences that a full and varied range of women have in their bodies.

This is not feminism. This is simplistic, biologically reductionist bilge in complete denial of multiple axes of oppression.
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I cancelled my New York Times online subscription today. The rep recorded my detailed comments about why I was cancelling. I doubt that will make any difference, though. On to slightly less offensive news sources...
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I couldn't use the NYT's form to send a message directly to the reporter who wrote that horrible article about trans women of color on Christopher Street, so I E-mailed the public editor, the executive editor and the president with the following:

I’m writing to express my disgust with Sarah Nir’s July 24th article about trans women of color on Christopher Street: “For Money or Just to Strut, Living Out Loud on a Transgender Stage.”

This article is just as revolting as the NYT's coverage of Lorena Escalera's death.

Do you seriously think it's acceptable to refer to the trans women of color in the article as "exotic...parakeets?" The term "exotic" is just a racist dogwhistle for "different and, therefore, unacceptable." Meanwhile, comparing women to birds dehumanizes them in a dismissive, sexist way. Thanks a lot for perpetuating the oppression and bigotry aimed at trans people and/or people of color, especially women!

I urge you to write about trans women and/or women of color with respect, treating them as equal human beings. Given the NYT's track record, though, I doubt this will occur.

EDIT: I just alerted GLAAD's Aaron McQuade, Director of News and Field Media, about the NYT's poo-flinging. I did this because he was the one who wrote on GLAAD's site about the NYT's poo-flinging at Lorena Escalera. Also going to submit an incident report on GLAAD's site.

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They just published another article about trans people, called "For Money or Just to Strut, Living Out Loud on a Transgender Stage." It's about young trans women of color on Christopher Street in the West Village in New York City. In the summer nights, some of them gather in this area. They enjoy the freedom to express their fashion sense and/or their desires openly. They do the usual activities covered under the rubric of "hanging out" for twentysomethings: talking, eating, dancing, arguing. Some of the women are sex workers.

I want to know more about the motivations of the women who moved here because they found it safer and more welcoming. I want to know more about the class conflict that they experience when they earn small money doing sex work in the vicinity of expensive condos. I want to know more about the daily lives of the women, activists and sex workers alike, who congregate on Christopher Street after dark.

And, thanks to the New York Times, I will never learn any of this from their coverage. I don't know where to start on how disgustingly problematic it is, so I'll start with the title. Calling the women's hang-out place a "stage" implies that their activities are false, untrue mimicry. Since the women in the article are, you know, living their damned lives,   the use of theatrical terms suggests that their lives are trivial and second-rate...probably in implicit comparison to the lives of the owners of the extravagant mansions lining the street.

The rest of the article goes on and on about how the women look, how they style their hair, what they wear, even comparing them at one point to "flocks of exotic — if risqué — parakeets." Hey look -- it's dehumanization! Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, in the reprehensible NYT coverage on the death of Lorena Escalera, who shared some traits with the women in this article: she was a trans woman of color in her 20s, and she had done sex work in the past.

Time for another letter, calling out the NYT's racism and cissexism. I should really cancel my subscription.
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Earlier this week, I fired off an enraged letter to one of the authors of a NYT article about the death by suspicious fire of Lorena Escalera, a trans woman of color. The article was a vile cesspit of sexism, transmisogyny, transphobia, racism, bias against sex workers, stereotypes, objectification, dehumanization, othering and probably many other forms of bigotry that I am not currently picking up on.

The NYT responded to the criticism with vacuous, unsympathetic justifications that positively reeked of unexamined privilege. GLAAD analyzed the paper's response, accurately describing many of its shortcomings. I should note that the GLAAD critique does not, however, recognize the NYT's bias against sex workers in the article about Escalera.

If the NYT really wanted to, as it claimed, "capture the personal [story]" of Escalera, why didn't it do what most writers of articles about dead people do and incorporate information from people who actually knew her? Some people among her social circle of friends, family members and fellow performers at the House of Xtravaganza would have provided comments on what they remembered her for and how much they missed her. Instead of interviewing the neighborhood ignoramuses who had no respect for Escalera as a woman or as a person, the NYT should have sought out quotes from people who saw her as she was: a fellow individual deserving respect. But no...the paper merely perpetuated multiple axes of oppression by selecting a narrative of dehumanization.
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Wow, the NYT is the gift that keeps on giving.

Lorena Escalera, 25, died in a suspicious fire in Brooklyn, NY, last weekend, and the NYT was much more interested in her body, her clothing, how sexy her neighbors thought she was, her trans identity, her occupation as a sex worker and her participation in the House of Xtravaganza performing troupe and other details not directly relevant to the case.

Pam's House Blend pointed out just a few of the problems in the coverage here.

I sent a form E-mail to one of the article's authors, Al Baker, containing the following:

Your coverage of this story is sexist, transmisogynist and generally disgusting. Your inclusion of Escalera's trans identity is irrelevant to the tragedy of her death by suspicious fire. You add insult to injury by quoting a neighbor who misgenders her. Furthermore, the details about Escalera's appearance and sex life add nothing to the story, except to reinforce the stereotype of trans women as objectified prostittutes. The dehumanization exemplified in this coverage directly contributes to the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of trans and gender-variant people every year. We deserve better.
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Summary: Jerkwad protagonists Lee and Angel actually go on sales calls. Angel gets results by stereotypically flirting and playing up "feminine" mannerisms. Lee gets jealous and accusatory, then tries the flirty style to great failure. Meanwhile Angel gets a date with one of the doctors he was selling to.

