To celebrate, LadyParts Crafts Correspondent Kym has emerged from her DayQuil-induced haze to produce V-Day V-Gina Cards.
A Step by Step Guide Through TransHollywood’s Manufactured and Misguided Reactionary “Step by Step Guide Through Jared Leto’s Trans Ignorance”25 Jan
I was casually scrolling through my Newsfeed on Facebook when I saw my friend Sammi had posted a link to this blog entry. I read the post. And then I read the post aloud to my roommate. And then I took to Facebook to alert Erin that I felt a response coming on… And here it is.
The original title for this post included the word “misdirected,” but that would imply that TransHollywood’s (TH) argument in this post was heading productively in a direction. TH’s rant disguised as a “guide” is a reactionary, counterintuitive protest that is as alienating as it is misguided. According to their Tumblr, TH’s mission is “changing culture by ending transgender shaming in TV, Film, and Comedy. Direct education and activism.” As an actual teacher whose primary job it is to educate college-aged students, I must say that there is a “teachable moment” to be had here, and while that moment was allegedly missed in the publicity surrounding Dallas Buyers Club, it’s completely lost in this post by TransHollywood “Social Club,” which seems as exclusive to sympathetic cisgender persons as trans roles are to trans people in Hollywood. As a member of the LGBT community, I’m in that stage of my life where I realize that much of my early activism was unproductive because I was “making mountains out of molehills,” as any member of my Southern family would say.
I do not find it my job to defend Jared Leto or the production team of Dallas Buyers Club. Nor is my goal to delegitimize the very real and largely invisible struggle of trans persons in our society. My goal is to point out the unproductive and adversarial practices in our community (LGBT, to be clear) that perpetuate stereotypes and create new obstacles to equality, visibility, and social justice. While TH’s mission statement is noble one–and a mission I support–its approach in this case is counterproductive and its anger misplaced.
Recently, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has morphed into a national day of service. While we rightfully exalt Dr. King’s call to service, our mainstream American narrative shamefully strips Dr. King’s political messages of their revolutionary, and incredibly relevant, edge.
Think back to what you learned in elementary school about the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, and how Dr. King was portrayed. When compared to Malcolm X, King is framed as the less threatening half of the Civil Rights Movement (despite the fact that, during his lifetime, the FBI saw him as a very real threat, as evidenced by 17,000 pages of files on King). In our collective amnesia, we can claim King’s vision was fully realized, thanks to the benevolence of some white folks in DC passing civil rights legislation.
It is not only inaccurate, but disrespectful, to simplify Dr. King’s message and to leave it safely in the past. We must celebrate the phenomenal achievements of Civil Rights activists of the 50s and 60s, while recognizing that their fight for racial and economic justice is far from over.
“The truth is that with all of my faults I remain a perfect human. Not in the way that photoshopped models in magazines are perfect but in the fact that the miracle of human life exists within me and pulses through every inch of my human body. Every scar, flab, stretch mark, and section of dimpled flesh comes together to give me the power to be who I am. I write papers with these stubby dry fingers; read and research social problems with my dark-circle/crows feet ridden eyes; I speak to survivors of domestic violence and their children with these cracked lips. More than these physical imperfections I have an incredible brain that equally troubles me with forgotten memories, jumbled speech, and terrible math skills and still makes me who I am, all of those things combined.”
-Our friend Madison, who has been documenting her journey towards better physical – and mental! – health here
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
There were a few reasons which factored into my decision to read Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. Most of them have to do with the Hunger Games, starting with:
1) This still from the Divergent trailer when I went to see Catching Fire:
That is some Hot Young Adult Necking. The books are basically more of this. And I’m super happy with that. Because the main character, Tris, and her boyfriend Four (yes, Four) generally play it safe. (Look – I’m not gonna go after-school special on you about teenagers having sex, but this way, the reader doesn’t have to worry that Tris is gonna get some dystopian future STD or lose her dystopian future baby when she jumps out of a train, which she does A LOT. And, duh, this is Young Adult fiction. It’s not going to get too graphic.) Sorry, I’m distracted by all the softcore dystopian future necking… and those tattoos. Just look at those tattoos.
A new year is like a new birth: Confused, naked, crying, and covered in various bodily fluids, we embark on an exciting new journey. But it’s gonna be a good one, because LadyParts is back, y’all.
Mysteriously, for this incredible piece of…opinion (among other things), Fox News has turned off the comments section.
That’s why we invite you, dear readers, to share your thoughts below.*
*Unless you’re a woman, in which case, no one needs to hear your angry anti-manologues which the lamestream media so readily regurgitates. Please, give the men a chance to shine FOR ONCE.
As you may have surmised from our borderline-creepy obsession with Ken Burns, we at LadyParts are big fans of public television. Something we’re not fans of? Ill-informed Americans diving into international conflict zones with a savior complex (looking at you, Kony 2012). So, I greeted Half the Sky, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof’s documentary about women’s rights, with a mix of excitement (human rights!) and trepidation (Meg Ryan!).
The film focuses on women and girls facing economic disenfranchisement, staggering maternal mortality rates, sex slavery, educational inequity, and gender-based violence. Unfortunately, the film also focuses on fedora-topped American Lady Celebs.
Apparently, without the soothing presence of Meg Ryan’s inflated lips, Americans can’t focus on Somaly Mam discussing being sold into a brothel at the age of 12. See, also, the “Celebrities/Advocates” section of Half the Sky’s site, which gives Tron star Olivia Wilde equal billing with Amie Kandeh, founder of three of West Africa’s first centers for survivors of sexual violence.