Thursday, June 30, 2011

From www.good.is - How I Learned to Hate Transgender People

Very thought provoking article... Check it out

3 comments:

Caroline said...

Carrey always makes me want to go and vomit so I guess I am hyper sensitive to creepy bigots and that was without seeing any of his movies!

Rhiann Christina said...

Well all right, first... that joke was really lame. Let's keep in mind though that we are talking about an almost twenty year old movie here. That may not excuse the bad joke, but it does need to be taken into account when you pick apart exactly how this joke is offensive.

The fact is, a lot has changed in the last twenty years. At the time this movie was made, the target audience of this movie, and possibly even the writers of this movie, probably had no idea what a transsexual was. As far as they knew or were concerned, a transsexual was a man. I think, with that in mind, you've got to recognize that this joke isn't really about transsexuals at all, it's about homosexuals. As far as the whole myth of the transsexual trickster, well... if I remember right, that character wasn't actually a transsexual, that was a man who was trying to trick people, fake identity, criminal history, something like that, I haven't seen it in a long time. In any case, it's less a transphobic joke than it is a homophobic joke. In the early nineties, that kind of shit was common in movies of that caliber.

Now of course, homophobia isn't any better than transphobia, but I have a hard time judging an actor for a movie he performed in twenty years ago. Do you really think Jim Carrey is homophobic? We are talking about the star of I Love You Phillip Morris here...

Not that I really care about Jim Carrey much, but judging him for this sets a bad precedent. Some strong supporters of LGBT rights, including trans rights specifically, have said some very wrong things in decades past back before anyone really knew what we were. See Gloria Steinem in particular. You've got to allow for the fact that people make mistakes and often grow out of them.

I mean come on, we're transsexuals... we should understand that people change...

Katherine said...

Rhiann, I couldn't agree more... We do change. I will say though that this isn't so much about a single person rather then a mentality. This man dressed as women being funny gag is still very much alive and well today. We have a long way to go.