Analysis: Oh God, I can feel my will to watch draining away as I watch this show. I feel my mouth hardening into a permanent cringe. I thought that the collective scorn and criticism of the Internet and the known world would force this show back into the dank hole of "isms" whence it came, but apparently not.

The transphobia...because Lee can't describe how Angel looks as a woman without mocking him for stereotypically masculine traits such as big biceps and a broad chin!

The sexism and misogyny...because this episode just assumes without question that women using their sexuality in the workplace to get what they want is acceptable and appropriate!

The slut shaming...because Lee can't express his jealousy of Angel's success without intimating that Angel is a whore!

The trivialization of date rape...because Angel was going to drug his doctor date if the date put any moves on him!

The homophobia...because God forbid that two men touch in an affectionate or intimate manner!

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list of prejudices evinced in Work It. The stupidity is multi-dimensional, much the same way as Dan Savage's bigotry, and no one entry can comprehend it all...maybe a series.

My favorite response to Work It was someone's tweet saying, "I think ABC left out a letter when they described this as 'the new hit show!'" LOL!

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Earlier I wrote about ABC's new sitcom Work It, in which two men impersonate women to get jobs at a sales company. I just caught the first episode of this dung heap on Hulu. I am here to report that I stand by my earlier comments about all the show's prejudices and to report that it was, besides being offensive on many levels, poorly written with unfunny jokes, unoriginal characters and lazy execution.

A few especially stupid and offensive moments stood out for me after my cursory viewing:

1. In an early conversation in a bar, the laid-off protagonist commiserates with his two laid-off friends, a mechanic and a shuttle driver. The shuttle driver describes the recession as a "mancession," insists that women are "taking over" and predicts that soon men will only be kept around as "sex slaves" if women continue asserting their dominance. This character is factually incorrect; there is no mancession; women are not taking over, and the joke about "sex slaves" makes light of sexual abuse and rape. While the shuttle driver clearly serves as the "stupid comic relief friend" archetype, no one corrects him or calls him out on his behavior, thus reinforcing the idea that his false interpretation of events is acceptable.

2. While I have detailed earlier how the entire show is transphobic, one especially transphobic moment caught my eye. In a flashback scene where the protagonist, now impersonating a woman, tells the mechanic "how he does it," a saleswoman is shown at a counter. She sees someone off-camera and screams and recoils. The camera then shows the protagonist with makeup all over his face [including lipstick on his teeth, blech], imploring the saleswoman, "Help me, please...help me!" The laugh track resounds.

Now is the saleswoman [and the laugh track] laughing at a generally bad application of makeup or a man in drag? It doesn't really matter because the show is mocking the protagonist, who dares to "look bad" in makeup. The show thus looks down on the protagonist's gender presentation in that scene, allowing the interpretation that the saleswoman shrieks because of the "incongruity" in a stereotypically masculine-presenting person wearing makeup, a stereotypically feminine accessory. The rigid implicit heteronormative bias of the saleswoman's shocked scream militates against anyone who dares to deviate from traditional stereotypical masc/fem gender presentations.

I really hate this show. It's bad, and it's offensive.
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So I learned, thanks to Shakesville, that ABC has a new show coming out in fall 2012 called Work It. In this show, two cis straight guys pretend to be cis straight women in order to get jobs. How bilgey is that?

Oh, the horrible sexism. Shows like this, which pretend to be reflective about gender and sex but really aren't, usually end up cementing the vast, irreconciliable differences that supposedly exist between men and women. Shows like this also tend to suggest that, somehow, the male protagonists are better at being women [you know, fooling all those stupid cis straight wimmenz] than women are, thus denigrating the sex and gender of women.

Oh, the horrible transphobia too. Shows like this assert that it's funny when biologically male people try to radically change their gender presentation. Shows like this say that biologically male people who radically change their gender presentation will never successfully pass; they'll always eventually be seen as their "true," biologically male selves. Shows like this portray gender transition as fatuous and ultimately futile, preferring to see it as a comedic device, rather than a way that some people use to manifest their true identities.

Oh, finally, the horrible stupidity. It doesn't really make sense, given the barriers to employment that women face [such as pay disparities with men and risks of sexual harassment], that being a woman would somehow make things easier for our two cis straight guys. In fact, new challenges would crop up, not of the easily resolved comic variety, but of the deeply situated, kyrarchical kind. What a stupid show!
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Clearly this SNL commercial for "Estro-Maxx" trades on the expected amusement value of the male actors playing trans women as if the trans women are really men in unconvincing drag. The vignette in which the woman goes through the full-body scanner, causing the security officer to make lewd, unprofessional expressions, also makes light of actual, real-life concerns about such technology's abuse and invasion of privacy.
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Saatchi and Saatchi created a print ad campaign for 42 Below Vodka that apparently won a Clio. God knows why. I mean, the rebus idea is really clever, but I don't understand why it's a good thing that your alcoholic beverage promotes drinking your way to the White House or getting crabs. 

And then there's the two following examples of the campaign, which use the typical straight male fear of other penises to make fun of 1) gay men and 2) trans women. [And don't get me started on how the ad with the man and the trans woman was titled "Transvestite." I interpreted the ad about being about a man and a woman who happened to have a dick. A woman who happens to have a dick is transgendered, but not necessarily a transvestite. People can be so stupid sometimes.]


42 ad #1 )

42 ad #2 )

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